Document 702

The Buik o Ruth: 15 - Levirate Merridge

Author(s): A S Borrowman

Copyright holder(s): Mrs Lorna F Borrowman


'Levirate' comes frae the Latyne, a guidbrither: a guidbrither wha is a guidman's (in Sudron: husband's) brither.

It is deponit in Deuteronomy XXV: 5-10, gif a man dee, leain nae son, his brither, gif he leeves on the samin mailin, is tae merry his widow-wife, the auld son tae tak the name and the heirskip o the deed man. Gin the brither o the deed man willna merry the widow-wife, the aylers o the brugh maun be conveent, whan the widow-wife maun pu aff ane o his shoon, and spit in his face tae shaw ill-wull.

This was gie auldfanglt whan the Buik o Ruth cam tae be scrievit. Algates, whan Ruth was scrievit, the fowk fasht themsels mair wi the name o the faimly, (a man leevit throwe his bairns) and wi mailins, graithin, and plenishin and the needcessity o keepin aa for the clan.

In Ruth IV we jalouse that the guidwife is pairt o the haudin. Boaz merries Ruth as GOEL, (hainer) nae as LEVIR (brither o the deed man) whilk he wasna. The merridge was naething by-common, and was anerlie a peerie pairt o the excambion.

The neist o kin by his nay-say drees nae ill-wull, and the maitter o his shoon is anerlie a survivance o a wont-tae-be o by-gaun days. The richt tae walk aa owre a mailin belangit tae the awner, and tae the awner anerlie. The shae was the taken o awnerheid.

Tae tak the shae was tae tak seisin o the grund.

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The Buik o Ruth: 15 - Levirate Merridge. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 7 December 2023, from

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "The Buik o Ruth: 15 - Levirate Merridge," accessed 7 December 2023,

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Information about Document 702

The Buik o Ruth: 15 - Levirate Merridge


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Informed lay people
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Typed
Year of composition 1974
Word count 264
General description Explanation of the concept of Levirate Marriage

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Gordon Wright
Publication year 1979
Place of publication Edinburgh
ISBN/ISSN SBN 903065 30 4
Edition 1st
Part of larger text
Contained in The Buik o Ruth and ither wark in Lallans
Editor Author: Alex S. Borrowman
Page numbers 42

Text setting


Text type

Prose: nonfiction


Author details

Author id 755
Forenames A
Initials S
Surname Borrowman
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1910
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Parish Minister
Place of birth Stirling
Region of birth Stirling
Birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Country of birth Scotland
Father's occupation Shop assistant
Father's place of birth Stirling
Father's region of birth Stirling
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Dress maker
Mother's place of birth Dunblane
Mother's region of birth E & SE Perthshire
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Per
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes all circumstances
French Yes Yes Yes Yes
German Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes for literary purposes