Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

RODDEN, n.1 Also roddan, roddin(g), roddon (n.Sc. 1886 B. & H. 405), roden (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., 1886 B. & H. 405), rodin (Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 68; n.Sc. 1886 B. & H. 405), rhoddin; roddeen (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.); rare or erron. forms ¶rooden, ¶rottin, ruddin, redden (Bwk. 1853 G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 80), redin. [′rodɪn.]

1. The berry of the rowan or mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Clc. 1886 B. & H.; Cai., Inv. 1904 E.D.D.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 264; n.Sc. 1968), occas. referring to the tree itself or its wood. Also attrib. Rxb. 1722  Stitchill Ct. Book (S.H.S.) 184:
Amerciat in one shilling sterling for pulling and cutting of rottins.
Sc. c.1783  Willie o Douglas Dale in
Child Ballads No. 101 A. xx.:
He's pu'd a bunch o yon red roddins That grew beside yon thorn.
Abd. 1801  W. Beattie Parings (1873) 31:
The Gaudman . . . maks yoke-sticks o' rooden.
Abd. 1817  J. Christie Instructions 28:
Cran berries were thicker than our ley birds lint, Their colour like roddings, but some what bigger.
Kcd. 1850  W. Jamie Effusions 33:
Twa wimpling burnies meet, Beside the rodden glen.
Ags. 1883  Brechin Advertiser (9 Jan.) 3:
An auld horse shoe an' a bunch o' roddens tied thegither in a hank o' red wirset an' hung on the back o' the byre door.
Abd. 1914  Abd. Univ. Rev. (Feb.) 156:
When larch an' rodden firm an' fast Will stand ance mair.
Bnff. 1954  Banffshire Jnl. (2 Nov.) 4:
The roddens an' the briar hips an' the haws.
Abd. 1967  Buchan Observer (21 Feb.) 2:
Whiles a roddan, bent wi blast.

Combs. and Phrs.: (1) as sour as roddens, very sour or bitter (ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr. 1968). Also fig.; (2) nae to care a rodden, not to care a “fig” (ne.Sc., Ags. 1968); (3) rodden-bird, the fieldfare, Turdus pilaris, from its fondness for rowan berries; (4) rodden-tree, the mountain-ash, Sorbus aucuparia (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Clc. 1886 B. & H.; Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 5; n.Sc., Fif., Lth., Peb., Ayr. 1968); (5) to have had roddens tae one's supper, to be in a sour or surly humour (ne.Sc. 1968). (1) Ags. 1896  A. Blair Rantin Robin 121:
There in's bowl sat the milk as sour's roddens.
Sh. 1904  E.D.D.:
Anything very sour would be called ‘as soor as ruddins'.
Abd. 1920  G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 16:
The sowens were soor as roddens or plums.
Abd. 1965 30 :
He hiz a face as sour's roddins.
(2) Abd. 1929  J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 201:
Naebody cares a rodden for them.
(3) Bnff. 1918  Trans. Bnff. Field Club 69:
They are generally plentiful in winter about Tomintoul, where they are called “Rodden-birds”.
(4) e.Lth. 1733  Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club XVIII. 62:
This tree is called in the country the rowan or roddan tree.
Sth. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 169 note:
Kinin [sic] is a Gaelic word, expressing the fruit of the redin [sic] tree, which of old grew on this maul or hill.
Abd. 1868  W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 54:
Sair tewed wi' wark, I laid me down And sloomed aneth the Roden Tree.
Sth. 1897  E. W. B. Nicholson Golspie 27:
Honeysuckle, black thorn, and rodin-trees.
Ags. 1915  V. Jacob Songs of Angus 36:
Says I to Grannie, “Keek up the glen Abune by the rodden tree”.
Lnk. 1919  G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 16:
Lay doon yer heavy burden, wife, ahint this roden tree I planted when oor merried days were young.
Abd. 1932  D. Campbell Bamboozled 33:
A'll meet ye at the rodden tree at hauf-aucht.
(5) Bnff. 1935  I. Bennett Fishermen x.:
Ye've surely had rodens tae yer supper! Ye should cultivate a contented mind.

2. Given by C. Mackay Dict. Lowland Sc. 168 as the fruit of the hawthorn or briar rose by inference from the version of the above ballad in P. Buchan Ballads (1828) II. 176: “The roddins, . . . That grow on yonder thorn” which is an obvious textual corruption. See 1783 quot. under 1. above.

[Prob. of Scand. orig. from a reduced ablaut grade of the root *rauð-, Eng. red, and hence ultimately of same orig. as Rowan, q.v. Cf. O.N. roð, roði, redness, reddening. O.Sc. roddyne, id., a.1568.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Rodden n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down