Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BENWEED, n.1 The common ragwort, Senecio jacobæa. Also used attrib. Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail xl.:
I would be nane surprised, that whoever lives to see him dee will find in the bed a benweed or a windlestrae, instead o' a Christian corpse.
Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize II. xxii.:
It's no safe to be subjek to the whisking o' the mildew frae the tails o' the benweed ponies that are saddled for yon awfu' carnavaulings.
Ayr. 1913  J. Service Memorables of Robin Cummell 56:
M'unting a benweed at the howe oor o' the nicht, [he] rade awa through the lift to Loudon Hill.
Uls. 1931  “Bangor” in North. Whig (16 Dec.) 9/5:
Ben weed, the ragwort (believed to have been used by the fairies and witches to ride on). adj. phr.: kick-at-the-benweed, “headstrong, unmanageable” (Ayr. 1825 Jam.2).
Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail lxxvii.:
And what did he say for himsel, the kick-at-the-benweed foal that he is?

[O.Sc. has benwod, see D.O.S.T. Prob. a corruption for benwort, the plant with a reed-like stem, but see Bunweed.]

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"Benweed n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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