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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Plede, Pleid(e, n. Also: pled; plead; plaid; plyde. [Cf. e.m.E. pleade (1560), plead (1581), f. Plede v., but ‘perh. in part a reminiscence of OF. and early ME. plaid, rare by-form of plaitPley n. (OED.).The regular rhyme-words include dede (dead, death), dreid, fede n. (hostility), hede (head), lede v. (to lead), rede (red), remede, stede (place). Single instances occur of aid and maid p.t., and of speid n. (speed) and ȝeid p.t. (went).]

A plead or plea, in various senses.There is some overlapping between the main senses.

1. An action at law; a law-suit; litigation.Also const. of the subject of the action.Cf. Pley n. 1, 2 and 4.Common plede, ? (Cf. ME. and e.m.E. common pleas civil actions at law, brought by one subject against another (Lydgate), AF. communs pletz).(1) 1379 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 2 (see Move v. 6). 1437 Aberd. B. Rec. MS. IV. p. 100 (9 July).
Apoun the plede amovit betuix thaim
1438 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 265.
Gyff it sall happine … that I … mak or mowe ony questioun plede or reuocatioun … of this selling of … landis
1455 Stirlings of Keir 226. 1456 Hay I. 257/25.
And law civile has ordanyt all folk to move plede for thair accioun
1495 Acta Conc. I. 395/2.
Gif it happinis ony plede to be maid or ony mvte to be movit or questioune of law to the said Johne
(2) c1420 Wynt. i. 1594.
Wndir this Saturne … all state was innocent But plede or ony jugement
Ib. ii. 244.
Before jugys ordanyt he Be plede causys mot to be
Ib. viii. 1623.
Jhon the Ballyolle … comendyt in that plede Till cunnand men hys part to lede
c1420 Ratis R. 978.
Ay grow mar & mar in fed For caus of mwtyne and of pled
1432 Ayr B. Ct. (10 Feb.–12 May).
& this is the fyrst day of this pled
1444 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 194.
To have … free entra to his landis … bute … ony impedyment be law or pleide, be fraude or gyle
1456 Hay I. 267/7.
As procuratouris ar in pledis and process of justice ordinare
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 336. 1535 Stewart 44816.
King Johnne … said … He wald reforme all faltis maid befoir … but ony pleyd or pley
Ib. 50053.
Oure heretage syne for to bruke … withoutin pley or pleid
1433 Maxwell Mem. I. 163.
Or I … be herd in the plede or mut of the forsaidis landis
(3) c1420 Wynt. v. 2890.
Till the empryoure suld fall In till eschete … Or ony instans in till plede [: remede]
Ib. viii. 440.
Quhare is in plede twa men Askand the crowne off a kynrike
Ib. 1600.
Qwhen this Makduff entryd in plede [: lede v.]
(4) 1439–40 Ayr B. Ct. 18 Jan.
That na fre man suld haf his law day anentis his nychtbour a fre man common plede bot [etc.]

b. To hald (hold) (a) plede, to hold a court or assembly; to try an action at law.Cf. med. L. placita tenere = ME. to hold plee, to try an action at law. Cf. also Pley n. 1 b. 1616 Inverurie 201.
That … nane … tack upon hand to hold court or pleid within this bruch till the new election of magistrattis

2. A pleading; a plea by or on behalf of a litigant; an allegation; a claim.Cf. Pley n. 3.(a) 1455 Aberd. B. Rec. MS. V. i. 242 (4 Sept.).
All pledis & caus at the marchandis may haue [at] the said maister to be sessit … quhil the maister be … payit
1456 Hay I. 265/31. Ib. 208/14.
This is callit … the jurement of calumpny that is gevin in the entree of all pledis
1464–5 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 60.
Quharefore he had renuncit his rycht … and … thare acht na plede, borowis na recontir tobe herd
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1227 (Bann.).
The scheip suld pas befoir the wolf agane And end his pleid
Ib. 2661. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xliii. 25.
Gif ȝe haif pleid Or mater in to pley
a1568 Bann. MS. 94 a/33.
Than micht husbandis lawbor thair steidis … For husbandis suld nocht haif sic pleidis [: leidis v., heidis, steidis]
(b) 1643 Falkirk Baron Ct. 30 May.
And absolveis the said Walter from ane plyde persewit … againes him

