Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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EIDENT, adj. Also †eidant; eydent; †eyedant; i(e)dent; idi(e)nt (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1933 J. Nicolson Hentilagets 27);

idant (Per. 1816 J. Duff Poems 120); †aidant; äident (Jak.); eedient (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Found in Eng. dial. [′əidənt Sc., but Sh. ′æidənt, Rxb. + ‡′idiənt]

1. Industrious, assiduous, continually busy, diligent. Gen.Sc. Also used adv. Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 256:
Like eydent Bees gawn out and coming in.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 76:
. . . in vain the silk-worm there Display'd to view her eidant care.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish xvii.:
I likened the parish to a widow woman with a small family, sitting in their cottage by their fireside, herself spinning with an eydent wheel.
Mry. 1865 W. H. L. Tester Poems 134:
Ye're ahin wi' the wark, a lang wauy [sic] behind, Haud the eidenter at it.
w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) xii.:
Wi' eident care on the pairt o' Grizzy I had managed to add a wee, noo and again, to my bank accoont.
Sh. 1918 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. I. 158:
Lily, his wife, was an iedent, careful housekeeper, who had brought up a large family of boys and girls with a gentle yet firm hand.
Ags. 1920 A. Gray Songs 67:
He fished and fished sae eident, Till he drew him frae the sand.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 29:
Aw saw a curn young billies workin' aboot the place as eydent's tho' they hidna anidder meenit to live.

Hence (1) n. (with endings on analogy with Romance nouns) †eydence, eydance, diligence, hard work, assiduity; eidency, id. (Sh.10 1950); (2) adv. eidently, assiduously, busily. (1) Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life III. 18:
The cuts and spynials that comes of their eydance in the winter.
Ayr. a.1839 Galt Howdie (1923) 19:
A most creditable widow that kept a huxtry shop for the sale of parliament cakes, candles, bone combs and prins, and earned a bawbee by the eidency of her spinning-wheel.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Songs 218:
A' temptations stoutly spurnin', Keep the wheel o' eydence turnin'.
(2) Rnf. 1846 W. Finlay Poems 208:
Ilk day, like a gin-horse, he eidently wrocht.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 82:
A'e day the minister cam' by Whaur John was workin' eydently.

2. Of mental or moral qualities: conscientious, watchful, careful, attentive (Bnff.2 1943). Hence adv. eidently. Fif. 1812 W. Tennant Anster Fair vi. lxiii.:
Of kindlier hearts are Tommy and his spouse, Aidant to some, benevolent to all.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
The curate is playing dice wi' Cornet Grahame. Be eident and civil to them baith.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. iv.:
Dominie Milligan will be kind and eyedant about the bairn.
Dwn. 1844 R. Huddleston Poems 72:
Wi' ident e'e tae catch the shine, An' deal amang the hissies.
Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale 98:
I was eident by day and by nicht to gie him nae advantage.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood vi.:
There's anither Beltane on the aught day of May, and till that's by we maun walk eidently.
Ags. 1932 A. Gray Arrows 76:
Sae that oor herts be eident still In hearknin' to your word and will.
Crm. 1933 D. A. Mackenzie Stroopie Well 5:
I'm geyan eident as I ging For fear the nettlies scam my leggies.

3. Continuous, persistent esp. with reference to weather (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1943). m.Lth. 1786 G. Robertson Har'st Rig (1794) lxxxiii.:
Now it turns an eident blast, An even-down pour!
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 1:
A week, or maybe mair, The eident rain kept pelting on, Nae single hoor wis fair.

[O.Sc. ythen, ithand, 1375, n.Mid.Eng. iþen, 16th cent. ydan, ydant, ident, with later assimilation to reg. Sc. ppl. suff. -and. O.N. iðinn, assiduous, diligent; cf. also O.N. iðja, iðna, to do, perform, Norw. idig, busy.]

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"Eident adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Oct 2021 <>



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