Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BIRD, n.1 As in St.Eng. except in the following. [brd, bɛrd, bʌrd]

1. Young of animals. Obs. in St.Eng. (N.E.D.). Sc. 1808  Jam.:
Bird, the young of quadrupeds, particularly of the fox. [Jam. gives no mod. examples.]
Ork.(D) 1880  Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 49:
The peur mither selkie rowed hersel' ower the face o' de rock i'tae the sea; bit her twa birds hed no' wit tae flee.
[See also Bird-alane.]

2. Phr.: a' the birds [birdies] in the air, a game similar to “Oranges and Lemons.” Sc. 1821  Blackw. Mag. X. 36:
A' the Birds in the Air and A' the Days of the Week, are also common games.
Sc. 1898  A. B. Gomme Trad. Games of Eng. Scot. and Ireland Vol. II. (Add.) 403:
A' the birdies i' the air Tick tae to my tail.

3. Combs.: (1) Birdies' bannocks, “wood sorrel” [Oxalis] (e.Mry. 1914 R.C. in T.S.D.C. I. 21).

(2) Bird-seed, (a) “groundsel” [Senecio vulgaris] (nw.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 56); (b) “the seed-stalk of the plantain, especially of Plantago major” (n., w.Rxb. Ib.).

(3) Bird's —, birdies' een. (See quots.) Mry. 1914  R.C. in T.S.D.C. I. 21:
Birdies' een, the speedwell.
nw.Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 56:
Bird's een, the germander-speedwell, Veronica chamædrys.

(4) Bird's maet, “congealed matter round the eyes” (Abd.4 1932).

[O.Sc. bird, byrd, berd, burd, (1) a young bird, a chicken (from c.1424); (2) a feathered vertebrate (from c.1400); (3) a young animal, a person regarded as offspring or progeny (from c.1520). O.E. brid, O.North. bird. (See D.O.S.T.)]

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"Bird n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



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