Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

CAULD, Kald, Caul, Cald, adj. and v. Sc. forms of St.Eng. cold. See also Cowld. The Eng. form is illustrated only where the usage is peculiar to Sc. Used also as a noun in Sc., but only with meanings corresponding to those in St.Eng. [kɑ:l(d) Sc., but m.Sc. + k:ld; kɑul, kɔul, kʌul Cai., e.Rs., Kintyre, Ant.]

I. adj.

1. Of land: stiff, clayey (Bnff.2, Abd. and Ags. correspondents, Fif.10, Kcb.10 1938). Also in War. dial. (E.D.D.). Sc. 1918 Weekly Scotsman (29 June) 2/1:
The surrounding country turns up to the plough varying shades of rich brown soil, evidence of its native fertility, but is coated with stiff, white clay, “cauld and clorty,” in the homely phrase.
Uls. 1897 A. M'Ilroy When Lint was in the Bett vii.:
Run oot, cauld lan', nether drained nor manured . . . it's no worth twa hunner pun'.

2. Phrases: †(1) cauld-casten-to, caul-cassin-tee, “lifeless, dull, insipid” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2); (2) caul(d) kail het again, broth warmed up for a second time (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 189); given by Kelly in Proverbs (1721) 79 in anglicized form; also used fig. of a stale story or sermon, etc.; Gen.Sc.; †(3) cauld roast and little sodden, an ill-stored larder. Given as obs. in Watson Rxb. W.-B. (1923); †(4) to be (tie) in (the) cauld bark, “to be dead” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); (5) to blaw a cauld coal, see Blaw, v.1, III. 2. (1) Abd. 1825 Jam.2:
The metaph. is taken from the brewing of beer. If the wort be cauld casten to the barm, i.e. if the wort be too cold when the yeast is put to it, fermentation does not take place, and the liquid of course is vapid.
(2) Bnff.12 1931:
The minister gied us “cauld kail het again,” the minister gave us an old sermon.
Abd.1 1929:
He micht gie his story a cheenge; caul kail het again is aye pot tastit.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail III. xxx.:
As for Meg's and Dirdumwhamle's, theirs was a third marriage — a cauld-kail-het-again affair.
(3) Rxb. 1825 Jam.2:
He needna be sae nice atweel, for gif a' tales be true, he's [has] but cauld roast and little sodden at hame.
(4) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 20:
Alas poor man! for aught that I can see, This day thou lying in cauld bark may'st be.

3. Combs.: (1) cauld comfort, “inhospitality. This generally includes the idea of poor entertainment” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2); known to Bnff.2, Abd.16, Ags.17, Fif.10, Kcb.9 1938; (2) caul'-drawn, (a) “cold in manner” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 24); (b) of a speech, sermon, etc.: dull, heavy; known to Abd. correspondents only (1938); (3) caul' gab, a period of stormy weather at the beginning of May; known to Abd. correspondents and Fif.10 1938; (4) kald kol, “a cinder” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); ‡(5) cauld morality, applied to sermons: a moral discourse devoid of all Evangelical fervour; known to Abd. correspondents and Fif.10 1938; †(6) cauld seed, cold seed, “late pease” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2, cauld — ); late oats. Given as obs. in Watson Rxb. W.-B. (1923); ‡(7) caul(d) steer, — steerie, sour milk (or cold water) and oatmeal stirred together (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). Given as obsol. in Watson Rxb. W.-B. (1923), but known to Abd.9, Abd.16 and Ags.1 1938; †(8) cauld straik, “a cant term for a dram of unmixed, or what is called raw, spirituous liquor” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B., obs.); (9) cauld-wamed, cold in manner, cold-blooded (Fif.10 1938); (10) cauld-water, apathetic, indifferent (Abd.2, Abd.9 1938); †(11) cauldwin', “little encouragement, q[uasi] a cold wind blowing on one” (Clydesd. 1825 Jam.2); †(12) cauld winter (see quot.). (2) (b) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 24:
The sermon wiz unco caul'-drawn the day; an' a cud hardly been on fa'in' asleep.
(3) Abd. 1930 “Buchan Farmer” in Abd. Press and Jnl. (8 March) 6/3:
We have still to weather the borrowing days, the caul' gab, the coo's quake, and the yowe trummle before we are clear of unpleasant weather.
(5) Sc. 1924 R. B. Cunninghame Graham Conquest of River Plate v.:
He . . . spoke to them upon the principles of right and wrong and matters of that kind. In fact, his sermon, in the Scotland of old days, would have been called “a cauld morality.”
(6) Sc. 1789–1799 Prize Essays and Trans. Highl. Soc. of Scot. I. 117–118:
Common, or Blainslie oats, are the most hardy. . . . They are later than the Dutch, Poland, or red seed, and earlier than the Angus, or cold seed.
Rxb. 1798 R. Douglas Gen. View Agric. Rxb. 87:
Peas are sown of two kinds: one of them is called hot seed, or early peas, and the other is called cold seed, or late peas.
(7) Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 351:
Them that likesna water brose will scunner at cauld steerie.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays and Leg. of the North (1908) 5:
Plish-plash the water skelpit in, Across the disty fleer, Owre-lap the troch, an' in a trice The mealer wis caul' steer.
Ags. 1878 J. S. Neish Reminisc. Brechin 18–19:
“I'll do or the morn at this time,” said Tam complacently, when he had finished the “cauld steer.”
(9) Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Merry Men ii.:
Fish — the hale clan o' them — cauld-wamed, blind-eed uncanny ferlies.
w.Dmf. 1910 J. L. Waugh Cracks wi' Robbie Doo viii.:
She's a lang, tankard-backit, cauld-wamed kind o' a woman is Mirren.
(10) Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 154:
I'll punish the cauld-water, heretic dowgs.
(12) Per. 1825 Jam.2:
Cauld Winter. The designation given in Perths. and perhaps other counties, to the last load of corn brought in from the field to the barn-yard. . . . The name seems to convey the idea that this portion of the fruits of harvest comes nearest, in respect of time, to the cold of winter.

II. v. Found only as ppl.adj.: cauldit, calded, colded: 1. suffering from a cold. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.16, Ags.17, Fif.1, Lnk.3 1938. This use has been obs. in Eng. since 1598 (N.E.D.); †2. applied to horses: suffering from disease (prob. glanders, which causes swellings on the neck). 1. Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 117:
But arena ye geyan sair cauldit the nicht? for you're hoarse and husky — yet that only gars you jirt out the words wi' additional smeddum.
Sc. 1829 J. G. Lockhart in Scott Journal (1890) II. 262, Note:
3 April: I found him in his nightcap . . . colded badly.
2. Sc. 1704 in Border Mag. (March 1939) 47:
Whoever has calded horses, to sell or fell the same before Saturday next.

[O.Sc. has cauld, 1375, cald, a.1400, cold, coldness; cold (as an ailment), c.1500; also as adj., 1375, and v., to grow cold, 1571 (D.O.S.T.).]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Cauld adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 May 2021 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: