Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CAPTION, Capshun, Capshin, Captie, n. [′kɑpʃən]

1. A warrant for the arrest of a debtor on account of the non-payment of a debt. A term in Sc. law. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian iv.:
[He] had nae mair ado but to get awa wi' his guard up this West Bow as fast as if there had been a caption after him.
Inv. 1728 Letter-Bk. Bailie J. Steuart (ed. W. Mackay 1915) 290:
I herewt. give you the trouble of the Inclosed caption agst. James Glass.
Lnk. 1722 Minutes J.P.s Lnk. (S.H.S. 1931) 210–211:
William Forrest did injuriously cause apprehend me, by vertue of a caption upon the same decreet.

Comb.: captie-hornins, letters of amercement. Corruption of phr. below. Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 29:
Ye wou'dna fash your thumb, I ken, Letters an' summonses to sen', An' captie-hornins unto ane Like me.

2. “The act of taking a person who is to be arrested” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6). Dmf. 1742 Records Conv. Burghs (1915) 97:
By caption and incarseration until actual payment of his said bond.

Phr.: horning and caption. See Horning.

3. fig. “The obtaining of any thing that is valuable or serviceable; a lucky acquisition” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2; also Mry.1 1925; Bnff.2, Abd.19 1938). Abd.6 1910:
When one got a gift, or an obligement, which they were particularly in want of, they said “It was a gey capshun to get it.”
Abd.1 1929:
The new car will be a richt capshin for him.
Abd.9 1938:
Hillie's gotten Mains's maiden at last; bit fegs, she's nae great caption.

[O.Sc. captioun, caption, legal arrest or apprehension, 1522; a warrant for arrest (D.O.S.T.); Mid.Eng. capcioun, from Lat. caption-em. Captie is a reduced form.]

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"Caption n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Sep 2020 <>



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