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Related to The Lay of the Land: the lie of the land

TO LIE. That which is proper, is fit; as, an action on the case lies for an injury committed without force; corporeal hereditaments lie in livery, that is, they pass by livery; incorporeal hereditaments lie in grant, that is, pass by the force of the grant, and without any livery. Vide Lying in grant.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
But The Lay of the Land tells us, without being the least bit heavy-handed, that all kinds of things befall all of us, whether we're the Prince of Denmark or a whale-hunter or just a guy selling real estate.
Inside I knew that learning to read the lay of the land certainly was the most deadly weapon that I could ever bring to the woods!
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield said yesterday: "These folks, they know the lay of the land.
To others, the lay of the land is refreshing, fascinating, and worthy of endless contemplation.
It involves several design strategies: conserving the lay of the land, minimizing the added infrastructure and impervious materials, reducing the frequency of water runoff, detaining stormwater on the lots, and preventing pollution.
Even his relatively permanent works--such as the drystone wall at Storm King, the sculpture park in the Hudson River valley north of New York City--respect the lay of the land as Earthworks in America did not.
The phrases told you the lay of the land about a person's sexuality.