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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.

GOWD, n. Also goud. Gen.Sc. forms of Eng. gold, see P.L.D. § 78.2. [gʌud]

1. Used as in Eng. for the metal itself and for the colour of the metal. Now mostly liter. Also attrib. = made of gold, gilt, and fig. Dim. gowdie (Ags. 1897 A. Reid Bards of Ags. & Mearns 505).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 43:
All Gou'd, or all Dirt. Spoken to them who are excessive both in their Fondness and Aversion.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 10:
Her hair just like the glowing threeds of goud, Frae lug to lug in bony ringlets row'd.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 63:
And thou, Edina! anes my dear abode, . . . In thae blest days, weel did I think bestow'd, To blaw thy poortith by wi' heaps o' gowd.
Ayr. 1795 Burns A Man's a Man i.:
The rank is but the guinea's stamp, The man's the gowd for a' that.
Slk. 1807 Hogg Mountain Bard 17:
O lady, 'tis dark, an' I heard the dead-bell, And darena gae yonder for gowd nor fee.
Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate ix.:
This same Captain . . . bought ane of the very waistcoats that I am ganging to show ye — purple, wi' a gowd binding, and bonnily broidered.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 5:
Geudwife, come i' the byre an' change claes wi' me, an' ye'se get a gowd guinea.
Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 17:
The autumn gowd an' siller At the hindmaist o' September month has grips o' trees an' shaw.
wm.Sc. 1954 Robin Jenkins The Thistle and the Grail (1994) 92:
'Nancy's hair is yellow like gowd'; they whispered about their child that would arrive with the daffodils and the revival.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 17:
We should lukk up to him who lukks doon on such stuff
As getting and spendin', a' the world's gowd and gear.
He's been ower concerned wi heaven to prosper here!
m.Sc. 1991 Ronald Stevenson in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 70:
The warld hes gane tae gowd;
for ower lang
the skinklan sun caresst
the leaf, the boucht.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 13:
Aw ye that lustit efter gowd
An gaithert it wi greed an bluid
Mey slocken tae the ful yer thirst -
In wi ye then, an slorp the flude!

2. Phrs. & Combs.: (1) gowd in gowpens, see Gowpen, n., 2.; (2) gowdnap, see Gowden, adj., 2. (5); †(3) to lay gowd, to embroider with gold thread; †(4) to tak the gowd, to enlist in the Army, to take “the King's shilling.”(3) Sc. 1802 Scott Minstrelsy II. 78:
And I sall learn your turtle dow To lay gowd wi' her hand.
(4) Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 21:
The Serjant swore by kirk an' fair That Rob had ta'en the gowd.

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"Gowd n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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