Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
HEID, n., adj., v. Also heed. †hide; haid, hehd; dims. heidie, heedie. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. head. See P.L.D. § 88 (2), § 95 (3), § 121, § 142 (3), § 147 (4), § 164 (9).
Hence deriv. heidlang (Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 86; Bwk. 1880 T. Watts Woodland Echoes 113; Ags. 1899 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy iii.). [Sc. hid, but em.Sc.(a), mn.Sc.(b) hed, Cai., Rs. (h)eid]
I. n. As in Eng. the head of the body.
1. Combs.: (1) afterheid, see Efter, adv., IV. 9.; (2) hale-heid, see Hail, adj., 6.; (3) head-band, (a) a halter (Sh., Per., Fif., m.Lth., Rxb. 1956); (b) and (c) see I. 5. (2)(a) and (c) below; (4) heid-heich, with the head high, proudly, confidently, with dignity (ne.Sc., m.Lth., Uls. 1956). Cf. Heich, adj., 6. Phrs. (2); (5) heid-hing, a drooping of the head, expressive of sorrow; (6) heid-ill, he(e)dal, (a) a disease of farm animals, esp. sheep, causing giddiness and swelling of the head; the sturdy (Ork. 1929 Marw., heedal; Ork., Cai. 1956); “jaundice in sheep” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.); (b) fig. a person of a frivolous light-headed disposition, also used adj. in this sense (Ork. 1929 Marw., heedal, Ork. 1956). J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) Gl. gives the form haedalt, id. which is appar. orig. the ppl.adj.; †(7) head-lace, “a narrow ribbon for binding the head” (Ags. 1808 Jam.); (8) head-man, a stalk of rib-grass, Plantago lanceolata, used by children in mock duels (Per. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1956). See also Carl-Doddie, Curl-Doddy, Fechter; (9) heid mark, orig. of sheep, etc., an individual characteristic in face or features which distinguishes one animal from another, as opposed to any artificial means of differentiation (Sc. 1808 Jam.), later applied to persons. Gen.Sc. Hence phr. to know by head-mark, to have personal acquaintance with, recognize by face or appearance (Sc. 1825 Jam.); †(10) head-maud, headymaud (Slk. 1825 Jam.), a small plaid used to cover the head and shoulders (Slk. 1880 Jam.). See Maud; (11) heid room, †(a) a grave or burial ground; (b) fig. use of Eng. headroom, scope for action, authority. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.; (c) see 5. (12) below; (12) head-rope, as in Eng., a rope for tethering an animal, fig. in phr. to give headrope, to give freedom, scope for action; (13) heidstane, -steen, (a) a gravestone, an upright memorial stone placed at the head of a grave (Sc. 1825 Jam., headstane). Gen.Sc. Later and mainly dial. in Eng. Rarely in reduced form head; †(b) a stone bearing some resemblance to the shape of a head (see quot.); (14) heid-steel, -stool, -stail; (a) = Eng. headstall, the headpiece of a bridle (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 77, hehd-stehle; Cai., Abd., Ags., m.Lth., Arg., Kcb. 1956); †(b) fig. the head of the house (Cai. 1902 E.D.D.). For the second element see Steil and the variants under finger-stuil s.v. Finger, I., 4.; (c) see 5.(15)(a) below; (15) head-stoop, in phr. to send head-stoop, to send headlong (Ork.1 1948; I.Sc. 1956) [Mid.Eng. hedstoupis, id. c.1400]; †(16) headsuit, a set of ribbons with which to trim a head-dress; †(17) head-swell, see (6) and 1807 quot.; ¶(18) heid-theekit, covered as to the head; (19) head-washing, the washing of the head, as one of the initiatory rites of a new apprentice on entering his trade (Ayr. 1956); (20) owerheid, see Owerheid.
