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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GAIRD, n., v. Gen.Sc. form and usages of Eng. guard. See P.L.D. § 51 (2). Also †gairde, guaird, guerd. [ge:rd]

I. n. A. As in Eng. with various meanings.Abd. 1887 [J. Cowe] Jeems Sim 18:
Geordie Duncan, the auld gaird upo' the Sooth line.
em.Sc. (a) 1894 “I. Maclaren” Bonnie Brier Bush 217:
A watch gaird spread richt across him.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xxv.:
“Awa'! awa'!” he cried, an implacable face against their whining protestations — “Awa', or I'll gie ye the gairde!”
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 50:
The gaird was clashin' the doors, and the engine was snortin' for breath.
m.Sc. 1986 William Montgomerie in Joy Hendry Chapman 46 13:
Let's shoot the angel guerd they hire
frae Eden
hing the corp on the wire
pit their charters in a funeral pyre.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 71:
Geordie Younger wisnae scared,
but he doubled up that guaird.

B. Sc. usages.

1. An armed and uniformed corps of men, consisting mostly of veteran soldiers, who performed the duties of the modern police in 18th century Edinburgh, disbanded in 1817. Gen. in combs. City-guard, Town-guard. Hist.Edb. 1703 D. Robertson S. Leith Rec. (1925) 9:
In the Interim a pairty of the gaird comeing William Fulton ordered them to take the said person prisoner to the gaird till sermon was ended.
Edb. 1737 Criminal Trials illustrative of H. Midlothian (1818) 78:
John Porteous, lately one of the Captain-lieutenants of the city guard of Edinburgh.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 10:
When fou we're sometimes capernoity, Be thou prepar'd To hedge us frae that black banditti, The City-Guard.
Edb. 1788 H. Arnot Hist. Edb. 506:
Upon the Revolution [1688], the town-council represented to the estates of parliament, that they had been imposed upon to establish a town-guard. . . . Since that period, the number of this corps, which is called the town-guard, has been very fluctuating, . . . The town-guard may quell a nocturnal riot, and defend the inhabitants from street robberies.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian iii.:
The old Town-Guard of Edinburgh, who . . . were, in my boyhood, the alternate terror and derision of the petulant brood of the High School.
Edb. 1847 R. Chambers Trad. of Edb. 175:
Fifty years ago, the so-called captaincies of the Guard were snug appointments, in great request among respectable old citizens who had not succeeded in business.

2. Contr. form of guard-house, specif. †the headquarters of the Edinburgh guard, the lock-up.Sc. 1714 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 16:
But ne'er a ane of them he spar'd, . . . John quietly put them in the Guard To learn mair Sense.
Edb. 1736 Caled. Mercury (9 Sept.):
A multitude of people, most of them from the country, rushed in upon the City Guard on a sudden, turned out the whole soldiers, and seized all the fire-arms, etc. in the guard.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 51:
. . . they leave the Guard, A lumbersome and stinkin bigging.

3. (1) In Curling: a stone played so as to lie in front of or “guard” the tee or another stone lying near it. Also deid gaird, a stone which acts as a complete cover (Sc. 1833 J. Cairnie Curling 134); Gen.Sc.; (2) also used in carpet bowls to indicate the hoop through which the bowl is played (Rxb.4 1953).(1) Sc. 1811 J. Ramsay Acc. Curling 41:
Wi' awfu' crash the double guards At ance are burst asunder.
Peb. 1817 R. Brown Lintoun Green 38:
Who, by his sweeping, drew it on. Up murmuring, to the tee, And then beside it laid his stone, In front, its guard to be.
Ags. 1887 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 76:
To restore the guard was the smith's business, an' grandly did the stane offer to fulfil its mission.
Sc. 1951 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 304:
The skips are perjink. “Give me a guard, will you?” “Just a touch on your own.” “Draw in here, Mr Smith.”

