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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).

Responsabill, -able, adj. Also: -aball. [F. responsable (14th c. in Wartburg), med. L. responsabilis, f. responsāre to reply. Cf. 17th c. Eng. responsable (1641). See also Responsibill adj.]

1. a. Of a thing: Suitable (for animals). b. Of a person: Answerable, accountable (to a person) (for an action). Only predic.a. 1510 Reg. Privy S. I 325/2.
And gif the grond be nocht responsable for movable gudis to gar apprise the said grond
b. 1513 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 143.
That the names of all sic fensabill personis habill for weir remanend at hame fra the said army salbe put in writt that thai may be responsabill to our souerane lordis returning … hame agane
1677 Irvine Deeds Sasine 13 Nov.
Any ane of the baillies … for the tyme responsable thairfore

2. Trustworthy; reliable (? financially). Passing into: b. Of adequate or sufficient means (to pay an amount due, also const. of the sum due); able to meet one's financial obligations; well-off. Cf. Responsall adj. 3 and 4. 1565 Boyd Fam. P. No. 52.
It salbe lesum to the said Robert … to consigne the samin in ane responsable manis hands
c1600 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis fol. 95b.
The consignatione of the same to be in the handis of ony responsabill landit man within the said parrochin
1601 Ayr B. Acc. 52.
Dependand xv li. ix s., in desperat handis nocht responsabill
b. 1588 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 119.
To pay … ane hundreth merkis giff he be responsable, and giff they be not responsable of the said soum thai sall be put openlie in the joggis
1668 Glasgow Merchants House 37.
That everie heritor and uther responsable persone … caus mak & provyd ane sufficient lether buckit
1675 Argyll Justic. Rec. 58.
To … find sufficient responsaball landit men cawtione and souertie for them

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"Responsabill adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



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