b. In non-legal context. — c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 12812.
We haue na pledis na armoure nane we bare We desire bot pace
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2215.
Cvrage … hardynes … adionit with happynes Makis a man debait his pleid [: manheid]

c. ? In extended use: ? That which is urged in justification; a pretext. — c1500-c1512 Dunb. lv. 14.
Thai … raeff vp lockis To get ane pamphelet on ane pled [: hed (= had), sted (= steaded)] That thai mycht lib thame of the pockis

3. Verbal dispute; contention; debate; discussion; opposition.Cf. Pley n. 6.To put (something) into (vnto) pled, to make the subject of discussion or debate.(1) c1475 Wall. x. 104.
He … maid Stewart with him [Wallace] to fall in pled
1513 Doug. i. viii. 27.
Be cut or kavill that pled sone partit was
1533 Boece Proheme 30.
Amang the Grekis began ane subtile plede
(b) c1450-2 Howlat 818 (A).
The barde held a gret pleid In the hie hall
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1174.
Thair was na stopping, lang demand nor pleid [: steid, ȝeid p.t., heid, meid (= mead)]
1535 Stewart 35202.
Thus endit scho that first begouth that pleid
a1540 Freiris Berw. 258 (M).
Hald me with na pleid
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2249.
Now mak me no moir pleid
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iv. 84.
Greit wanhope … causit him fall in pleid Agane Venus
1567 G. Ball. 149.
I fand thé loste from blis Throuch Adamis sin and pleid
a1568 Bann. MS. 158 a/61.
And so he standis in ane pleid with ane hie fair And will fecht with ony man that sayis the contrair
(c) 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xl. 197.
How he suld fend from … thair fead Syne leaue this lyfe with list for all thair plaid [: aide, fead, maid p.t.]
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 582 (H).
I was mair fule … to be sa still Quhairthrow to put my prayin to [Bann. vnto] pleid [: heid, feid]
(3) c1475 Wall. ii. 253.
Thai gart serwandys with outyn langer pleid … on to the wall him bar
a1500 Seven S. 163.
Without ma pledis The sevyn sagis suld tyne thair hedis
1513 Doug. iv. vi. 119.
Gif the fatis but pled At my plesour sufferit me lyfe to led [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 500.
The haill seuin [doctors] without mair pleid The childe hes with thame tane
a1568 Bann. MS. 87 b/62.
Be thow be deid but pleid may magnefye Thy saull in blis
Ib. 145 b/21.(b) c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 91.
So is the kirk malignant but more plead [: head] Ingraft in Sathan

b. In weakened sense: Conversation. — a1540 Freiris Berw. 70 (M).
Thay eit and drank and leuit all thair pleid [: breid n.]

c. Applied to the song or cry of a bird. c1450-2 Howlat 835 (A).
The tuchet … Raif his taile fra his rig with a rath pleid
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlvi. 115.
Thir birdis … Singing of lufe … Quhois ythand pleid ȝit maid my thochtis grene

4. Strife, physical contention. Cf. Pley n. 5. 15.. Christis K. 142 (B).
He thocht ane cryd ‘Haif at him!’ Quhill he west past out of all pleid [L. he was past out of thar pleid; rh. reid a., feid, heid, speid n. (= speed)]

5. attrib. or comb., in sense 1, in plede-hous, a courthouse, a court of law. 1456 Hay I. 270/7.
A plede that is maid before a juge ordynare in a plede hous

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"Plede n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Dec 2022 <>



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