(3) (a) Sc. 1782 J. Elphinston Martial i. ii. xxxi.:
A beast, like Calydon's of yore, Boasts headbands never bristler wore. Sc. 1898 Shetland News (19 Feb.):
Kye's head-bands, tethers, simmonds. (4) Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 39:
Gin ye traivel heid-heich, yet hum'le wi'in yer hairt, there's sma' fear o' ye comin' a cropper. (5) Dmf. 1874 R. Reid Moorland Rhymes 37:
Dowie and dazed wi' a sair heid-hing. Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 141:
Oor bairn fell ill — wee tender thing — And mony a tear and dowf heid-hing Was on him wair'd. (6) (a) Ork. 1728 H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 141:
Ther is one horse at Housbe dead Mondy last, and one of the best — under that same disease the headill. s.Sc. 1807 Trans. Highl. Soc. III. 437, 441:
Jaundice, or Head-Ill, or yellows. . . . Yellowses or Headswell, Mr Beattie — Head ill, Mr W. Hog. Mr Beattie mentions, “that there is a great swelling and falling down of the ears, and that when too long neglected, the head swells, and the sheep dies.” (b) Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 319:
I'se wirran sheu waas trang aneuch for 'im bit made adeu 'at she dudna mind a preen, the ald hedal 'at sheu waas. (8) Sc. 1724 W. Macintosh Fallowing 42:
Also the Seed of the white Clover, and narrow Leaf Planting, which last is known among the Children by the Name of Headmen. (9) Sc. 1727 P. Walker Remark. Passages 169:
K. James VI. . . . knowing them all by Head-mark. Peb. 1772 Indictment of A. Murdison 1:
Six or seven wedder-hogs known to them by head-mark, or their natural marks or appearances. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.:
To be sure, folk canna help kenning the folk by head-mark that they see aye glowring and looking at them at kirk and market; but I ken few lads to speak to. Rnf. 1852 J. Mitchell Grey Goose Quill 111:
I'm sure he kens every causey stane between this house an' the kirk by headmark. Sc. 1882 Stevenson Memories (1894) 97:
You may choose a man from any of them, and, ten to one, he shall prove to have the headmark of a Scot. Sc. 1895 L. Keith Prue 274:
I ken ye by heid-mark, . . . but I canna be fash'd wi' frem'd names. (11) (a) Ags. 1717 W. Hay Dundee Charters (1880) 143:
The same was a burial-place, and several gentlemen and Inhabitants had head-rooms in it. (b) Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 135:
Tak ye gweed care yersel', Sandy, lat me tell ye, that ye gi'ena 'er owre muckle heid room aboot the place. (12) Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize III. xxviii.:
The indulgence was framed to give head-rope to the papists. (13) (a) Edb. 1705 D. Robertson S. Leith Rec. (1925) 13:
The Session being informed that ther are hors & sheep put into the Church Yeard so that the turf and head stones therin are spoilled and broken. Bwk. 1707 Stitchill Court Bk. (S.H.S.) 158–9:
George Hamilton in Smailholm Spitle having . . . causid lift twa heids which belongid the petitioner. . . . That the said twa Heid stanes may be restored. Sc. 1787 in Burns Wks. (Chambers 1856) II. 35:
The said managers . . . grant power and liberty to the said Robert Burns to erect a headstone at the grave of the said Robert Fergusson. Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxiv.:
They were . . . sitting under the lea of a headstone, near their mother's grave. Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 79:
Long ago, Saunders had thought of a “head stone” to mark the far-off grave of his deceased daughter and her husband. Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 180:
I wad hae to bring in names which are not yet on ony heidstane. Slk. 1918 Border Standard (18 May) 5:
Several heidstanes in the near vicinity providet us wi' literature. Bnff. 1954 Banffshire Jnl. (29 June):
I'll dauchle for a meenit aside Kirsty's restin' place, . . . layin' my han' on the foggy heid-steen. (b) ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 40:
