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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GED, n. Also †gedd, †gidd, †gade; gad (phs. a misprint).

1. The pike, Esox lucius (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 220; Inv.1 1900; Rxb. 1915 G. Watson Nat Hist. Lists iv.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 165; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 244; Mry.1, Bnff.4 1935; Abd., Peb., Kcb., Dmf. 1954). Also gedge (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. (see Intro. § 23 (A)). Dim. geddie. Comb. ged-heuk, a hook for catching pike (Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan III. x.). Also in n.Eng. dial.Slk. 1722 W. McFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 355:
The fishes in it [Selkirk loch] is pycks, pairches and geds.
Mry. 1775 L. Shaw Hist. Moray 78:
It [Loch Spynie] abounds with Pykes or Gidds.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Tam Samson's Elegy vi.:
And eels, well-kend for souple tail, And geds for greed.
m.Lth. 1811 Wernerian Soc. Mem. I. 541:
Lucius, Common Pike; Ged. This inhabits Duddingstone Lake; but is not often seen.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxxvi.:
He undertook to prove the possibility of draining the lake . . . “from whilk no man could get earthly gude e'enow, unless it were a gedd or a dish of perch now and then.”
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck viii.:
He suppit twa bickerfu's o' paritch an cleekit out [of the loch] a hantle o' geds and perches wi' his toum.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man xxxv.:
I should spit you through, like a paddock to bait a line for geds.
Abd. 1910 J. Grant Legends of Mar 100: 
I should feel great pleasure in pitching him into the river for a feast to the 'gads'.

2. Fig. A greedy person, a glutton. For comb. Johnny Ged's Hole, see John, n., 2.Cld. 1825 Jam.:
He's a perfect ged for siller.
Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin' 26:
She . . . said lauchingly til him: “Ye greedy ged, ye hae taen the vera breeth oot o' me.”

3 “Any thing under water which fastens a hook so as the line cannot pull it out” (Sc. 1818 Sawers).Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 306:
The tae end o' the line is fastened, lik a hard gedd . . . in the ashet — and the ither end's in my stammach . . . sae that I canna chow't through and through.

[O.Sc. has ged(d), a pike, from 1375; O.N. gedd, id., from O.N. gaddr, goad, spike, with reference to the pointed head of the fish.]

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"Ged n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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