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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Red(e, n.2 Also: reid, reyd, reed, reade. [ME reod (c1160), ræode (Layamon), rehed (Wyclif), riede, ME and e.m.E. reed(e (14th c.), rede (c1400), OE hréod. See also Rude n.4]

1. A reed, the plant. b. The stalk or stem of a reed; a cane.(1) c1515 Asl. MS I 159/2.
In Ynd … thair is redis samekle that [etc.]
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 161.
Quhen the fals tratour I[o]wis set in ȝour blist hand a reid for scorn for ane kingis ceptour
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 56.
Amang the grene rispis and the redis Arrivit sche
1513 Doug. viii i 35.
Leiffy redis dekkis weill hys haris
Ib. xii Prol. 152.
Swannys swouchis throw owt the rysp and redis
1533 Gau 66/28.
The iust men sal scheyne and fle as sparkis of fyr amangis redis
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Eclogues i 10.
Calamo, calamus proprie est culmus aut minor arundo a reid
Ib. vii 12.
Harundine, a reid
(2) 1550 Edinb. Hammermen 183b.
For ane reyd to chlenge & deicht the siloring & the imagis xiiij d.
b. c1515 Asl. MS I 169/23.
Sum men takis thair meit with a reid for thai haf no mouth
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 961.
Ane … herd that of thrist he spak, Rynand in haist tuke ane reid that wes tvme
1535 Stewart 58487.
Ane nureis … In at the windo with ane Spanȝe reid Of hir pap scho leit the milk in pas
1612 Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 293.
Canes or reidis
1579, 1617 Despauter (1617) 10.

c. In fig. or allusive use. 1553 Knox III 361.
He breakis not doun the bruisit reid
1591-2 Rob Stene 8.
Scho restit hir on a rottin reid, Quhilk felȝeit hir quhen sche had neid
a1601 Boyd Sonet.
Lyc til … a reid owrblawin with the wind
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxviii 33.
The rendring reid, vhilk bouis with euerie blas[t]

d. transf. A stalk of some other plant. Cf. ait reid, see sense 4 below. 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics i 192.
Palea, the reid of the strea

2. coll. a. Reeds as growing plants; an area grown with reeds, a reed-bed. Also pl. Also attrib. a1500 Henr. Fab. 897.
The rayndeir ran throw reueir, rone and reid
a1500 Sir Eger 1452.
He saw nothing … But great felloun down deer and reed
1578 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 59b.
The litle hillok of reid and the salt girs … lyand within the regalitie of Lundores
1600 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 510.
Pro Elayis eiusdem includente Westmedow, Hillok, Saltgirs, … bowbuttis, reiddis, et hauchis
attrib. 1695 Reg. Privy C. in Chambers Domestic Ann. (1861) III 143.
[To … make the needful improvements … ] reed-hedges to divide, shelter, and lay the ground lown and warm

b. Reeds as a material, employed as a floor-covering or as fuel. a1578 Pitsc. (1814) xxiv.
The countrie houssis be narrow, covered with strae and reid, quhairin the people and beastis doe lige togidder
1596 Dalr. I 10/20.
Thay reid for wod vse, cheifle the Mersmen, to thair fyre

3. a. In Biblical use: A reed employed as a measuring rod. (So also in Eng. renderings of the Bible, 1388–1611). a1400 Leg. S. vi 201.
Thomas … tuk a lange red in his hand … Thane thare-vith al the palace can merk Quhare that the kinge vald haf his vark

b. A shaft (of cane) for a lance or the like. — 1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 356.
2 Spanish reids, one of them with ane head of princes metall

4. A reed-stem, or similar hollow plant-stem, made into a rustic musical pipe. 1513 Doug. i Prol. 505.
I … that in the small ait reid Tonyt my sang
1549 Compl. 66/1.
Mercurius that playit on ane sey reid
1587-99 Hume 31/187.
With pipes of reides the iolie hirds Halds vp the mirrie din

b. As part of the mouthpiece of a pipe. — 1549 Compl. 65/21.
The nyxt hed ane pipe maid of ane bleddir and of ane reid

5. A weaver's ‘reed’, an instrument for separating the threads of the warp and beating up the weft; also ? a single reed or cane as used to construct the instrument. b. The quality of cloth produced by a particular ‘reed’. 1595 Edinb. Test. XXVIII 81b.
Four dossoun wobster reidis price of the dossoun xx s.
1623 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 242.
To … pay to Johnne Gros … for his worklumes in Sanct Paullis work extending to … ane warping staick, tua kames for sayes, seven reidis [etc.]
1646 Edinb. Test. LXII 336.
Ane new standing loome with four steill reids
1672 Aberd. Trades 300.
Ilk reedmaker is to have as much spanȝie as serves to mak reeds for the use of the calling
c1686 Depred. Clan Campbell 41.
3 weaving reeds
1688 Brechin Test. VII 189.
Two work loomis with reidis greidis and others pertaining thairto
b. 1672 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 309.
[The weavers] having compaired the wob produced with ane uther peace of it finds them agrie both in reid and graithes

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"Red n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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