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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GENERAL, adj. Sc. usages:

I. Used to designate a first-year course in any particular subject at a Sc. University. Now only in St Andrews University, the equivalent term in the other Sc. Universities being Ordinary.Sc. c.1700 Stat. Acc.1 XXI. App. Sc. Univs. 74:
Those [students] of the third class . . . learn ethics and general physics. The fourth and highest class completes their course with special physics and mathematics.
Sc. 1952 St Andrews Univ. Cal. 106:
The following classes shall qualify as courses for the General Examination: the General Classes in Latin, Greek, etc.

II. In combs.: 1. General Assembly, the Supreme Court of the Church of Scotland as represented by delegate ministers and elders assembled annually in Edinburgh and presided over by a Moderator, the reigning sovereign being represented by a Lord High Commissioner. The term is also used in connection with the other Presbyterian Churches in Scotland, England and abroad; 2. General Associate Synod, that section of the Secession Church which refused to take the Burgess oath and broke away from the general body in 1747, the Antiburghers. They became reunited in 1820. Hist.; †3. general charge, in Sc. Law: “a charge, of 40 days, directed to the heir of a deceased owner of land commanding him to have himself established as heir to the deceased. This was followed by a special or general special charge” (Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 37); 4. General Council, in Sc. Univs.: the deliberative body consisting of graduates, etc. (see first quot.), meeting twice yearly. Its main functions are to elect the Chancellor, and to represent the graduate body in general matters connected especially with the teaching in the University; 5. general disposition, in Sc. Law: “a deed meant as a conveyance but lacking the pre-requisites of infeftment, e.g. a proper description of the land” (Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 37); 6. general service, see Service; †7. general session, the combined kirk-sessions of the churches in Edinburgh. Also in Glasgow and in Paisley. See ref. under first quot.1. Sc. 1701 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 180:
Our MSS. Acts of the General Assembly are only from the 1560 to the first outing of Presbitry.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xii.:
I am an honest presbyterian of the Kirk of Scotland, and stand by her and the General Assembly.
Sc. 1945 J. T. Cox Pract. Ch. Scot. 169:
It is now the practice of the General Assembly to meet on the first Tuesday after the 17th day of May.
2. Sc. 1819 Scots Mag. (July) 75:
The committees appointed by the Associate and General Associate Synods, to deliberate on the proposed union between the two great bodies of Seceders.
Sc. 1839 J. McKerrow Hist. Secession Ch. I. 311:
The General Associate, or, as it was ordinarily termed, Antiburgher Synod.
Sc. 1901 C. G. McCrie Church Scot. 65:
Both for a time claimed to be the Associate Synod, but from 1788 the followers of Adam Gib called their Supreme Court the General Associate Synod.
3. Sc. 1754 Erskine Principles ii. xii. § 5:
A general charge serves only to fix the representation of the heir who is charged, so as to make the debt his, which was formerly his predecessor's.
4. Sc. 1858 Acts 21 & 22 Vict. c.83 § 6:
There shall be in each University a General Council consisting of the Chancellor, of the Members of the University Court, from and after their First Election, of the Professors, of all Masters of Arts of the University, of all Doctors of Medicine of the University who shall have, as Matriculated Students of the University, given regular Attendance on Classes in any of the Faculties in the University during Four complete Sessions.
Sc. 1953 Gsw. Univ. Calendar 61:
Under the Representation of the People Act, 1918, the General Councils of the four Scottish Universities jointly returned three representatives [abolished 1949].
5. Sc. 1890 Bell Dict. Law Scot. 487:
When two or more general dispositions are links in the series, it is no objection to the title that any of them does not contain a clause of assignation of writs.
7. Gsw. 1763 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1912) 152:
As the parish of Glasgow has never been divided by any such decreet it can have but one legal session, viz., the general session.
Rnf. 1812 J. Wilson Agric. Rnf. 292:
The ministers and elders of the three town parishes, compose what is called the general session of Paisley.

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"General adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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