1) Gist is an aphetic spelling of ‘agist’, used as a verb, noun, and adjective. The verb means to sell rights of pasturage, principally for cattle and horses, which rights were jealously guarded by landowners.

1508 they shall take no maner of catteill to geiste, ne suffer none to ryste upon the growndes, Morker. The adjective was applied to the animals: 1554 no man shall take anny gyest horse In to the out wod, Wakefield 1609 trespass with gyst cattell, Malham

1727 did drive one ox stirk and one gyste heifer out of certain grounds belonging to Thomas Brewer, Slaidburn. The noun was used of the process itself: 1566 gyste taken at home of John Hanson ij kyne xvjs, Woodsome

1636 We laye in paine that if any person … who have no righte in the Towne fields … shall putt … any beaste, calffe or cattell into the said feildes before his … gyste become due … shall forfeite … 10s, Lepton. The word had a number of variant forms and spellings, as when Henry Best of Elmswell wrote in 1642: such beasts as are taken into pasture to bee kept are hereabouts called geasters, i.e. gesters, and theire gates soe many severall jeasts.

spellings jaist jeast jest jist
dates 1508 1554 1566 1609 1636 1642 1727

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