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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CARL-DODDIE, -DOD, n. comb. Applied to Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major and Carduus heterophyllus (see quots.). A variant of Curl-doddy, n., 3 and 4, q.v. Known to Bnff.2, Abd. and Ags. correspondents, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938; Abd., Ags. 1990s. The form carl-dod is given for Abd. in Bnffsh. Jnl. (23 March 1926), page 2. [′kɑrl-′dɔd(i)]Sc. 1821 A. Sutherland Cospatrick II. vii.:
The bairn was beginning to laugh, an' playing wi' the carl-doddies.
Sc. 1879 Jam.5:
Carl-doddie. A stalk of ribgrass, Ribwort plantain. Plantago lanceolata, Linn.
Sc. 1931 J. Lorimer Red Sergeant xix.:
Playing soldiers with the dusty-headed flowers we call carl-doddies.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore of N.-E. Scot. 83:
To find out whether the lover would remain true and become the husband, three stalks of the Carl-doddie, or Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata), were taken when in bloom.
L.Bnff. 1876 (per Mry.2):
“Carl-doddies” were frequently used by children in mock duels, the object being to see who could first knock off the head of the opponent's weapon.
Ags. 1848 W. Gardiner Flora of Forfarshire 106:
In Glen Clova the natives call the flower-heads of this thistle “carl-doddies,” a name applied, in the lower part of the county, to Plantago lanceolata and major.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin vii.:
Willie . . . was . . . dingin' the taps frae the withered carldoddies wi' his ellwand.

[See Curl-doddy. The vowel change in the first element may be due to the influence of Carl, n.1, 4, below, cf. carl-tangle, etc. “The traditional explanation of the name is that it refers to the Jacobite-Hanoverian struggle [see quots. 2 and 4], ‘Carl-Doddie' being literally translateable as ‘Charlie-Georgie'”(Abd.16 1938).]

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"Carl-doddie n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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