There were certain wells whose waters were reputed as possessing the virtue of curing all kinds of diseases. . . . Round some of these wells lay stones, resembling as nearly as possible the different members of the human body, and these stones were called by the names of the members they represented, as “the ee-stehn,” “the hehd-stehn.” The patient took a draught of the water of the well, washed the affected part of the body, and rubbed it well with the stone corresponding to it, when the disease was local. (14) (a) Sc. 1704 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 351:
2 new snaffle bitts and with Headstaills and reinzies . . . . ¥2. 8. 0. Sc. 1749 Caled. Mercury (16 Nov.):
He is in pretty good Order, past Mark of Mouth; his Tail, and Place for the Head-stool of the Bridle new cut. Abd. 1888 Bon-Accord (28 Jan.) 17:
Rides through the darkness with the saddle reversed and the bridle sticking on by the “heed steel.” (15) Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Ramsie's Büddie 84:
Send him no head-stoop ta da deil, Ta dance da Laa's lang, güdliss reel. (16) Sc. 1700 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 282:
To Mrs blaikwood for 3 ell black ribbons to be jennie a headsuit . . 2. 11. 0. Sc. 1711 Scots Post-Man (13–16 April):
There is Stolen out of the House of James Alison White-Iron-Man, in the West-Bow . . . a Green Plaid with several fine Head-Suits. Sc. 1746 R. Chambers Hist. Rebellion (1869) 371:
Several ladies . . . made valuable presents to Miss Macdonald; namely, gowns, shirts, head-suits, shoes, stockings, etc., etc. (18) Lnk. 1888 A. G. Murdoch Readings (Ser. 2) 20:
He was “heid-theekit” with a Kilmarnock bonnet. (19) Ags. 1711 A. J. Warden Burgh Laws Dundee (1872) 568:
Any person coming as an apprentice to any master of the said Dyer Trade, shall pay within a fortnight after their entry five shillings sterling, to be disposed of as we think proper in the way of head washing, for which they shall be accepted as a due and lawful comrade and brother. Abd. 1760 Abd. Journal (9 June):
Some Hecklers being in their Cups, persuaded a young Beginner to that Business, at his Head-washing, that it was absolutely necessary for him to be initiated into their pretended Mysteries. Sc. 1898 D. C. Smith Hist. Scoon & Perth Masonic Lodge 100:
This head-washing, we think, must be the prototype of an old ceremony of the Lodge called the Baptism, and performed at the time of refreshment. The Master, or some one appointed by him, taking a little whisky or water in his hand, pours it on the head of the newly-made apprentice.
2. Phrs.: (1) aff at the head, mentally deranged, “off one's head” (Sh., Abd., Per., Knr., Ayr., Uls. 1956). Cf. Aff, adv., prep., 1. (7); (2) at one's own head, of one's own accord; (3) awa in the heid, crazy, mentally deranged (Knr., m.Lth., Ayr., s.Sc. 1956). See also Awa, 3., and cf. (1) id.; (4) even head, see Even, adj., adv.; (5) heid(s) an, heels, head over heels, lit. and fig., engrossed (Per. 1956); completely, wholly (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.; Inv., ne.Sc., Per., Ayr., Slk., Uls. 1956, heid-). Also to play heids an' heels, to tumble head over heels; (6) head and hide, without reserve, unsparingly, with diligence (Uls. 1956); (7) heid and horn, the characteristic features, orig. of an animal, that give it its individuality, its headmark. Cf. 1. (9). Hence to ken by heid and horn, to know (anything) intimately (Cai., Abd., Kcd. 1956). Also used elliptically in 1950 quot. to mean one's native place, where one is born and bred; (8) head-ower-hap, headstrong; (9) head o' wit, a sage, a wise man; (10) heids an(d) thra(w)s, — thrawarts, (a) of articles arranged in a row: with head and feet or top and bottom alternating (Cai., Knr., Peb., Dmf., Slk. 1956); Ayr., in disorder or confusion, higgledy-piggledy (Sc. 1808 Jam., 1825 Jam., -thraw(art)s; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., heads ta traas; Slg., Lnk.3 1930; Ork., Cai., Fif.. Arg., Gall., Dmf., s.Sc. 1956); ‡(b) a game played with pins (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Headicks and Pinticks, also Headum and Corsum; †(11) in head, in view, intended; (12) o' one's own head, = (2) (Ork.1 1950); (13) to be a good head to, to be kind and generous towards (Cai. 1956); (14) to