Glossary

This glossary defines archaic words and phrases, mostly Scots law terminology, commonly found in our documents and records. For a larger resource go to the online Dictionary of the Scots Language, which contains Scots words and phrases, including legal terms.

It also includes definitions of archival terminology, although not all these terms have been used in this catalogue

With thanks to the Scottish Archive Network

open doors, letters of
a letter under the signet to do with diligence; this one empowered a messenger at arms to break open the doors of any place which contained a debtor's goods, so that they could be poinded.
outed minister
a minister who had been ejected from his parish.
 
outfield
the more outlying and less fertile part of a farm, where the ground was seldom or never cultivated (before the introduction of enclosure and crop rotation in the 18th century).
outredding
usually applied to someone's "affairs"; it means "settling".
outsight plenishing
moveable property kept or lying out of doors; it would include livestock and implements like ploughs, but not corn or hay, which were not reckoned as "plenishings".
oversman
an umpire who was appointed to settle some matter which had gone to arbitration, but on which the arbiters had been unable to decide.
oxgang
a measure of land which like Scottish measures in general, varied from place to place; in general, it was about 13 acres.


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