Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HEIDIE, adj. Also heidy, heady.

1. Headstrong, impetuous, violent. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.; proud, haughty (Mry.1 1925; Bnff., Kcd., Per. 1956). For comb. ill heady see sep. art. Dmf. 1836  A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. i.:
I hear you call out in your dreams as if you were fording some deep river, or perilling your life in some heady battle.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxiv.:
Ou, ay: they war baith owre heidie, ye see. Prenciple's ae thing, but jist to rin yersel' clean intill a snorl disna dee.
Sc. 1886  Stevenson Dr Jekyll 112:
I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness.
Kcb. 1897  A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine 9:
He's gey heidy.
Abd. 1925 7 :
It is said of one who would be headstrong, but who is prevented from giving full effect to his intentions, “It's weel a heidy coo hiz short horns.”

2. Clever, showing proof of brains. Gen.Sc. Often in conjunction with knite, knot(ar) = a clever fellow (Abd.5 1890, -knot; Bch. 1919 T.S.D.C. III.; Mry.1 1925, -knite, knotar; ‡Abd.27 1930). Lnk. 1888  A. G. Murdoch Readings (Ser. 2) 64:
This was the programme o' heady contrivances an' sleep-breakin' noises expected to be set agoing at half-past five o'clock.
Abd. 1920 15 :
Ye're a heidy knite; cud stan' a lot o' saft mait.

3. Apt to make one giddy, dizzy (m.Lth., Rxb. 1956). In Eng. gen. restricted to something which intoxicates or stupefies. Gsw. 1879  A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 62:
Noo, mind your feet, and dinna trip, For, by my faith, Ower sic a heidy hicht tae slip Is instant death.

[O.Sc. hedie, headstrong, 1573. From Heid, n. + -ie, suff.]

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"Heidie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2018 <>



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