Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BODY, BODIE, BOADY, BUDDY, Bothie, n. Used as in St.Eng. In the sense of a human being, a person, an equivalent of the pron. one, oneself, it seems to have a wider range than in St.Eng. It may imply sympathy or contempt, the degree or quality of which is often indicated by an accompanying adj. Buddy is never used for the human body dead or alive. [′bodi, ′bɔdi, ′bʌdi Sc.; ′bɔð Ork., Bnff.]

1. A human being, a person. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1930  M. P. Roy in Scots Mag. (Dec.) 189:
Ma man, a bird that speaks like a buddy is no' nateral.
Ork.(D) 1880  Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 77:
Bit what tripped me, whither it wus bothie, bockie or baest, Lord ken o' me, as I ken no'.
Abd. 1930 4 :
Tramp on a buddy's fit, ye tak' their lad fae them.
Kcb. 1885  A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe xxiii.:
“It's a nesty mornin', it's waur than a guid shower” he continued “for it seems to wat a body into the very soul.”

2. With an adj. (or its equivalent), gen. indicating a varying degree of contempt or sympathy. Gen.Sc. Ags. 1926 9 ;
1 :
She's a cantie buddy. (When a dead person is spoken of the word used is “boady.” This distinction is always observed.)
Bnff.(D) 1847  A. Cumming Tales of the North i. 58:
Ignorant bothies, that dinna ken a single saint's day, nor wouldna ken ae Sunday frae anither o' the calendar.
Edb. 1756  Mrs Calderwood Letters, etc., in Blackw. Mag. (1885) 367:
A very civill body, just like Mr Cunninghame, the packman.
Ayr. 1824  A. Crawford Tales of my Grandmother 186:
He'll hae a good downsittin' for ony woman body that he may tak' a fancy to. [So also a gangrel, a teyler, a beylie body.]
Gall. 1877  “Saxon” (ed.) Gall. Gossip 76:
Jock McMaster was a drucken dwabble o' a buddy.

3. A little or puny person; a child, gen. one of a large family. Sc. 1825  Jam.2;
2 :
He's but a bodie.
Ags. 1825  Jam.2;
1 :
Ane of the bodies is no weel.

4. “A great number” (Bnff.2 1935). Ags. 1927 9 ;
1 :
Applied to fish. “There's a boady o' mackerel i' the bay.”

5. Combs: (1) a' body's (bodies') bodie: (a) a general favourite. Gen.Sc.; (b) a sycophant. Not so common; (2) body keind, human being; (3) body-like, alive and unharmed. Given in N.E.D. as adj. and adv. with quots. 1570–1674. (1) (a) Edb. 1832–1846  J. Ballantine in Whistle-Binkie (3rd Series 1842) 27:
For she smiled an' she smirkit till a', man, Growing a' bodies' bodie, baith muckle an' wee, An' our folk wadna let her awa, man.
(b) Lth. 1898  E.D.D.:
A' body's bodie. Often used disparagingly of a time-server.
(2) Rxb.(D) 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 12:
No a leevin sowl — no a body keind — did A sei aa-the-gate doon Jedseide.
(3) Abd. [1768]  A. Ross Helenore (1778) 72:
And fand for a' the din she was na dead; But sitting body-like, as she sat down, But ony alteration, on the ground.

[O.Sc. body, boidye; bothy was used also in sense of person, one, oneself, as above; O.E. bodig.]

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"Body n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2019 <>



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