Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CAIRD, KAIRD, Card, Cyaurd, Kya(a)rd, Kard, n.1, v.1 Also used attrib. [ke:rd Sc., but ne.Sc. + kjɑ:rd]

1. n.

(1) A tinker, a gipsy; a rough person. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xlix.:
This fellow had been originally a tinkler, or caird, many of whom stroll about these districts.
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. x.:
“A min' on that,” broke in Tammas Lowrie, “that wis the kyard's beastie. Tent, horse, cairt, an' a' thing cam' doon.”
Bnff.(D) 1918 J. Mitchell Bydand 19:
Sis he, “Hech aye, McCraw, there's heeps o' killin' in a cyaurd.”
Abd. [1768] A. Ross Helenore (1866) 165:
He's either by the kairds or gypsies ta'en. [Also spelt kard in 1768 ed., p. 60.]
Ags. 1879 G. W. Donald Poems, etc. (1880) 6:
His mother bore him till a caird That wonned aboot the Dava.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders, Foreword 12:
A set of wild cairds — cattle reivers and murderers.

Hence kyaard-tung't, “given to loose talk” (Bnff.2 1938; Abd.3 1931; Abd.2 1938).

(2) “A scold” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.), “a rude, scolding person” (Cai. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.). Known also to Bnff.2 1938.

2. v. To abuse, scold (Abd.19 1938). Vbl.n. carding, scolding. Bnff.2 1928:
Knockie kyaardit 'im wi a' th' coorse wirds 'at his tongue cud win roon.
Abd. 1933 N. Shepherd Pass in Grampians i.:
She cairded me in some style, I'm tellin' you. O ay, the wordies sounded grand.
Per. 1825 Jam.2:
To gie one a carding.

[Gael. ceàrd, a craftsman, Irish céard, early Irish cerd, smith, artificer (MacBain); Lat. cerdo, hireling, handicraftsman; Gr. κερδος, gain. Note the mod. depreciation in meaning.]

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"Caird n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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