glossary of archaic Scots terms D

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Scotland - a glossary of archaic terms, as well as a number of Modern Scots words and phrases, useful for genealogical research. Legal terms, words linked to property and possessions, found in wills and testaments.

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DAILIS, ewes which miss lambing and are fattened for slaughter

DATIVE, testament or tutor, i.e., granted by the Court, as distinct from testamentar, made or appointed by the testator himself. Thus testament dative is a grant of administration as opposed to probate of a will.

DEALL, a board of deal or pine wood.

DEAN OF GILD, president of the guildry. He is also judge of the dean of guild's court in re­ference to buildings, and has to see that they are erected according to law and do not en­croach on the rights of neighbours.  

DEATHBED, law of, the law by which an heir could cancel deeds made to his disadvantage by a terminally-heir predecessor within the 60 days prior to his death.  

DEBATABLE, specifically with reference to land and boundaries, subject to dispute.  

DECERNED, decreed.

DECREET, decreit, judgment of the Court ; cp. decreet arbitral, award of an arbitration ; decreet of removal, judgment ordering the defenders to remove from lands.  

DEDE, deid, 1. deed (pl. dedis) 2. death

DEFENDER, defendant in a law suit.

DEFORCEMENT, occupying property belonging to another ; also resisting the officers of the law in the execution of their duty.

DELATED, accused at law.

DELIVERANCE, judgment.

DEMITTIT, dismissed, resigned, handed over.

DEPONE, depose, give evidence, make oath.

DEPUTE, deputy. A sheriff depute is appointed by the crown ; a sheriff substitute by the sheriff himself.  

DESIGN, assign, bestow, grant.  

DEVIDING, formal division of lands or property

DEVOID (and red), vacate land or property

DEW SERVICE (deservice, do-service), service owed or carried out by a tenant on behalf of the grantor of land 

DEWITIE, duty.

DILIGENCE, 1. legal proceedings involved in the enforcement of payments and the recovery of debts. 2. A court warrant to enforce the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentation.

DILMONDIS, wedders, two year old ram (f. gylmyr)

DIRROGATIONE, derogation, partial repeal of a law

DISCLAMATION, renunciation of obligation by a tenant to the grantor of the tenancy

DISHERIS, disherish, disinherit

DISPONE, dispose of, convey land, alienate.  

DISSASINE, dispossession

DISTITUT, destitute.

DIUERS, -E, various

DIUIDIT, divided

DOCHTIR, daughter

DOCQUET, statement annexed to the document recording a transfer of property (sasine) declaring its authenticity

DOCUMENTIS, teachings, instructions

DOMICILLIS, dwellings.

DOMINICAL LANDS, the mains or principal farm on an estate ; that of the lord or dominus.

DOMINUS, SIR, a title used by chaplains, as well as by knights, and later by baronets. It also means laird or lord.  

DONATOR, receiver of a donation usually following the failure of succession

DORNICK (dornyk), work or naperie, cloth wrought at Tournay in France.  

DOTE, give or grant lands as an endowment

DUTY; see s. Dewitie, Feu. Service or payment to a feudal superior

DWELL, of possessions, remained possessed by someone specific

DYTEMENTS, dyting ; poems, writing; cp. Indite, indictment; Ger., dichter.

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This glossary is under constant revision. We welcome all contributions of archaic terms linked to Scotland, that may be helpful in genealogical research. Please complete the SUGGESTIONS FORM with your ideas, additions and corrections. Thanks!

 

 

The Scottish song on the battle of Bannockburn (1314), preserved by the English chronicler Fabyan:

Maydins of England, sore may ye morne

For your lemmans ye haue loste at Bannockysborne,

Wyth heue a lowe.

What wenyt the kynge of England

So soone to have wonne Scotlande,

Wyth rumbylow?

 

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