be at heid an aix wi, in hehdinex wi', to be involved, esp. in a meddlesome or contentious way, with (a person or affair) (ne.Sc. c.1900; Bnff.16 1956). For a similar expression cf. to be at the knag an the widdie, s.v. Knag, n.1; †(15) to be in head o', to fall foul of, attack (Abd. 1825 Jam.); (16) to get (gie one) one's heid in one's han(d)s, to receive (administer) a severe scolding or punishment (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., to get one's heid in one's han'). Gen.Sc. Gen. used threateningly; (17) to get one's heid oot, to launch out on one's own, obtain one's freedom of action (Sh., Abd., m.Lth., Ayr., Slk. 1956); (18) to go oot o' heid, to be forgotten (ne.Sc., Ayr., Slk. 1956); (19) to lay one's heid till, to set about eating (Abd., ‡Per. 1956); (20) to milk frae the heid, of a cow: to give a yield of milk in direct proportion to the quantity of fodder allowed; (21) to tak one's head, to go to one's head, to intoxicate, of liquor (Gall. 1902 E.D.D.; I.Sc., Per., Arg., Ayr., Kcb., Uls. 1956) or fig.; (22) to tak the door ower one's head, to go out precipitately, shutting the door behind one; (23) wi' one's heid under one's oxter, looking downcast or dejected, sorry for oneself. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.
(1) Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xlvi.:
Mother! mother! my father's gane by himsel; he's aff at the head. Ib. lxv.:
The callan's gaun aff at the head, to look at me as if his e'en were pistols. (2) Ork. 1772 P. Fea MS. Diary (May):
3 of my Servants went of att their own head. (3) Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 250:
Tam Arnott's awa in the heid, puir fallow, an' spen's his days in his chair . . . knittin stockins. (5) em.Sc. 1898 H. Rogers Meggotsbrae 6:
I'm no gauna play heids an' heels speilin' the palin' to rin efter them. m.Lth. 1956 1 :
Tam's daft on Jean an' Jean's nea better. They're heids an' heels. (6) Dmf. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean iii. vii.:
You wrought, baith head and hide, for the reward. (7) Abd. 1950 Huntly Express (8 Dec.):
This farmer's heid and horn was Dumfriesshire. Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick viii.:
Twa fishermen that ken the Aiberdeenshire coast be heid and horn. (8) Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sk. and Poems 88:
I wis young dan . . . a rackliss, head-ower-hap deevil as ever rantit ipo da face o' da eart. (9) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (1925) 60:
An' was na he a head o' wit At sic contesting! (10) (a) Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 57:
A laigh Hut, where sax thegither, Ly Heads and Thraws on Craps of Heather. Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 15:
I'll no ly wi that unco woman indeed, if it binna heeds and thraws, the way that I lay wi' my mither. Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick I. xi.:
Ye wadna said sax till I had a' our fo'k rinnin heads an' thraws throu'ither. Sc. 1826 M. Dods Manual II. 118:
Pack them [herrings] neatly heads and thraws in a deep dish filled up with vinegar, and a little butter stuck over them. Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 94:
Till, heads-and-thraws, amang the whins, They fell wi' broken brows and shins. Fif. 1865 J. G. Bertram Harvest of Sea 439:
The local architects have never thought of building their villages in rows or streets; as the fisher-folk themselves say, their houses are “a' heids and thraws.” Lth. 1914 C. P. Slater Marget Pow Comes Hame 22:
One pod was burst open. . . . There was ten peas in it, very near the size of bools, lyin' side by side, and the middle ones heids and thraws, to make more room. Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road ii.:
No rational plan was in the town's arrangement; it lay all heads and thraws in a nook at an angle of the river and the loch. (b) Ayr. 1921 A. Murdoch Ochiltree 95:
Such as playing at “Odds or evens,” “Heids or thraws,” and other games of a like kind. n.Ant. 1923 North. Whig:
