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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DIRD, n., v., adv. Also jird[dɪ̢̈rd Sc., but Cai. dʌrd, Sh. djɪrd]

I. n.

1. A hard blow, a knock (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940); “a sharp violent dash” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 38). Also ¶dawr'd (Abd. 1788 J. Skinner Christmass Bawing xxix. in Caled. Mag. 504).Cai. 1776 Weekly Mag. (25 Jan.) 146:
Young Rob will do the best that he may dow, To gi' that vile rebellious pack a dird, An' bring the faes o' Britain to the yird.
Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 7:
I saw a waefu' ugly Bird Streek out his nib to lat a dird At stranger Me.
Abd. 1742 R. Forbes Ajax (1767) 8:
I len'd him sik a dird.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 49:
Fin Nannie gied a chiel a dird, An' bade him hurschle yont.
Ags. 1816 G. Beattie John o' Arnha' (1818) 13:
He hit him on the ribs sic dirds.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 144:
They near down-devel'd to the yird The dinnel'd warriours wi' their dird.

2. A sharp or stunning fall, a bump; a bounce, romp (Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940).Mry. after 1750 Pluscarden MS.:
A cam on a yird stane wi a dird settin me on ma hurdies.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 38:
He cam doon wee a dird, an' brook's airm.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xv.:
An' there was him cravin' her wi' a bit sang an' a bit dird aboot the fleer.
Abd.1 1929:
He lat the box o' eggs doon wi' a dird an' brak the feck o' them.

3. A flourish, bounce (in walking), gen. in phr. wi a dird (Cai.3 1931).Cai.9 1939:
There's a dird in her heel.

4. A fuss, feverish haste (Cai. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.; Cai.9 1949). Also used as a nickname for a fussy person (Cai.7 1940).Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Der'r a dird upo dee de day.

5. A mighty deed, an achievement; “generally used ironically” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). Cf. Dirdum, n., 6.Sc. 1846 Anon. Muckomachy 25:
He by his buttocks swore that he Would, wi' his sword, Work siccan dird, As soon would settle this dirt-plea.
Abd. 1785 R. Forbes Ulysses' Answer in Sc. Poems 19:
The famous Hector did na Care A doit for a' your dird.

6. The sulks, in phr. to tak the dird. Cf. Dirdum, 4. Lnk. 1884 J. Nicholson Willie Waugh 66:
Sae oot the door she flew wi' sic a flird, Baith her an' Meg alike had ta'en the dird.

II. v.

1. tr.

(1) To push or thrust violently, to bump; to bang or dump (down) (Sc. 1887 Jam.6; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 38; Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940). Vbl.n. and ppl.adj. dirdin', a blow; pushing, jostling.Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems and Plays 27:
An' dirdin' croods confoond me.
Bnff. 1927 E. S. Rae Hansel Fae Hame 27:
Ma giggie's aul' an' dirdit deen, but shoggles on wi' me.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Fan I'm jist at the door cheek, fa sud be dirdit into the neuk fair afore me but Geordie Wobster.
Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 35:
I foucht a hard fecht on the midden heid, setting my feet and teeth firm, and dirding the graip in amo' the muck as far as it wad gang.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War, preface:
They've reason for their pride, Kennin' the onsets ye've withstood, The dirdin's ye've defied.
Bch. 1932 J. White Moss Road 273:
I'm neither going to dird her nor to shoud her.

Hence dirder in comb. dog-dirder, “a dog-breaker, kennel-attendant” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6; Bnff.2, Abd.9, Kcb.1 1940).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xix.:
Dog dirders an' ostlers forgedderin' to get a bit boose.

(2) To stamp, to trample (something) down (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Sh. 1899 Shetland News (21 Jan.):
Dan ye a' begood ta jird wi' your feet.

2. intr.

(1) To bump, bounce, jolt (Cai.1 c.1920; Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940); to fall heavily.Mry.5 1928:
It cam dirdin' doon the stairs.
Abd. 1819 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 709:
Got's my life here are twa unco landloupers cumin dirdin down the hill.
Abd. (Deeside) 1864 in Ellis E.E.P. V. 774:
The first wallop at Breece gya Shanks gar't 'im dird ti the grun.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xv.:
Clem was off too' dirdin' on through the sleet.
Abd.1 1929:
Auld Meggie set aff at a trot garrin' the box cairt dird alang the road.

(2) “To walk or run hurriedly” (Ork. 1929 Marw.).

(3) “To act or walk in a conceited manner” (Cai.9 1939); “to gad about” (Cai.1 c.1920). Ppl.adj. dirdin(g), “conceited, mincing, fussy” (Cai.9 1939).

III. adv. With a bang or bump (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940).Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 375:
The women noo hae claise that come dird upon a body's legs fin they're gaun aside them.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 38:
He gart the loon's head gang dird against the wa'.
Bch. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 47:
As dird she [clay pipe] gaed upon a steen.

[Origin uncertain: prob. onomat., cf. Dad, v.1, n.2, adv., and Dad, v.2, n.3, with similar meanings.]

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"Dird n., v., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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