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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
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Lowsin(g, Lousing, vbl. n.1 Also: lowss-, loussand -inge, -yng(e, -eing; lowyssing, loueseng. [ME. (north.) lousyng (c 1357), e.m.E. lowsing (1482, 1545), ME. also lawsing (1415), f. Lows v.1 Cf. also Lossing vbl. n.2 and Loosing vbl. n.1]

1. The act of loosing, in various senses of Lows v.1, Los v.2a. Setting free, release, lit. and fig.; absolution; letting down (trousers etc.); detaching the team from a plough; the casting off of a ship or boat and setting sail; loosening, freeing (something stuck or fixed); disintegration, dissolution. b. The letting go of water retained by a dam or the breaking up or removal of a dam. c. The letting up or cessation of a storm.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii. 6624.
And than a lang qwhille he lay thare Or spek was off his lowsyng mare
?1438 Alex. ii. 4070.
Or he sic presonere thare suld tak That suld the Bauderanis lousing mak
Ib. 5056, 5178. 1445 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 13.
For the lowsyng of the quhilkis Inglishmen we haue written to oure said cosing
1456 Hay I. 247/6. 1531 Treas. Acc. V. 444. 1576 Douglas Corr. 217.
For lacke of the delyverye of there bill, whiche sholde haue bene the releif for the lowsinge of the childe [from irons]
1581 Burne Disput. 135.
Lyk as S. Johne declairis his cumming be the lousing of ane vyld beast
(2) 1644 Baillie II. 212.
It would be very sweet for me to be at home, and serving in my charge; bot as yet no appearance of lousing for any of us
1653 Dalkeith Presb. in Butler Life Leighton 240.
If they [the parishioners] had any thing to say against the lowsing of their minister
(3) 1551 Hamilton Cat. 221.
A preist hes … the auctoritie of lowsing and binding gevin to him be our salviour Christ
1567 G. Ball. 6. 1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreæ 26.
Bishops should … have the power of binding and lowsing, visiting the diocese [etc.]
(4) a1570-86 Maitl. F. liv. 23.
Ȝe ar so lang in lowsing doun The dewill bodie now may byd ȝow
(5) 1500–1 Acta Conc. MS. X. a.
[Action taken] for the wrangus taking and lowsing of his pleuich in his manys of Erlie
1582 Reg. Privy C. III. 495.(6) 1620 Dumbarton Kirk S. 2.
For lowssing ther boattis on the Sabbothe and travelling up to Glasgow with them
1649 Ruthven Corr. 115.
I had causit provyde for him ane pounseon of meale … bot whither he hes gotten it or no befor the shipp's lousing I can not tell
(7) 1605 Glasgow Merchants House 92.
Quhatsumevir personne … dois wrang to his nichtbour in biging, planting, teilling or lowsing of martch stainis
fig. 1644 Baillie II. 211.
The articles of peace … if we should begin to treat with him on the alteration of any of them, it will draw both to a great length and a dangerous lousing of our ground
(8) a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 303.
Quhat is death? ane dissolution and lousing of ane thing that was joynit togidder, ane dissolving and scattering of the parts of it
b. 1614 Ayr B. Acc. 64.
For twa quartis of aill at the lousing of the dam of the wattir under the brig
c. 1570 Peebles B. Rec. I. 325.
The heid dykis to be biggit round about within viij dayis efter the lowyssing of the storme

2. The redemption of heritage or movables from attachment, pawn, etc.: see Lows v.1 12. Also lousing out.(1) 1406 (1427) Reg. Great S. 17/2.
That the said Jon haf the mone that lyis apon tha landis, and thir forsaid landis efiter the lowsing
1469 Acts II. 96/2.
And the redempcione and lousing [of the lands] to be maid within vij ȝeris as said is or nocht
1471 Maxwell Mem. I. 185. 1488–9 Prot. Bk. J. Young II. 35. 1494 Acta Conc. I. 361/2.
1497 Ib. II. 78, etc.1507 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 709 (see Kindly a. 5 (1)).1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 288/2. 1512 Grey Friars 30. 1515 Selkirk B. Ct. MS. fol. 38 b.
The said Jhone [is] to brouk the said rig for a crop eftir the lousing out be grantit
1516 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II. 9. 1528 Inchcolm Chart. 63. 1537 Boyd Fam. P. No. 12 (19 Feb.).
The sayd Adam and Helyne has mayd me … ane reuersioun … to the lousyng and redemyng of the sayd tuenty schilling land … apon four scoyr of merks of mony wyth certan ȝers takks efter the lousyng
1549 Reg. Privy S. IV. 80/2; etc. 1561 Misc. Bann. C. III. 305. 1590 Ayr Chart. 115. 1614–5 Misc. Spald. C. V. 95.
For raising ane summondis … for reduction of the tackis of the teynd scheawis of Petmedden and als for letteris of lousing the fermes of Petmedden
1630 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 328. 1661 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 341.
[The defender had] promitted to the persewar ane peice of grasse [for which he ought to pay 16 s., but the court] modifies 8 s. for the grasse lousseing
(2) 1441 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 6.
That Matheu … and Richard … sal pas for the lousyng and recouerayng of the schippes merchandes and gudes the quhilkis are now of new tane of Inglis men
1499 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 97.
ij s. for the lovsing of Jame Malcommis pot fra Dauid Philp
1541 Maxwell Mem. I. 285.
To gif hym daye quhill Sanct Mungos daye nyxtocum to the lowsyng of the saidis cowpis
1589 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 189.
Aresting and lowsing of cornis and vtheris gudes … be vptaking of cautioun for lousing thairof
1597 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 18 b.
I haue payet … for loueseng of our pas xxviiii gros
(3) 1473 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 10.
Quhen ever it be sene … that he … be hurt throw the lowsing of the said redempcioun

3. The withdrawal or removal, by an authority, overlord or creditor, of an arrestment on goods or legal restriction on lands: see Lows v.1 13.(Act or lettres of) lowsing of arrestment, a writ discharging an arrestment, following on the debtor's providing surety.(1) 1554 Prot. Bk. G. Grote 6.
[He was] nocht responsall to be causioune and souertie … for lovsing of the arrestment maid … vpone the cornis [etc.]
1558 Inverness Rec. I. 28.
For lowsing of the arrest pot in his ledyr he oblist hyme self [etc.]
1570 Canongate Ct. Bk. 172. 1607 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II. 104, etc.
[Loosings of arrestments
1612 Ib. II. 186.] 1611 Scrymgeour Invent. (S.R.S.) 23.
Ane requeist direct be the King to the bischope of Argyle for lowsing the arreistment laid on be him upoun the fruittis of the benifice of Glaistre
1612 Inverness Rec. II. 100.
Anent the lousing of the prowest and baillies … arestment
1617 Acts IV. 547/1.
Anent the lowsing the arreistmentis
1617 Reg. Cautions in Loosing Arrestments MS. (Reg. H.) 7 July.
For lowsing of the arreistment execut be John Kilgour … aganis the said sir Alexr. Gordoun
1621 Acts IV. 621/2.
Pryces: … For ane act of lowsing of arreistment [6 s. 8 d.]
1630 Dumbarton B. Rec. 35. 1657 Rothesay B. Rec. 7. 1661 Culross I. 315.
[Gift to Culross of] the wholl benefits … that shall … be due to me … for passing … lowsings of arreystment and suspensions … whether foundit upon debts or lawborrowes
1666 Glasgow Chart. II. 67.
Lettres oflowsing of arreistment, the towne of Glasgow contra the towne of Dumbartowne
(2) 1511 Reg. Privy S. I. 346/1.
Ane instrument tane be schir Jhone Somervale of the Kingis hienes anent the lousing of the recognitioun of the landis … becaus thai war haldin blanchferme
c1575 Balfour Pract. 487.
Lousing of recognitioun
1604 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 42.
The said Willeam … to adhear to the said Katherine his spous … and to giue hir ane … supplicatioun to the judges ordinar … for lowsing and suspending the said inhibitioun
(3) 1589 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 189.
[The mairs of fee] haue bene in vse … and na vtheris in aresting and lowsing of cornis and vtheris gudes … be vptaking of cautioun for lousing thairof

4. The obtaining or receiving (of something) for payment; purchasing. 1504 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 99.
For the outtaking of the greit stanis in the hevin and redding of the channell … and to gett plaittis for the channell and lowsing thairof
1550 Edinb. Hammermen 183.
Gewin in drink at the lowsing of the bannaris betuix vs the masonis & the wrychtis xj s., to our part tharof v s. vj d.

5. In Orkney: see Lows v.1 15 a.

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"Lowsin vbl. n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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