Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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EILD, Eeld, n., adj.1, v. Also ild; †yeeld (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 7); eel. Now mainly poet. [i:ld]

I. n.

1. Age in general, a period of life. Sc. 1737  Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 75:
We may ken your eild by the runkles of your horn.
Abd. after 1768  A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd (S.T.S.) ll. 195–196:
He's set to go about with the young squire, That by a year or twa had shorter eeld.
Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 34:
Here is the true an' faithfu' list O' Noblemen and Horses; Their eild, their weight, their height, their grist, That rin for Plates or Purses.
Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail lxx.:
A handsome, manly youth for his inches and his eild.

Phr.: to be ae eild wi', — eels wi', to be the same age (as) (Mry.1 1925). Sc. 1859  C. S. Graham Mystifications 71:
I am just ae eild wi' the auld King George III, and I daur say I am as happy as he is.

2. Old age (Ags. 1949, ild). Also fig. = old persons, old folk; rarely in pl. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 95:
Eild and Poortha is a sore Burthen on one Back.
Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 40:
Wi' eild our idle fancies a' return, And dim our dolefu' days wi' bairnly fear.
Ayr. 1786  Burns To J. Smith xiii.:
For, ance that five an' forty's speel'd, See, crazy, weary, joyless Eild, Wi' wrinkl'd face.
Ayr. 1812  A. Thom Amusements 43:
Wedded eilds, to rest inclin'd.
Rxb. 1821  A. Scott Poems 17:
Now legs and feet, benumb'd wi' eild, Could scarce step owre a strae.
Sc. 1929  P. Macgillivray in Scots Mag. (Dec.) 197:
Decrepit eild; folk in their prime; And bairnies sair dismayed.
Abd. 1936  Abd. Univ. Review (March) 132:
For crabbit eild'll grip ye yet.

3. Antiquity, long ago (Ags. 1949). Dmf. 1899  W. Bennet Echoes 71:
Hersel' the bards o' Eild could name, Wise, gude and clever.

II. adj. Old, aged. Rare. Lnk. 1923  G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 41:
I grup ye, hairp, wi' runkled hauns sae eild, An', till I dee, My sang shall be o' Scotland.

III. v. To grow old; used principally as ppl.adj. eildit, aged. Per. 1816  J. Duff Poems 55:
Prints o' different kinds an' patterns, Fit for maids or eildit matrons.
Abd. 1900  C. Murray Hamewith 27:
I fear whiles He's forgotten on his eildit gard'ner here.
Sc. 1932  Scots Mag. (Jan.) 292:
For I'm gey an' eildit.

[O.Sc. has eld(e), eild, eeld, in all meanings of n. and v., from 1375; O.North. ldu, ældu, old age. For explanation of lengthened vowel, see P.L.D. § 29.]

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"Eild n., adj.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2019 <>



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