Phrs.: (a) to brak (aff) the (a) gaird, to strike away a guarding stone (Sc. 1830 R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. 106; Kcb.10 1953); (b) to flee the gaird(s), to miss striking the guarding stone(s) (Sc. 1830 R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. 106); (c) to lift up the gaird, to strike away a guarding stone with a powerful shot.(a) Wgt. 1885 G. Fraser Poems 210:
The skips in oor sleep will shout out, “Come up here, an' brak aff this gaird.”
(b) Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 162:
But mark 'e don't flee the gaird.
Abd.9 1943:
Canny, canny, man, nae sae strang; ye'll flee the gairds a' thegither.
(c) Sc. 1830 R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. 21:
Often . . . have we seen the sole of our President's stone over his head when he had to lift up double guards.

4. In Mining: “the lever which prevents hutches running off the cage” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 33).

5. The leader in a chain of children sliding in a crouching position (Slk. 1947).

II. v. 1. As in Eng. Also ppl.adj. guairdit.Sc. 1701 Rec. Conv. Burghs (1880) 315:
The conventione being resolved to gaird against such complaints.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 6:
The captain ordered twa o' his men tae gaird the ootside, while he an' the lave geed in tae luck for the laird.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo iii.:
They . . . took up their position ahin' the last cairt, guairdin' the lot as it were.
Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 130:
Gaird my sowl, min, is du no heard o da Paet Commission?
m.Sc. 1979 William J. Rae in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 79:
Whaun the MacPuddock wis telt that Eck wis a guid sweemer, he decreet that his punishment should be tae act as bodygaird tae his dochter, Ag MacPuddock, whauniver she wis in the watter. (A mair brosie puddock gairdit her on land.)
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 35:
But People Like Us, we're mair discreet
We're gey carefu' to guerd oor sweet
Ladies sweet nothin's, an' their sweet sumthin's tae.
m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 43:
I sall gaird
ma faither's hoose
the wowfs agin,
the drouth agin,
the forers agin,
the coorts agin
I sall gaird
ma faither's hoose.
Fif. 1998 Tom Hubbard Isolde's Luve-Daith 6:
Yit there's a luve that siccarlie growes caulder
Gin it canna rax ayont its guairdit garth.

2. In Curling: to protect a stone lying on or near the tee by laying another in front of it (Sc. 1830 R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. 107). Gen.Sc. Hence deid gairdit, completely covered or protected (Kcb.10 1953).Lnk. 1771 Weekly Mag. (7 Feb.) 180:
. . . or teach The undisciplin'd how to wick, to guard, Or ride full out the stone that blocks the pass.
Ayr. 1786 Burns T. Samson's Elegy v.:
He was the king of a' the core, To guard, or draw, or wick a bore.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller i.:
They knew, too, the weights, sizes, and tendencies of every channel stane, and were therefore the fittest persons to superintend all the important and scientific movements connected with guarding, inwicking, raising, and chipping the winner.
Sc. 1878 Chambers's Jnl. (5 Jan.):
If a stone of his own side is next the tee, his play will be to “guard” it — that is, to lay his own stone in a direct line before it, so that the enemy may be less likely to dislodge it.
Sc. 1890 J. Kerr Hist. Curling 416:
Guarding. A Stone placed on the Tee . . . It shall be over the Hog, but not touch the Stone to be guarded.
Sc. c.1900 Sc. Nat. Readings (1914) 166:
If ye but saw hoo it's gairdit, jist an inch o' its cheek bare through the only port.

3. In Fishing: vbl.n. gairdin, the border of a herring net, 4 meshes deep and usually made of thicker string with double mesh (Sc. 1953); hence guarding-room, the special room in a net-making factory where this was made.Sc. 1869 D. Bremner Industries 318:
The “guarding-room,” where several rows of stout twine are worked on what is to be the upper side of the net. That is called the “guarding,” and its purpose is to withstand the friction of the “back-rope.”

[O.Sc. has ga(i)rd, guaird, n. and v., from c.1475, Fr. garde(r), earlier guarde(r).]

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



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