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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BADDERLOCK, BATHERLOCK, n. Gen. in pl. An edible seaweed closely resembling the hart's-tongue fern; the hart's-tongue laminaria, a species of Alaria esculenta. Hen-ware. [′bɑðər-, ′bɑdərlɔk]Sc. 1777 Lightfoot Flora Scotica II. 938:
Fucus esculentus. Eatable Fucus. Anglis. Badderlocks. Scotis.
Sc. 1867 S. O. Gray Brit. Seaweeds 51:
Alaria esculenta. Eatable Alaria, or Badderlocks. The midrib of this plant is eaten in Ireland and Scotland.
Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour through . . . Ork. and Sh. 28–29:
On deep shores . . . great quantities of red-ware or sea-girdles (F. digitatus) are collected with long hooks at low water. Fucus esculentus (badderlocks) is likewise employed.
ne.Sc. 1923 (per Mry.2):
Still known in the north-east in both forms, badderlock and batherlock, as n. and n. used attrib. — e.g. Batherlock Craig.
Abd. 1791 Stat. Acc.1 VII. 207:
The fisherwomen . . . go to the rocks at low tide, and gather the . . . fucus esculentus, badderlock.
Abd. 1884–1903 Jeems Sim in North. Figaro 18:
Dilse an' pepper dilse, an' tangles an' batherlocks.
Ags. 1932 Fisher Cry at Montrose (per Ags.1):
Fine dulse an' badderlocks, Noo fae the Buddon rocks.

[Etym. doubtful. Badder is a possible Sc. form of Balder, the name of the Norse god. Cf. Balder in the plant name in Nhb., Balder(s) brae (also Bald-eyebrow), mayweed, anthemis cotula; Norw. Balderbraa, Sw. dial. Balders-brå, O.Dan. Balders braa, id. (Falk and Torp).]

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"Badderlock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2024 <>



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