Heids and Thraws (heads and points) — This is called playing pins. One person holds a pin in his closed hand and another lays a pin on the outside. If the heads or points are in the same direction they are heads, but if in opposite directions they are thraws. (11) Sc. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 62:
Sae we did 'gree, an' hame we gaed To tell auld Tam what was in head. (13) Cai. 1911 John o' Groat Jnl. (2 June):
“He was a good head to bairns,” i.e., he was kind and generous to them. (14) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 76:
He's niver at paice; he's eye in hehdinex wee something. (16) Sc. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar iv.:
We maun win in or anse we'll get our heid in oor hands. Abd. 1926 L. Coutts Lyrics, etc. 41:
She glowert at him like Bennachie An gid im's heid in's haan. Abd. 1952 29 :
Gin I see ye tormentin' that peer beastie again, I'll gie ye yer heid in yer han's an' yer lugs tae play wi'! (17) Abd. 1930 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 107:
Loons, fin they get their heeds oot's nae aye vera wise. (18) Rnf. 1877 J. M. Neilson Poems 33:
This gentleman . . . Has been a feck o' twalmonths deid: An' sin' he's maist gane oot o' heid. (19) Abd. 1894 J. A. Jackson Bundle of old Stories 13–14:
Didna I gie ye as muckle treacle and breid as ivver ye could lay yer heids till? (20) Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 209:
The coo milks frae the head. (21) Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie 35:
The wye that lassie toasted them . . . fairly took my head. (22) Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 70:
He wis blyde ta tak da door ower his head as fast as he cud. Sh. 1951 Sh. Folk Book II. 3:
Sibbie made fir her wi de dreepin' kirn staff an' de lass tøk de door ower her head. (23) Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 13:
The first thing that brocht me to mysel' was him comin' in ae day wi' his heid under his oxter, as the sayin' is.
3. A representation of the sovereign's head, †on a coin or a postage stamp; a stamp itself.
Sc. 1702 Letter in Atholl MSS. (9 April):
A copy of which I send you inclosed as also my ansure to it which you may seall with a head and deliver or not as you think fitt. Ags. 1895 Arbroath Guide (30 Nov.) 3:
She took the letter wi' her to get a heid till't an' post it. Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 108:
Jamie Macpherson . . . appeared at the Post Office counter and exclaimed, “Queen's head!” Having been supplied with a postage stamp instead, he fixed it to a letter. wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs McCraw 45:
What did the laddie need but hes mate, an hes claes, an' hes fees, an' a bawbee or twa tae buy sweeties an' heids fur hes letters?
4. Fig. Attention, interest, in phr. to tak up one's heid wi, to interest oneself in. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 58:
My man doesna grow fleyed for me when I'm awa frae hame a whilie, an' what need ye tak up yer heid.
5. As in Eng., the top, upper end or higher part of any place or thing, applied in specif. Sc. usages to a street or passageway in a town, the high-lying part of a parish or tract which stretches into the hills, the ridge of a house, etc. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.
Sc. c.1700 W. MacFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 2:
From which stones eastward this countrey is all alongst marched with the countrey of the Rins and shyre of Galloway alongst the heads of the parishes of Ballantrae, Calmonell. Edb. 1746 Forfeited Estate Papers (S.H.S.) 295:
For mending a chimney hide at the head of Forster's wind. Abd. 1776 Abd. Journal (20 May):
The large Tenement of Foreland rebuilt by the deceased Alexander Smith, lying in the Head of, and fronting, the Green of Aberdeen. Sc. 1781 Caled. Mercury (5 Nov.):
The house will be seen at any time, by calling for the key at the shop of Mr John Campbell, at the head of the entry to the subjects. Ags. 1807 J. Stirton Thrums (1896) 65:
It turned out for to be a very bad crope namely in the heed of the countray. Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin iv.:
The puir wean will dwine awa to naething, belyve, like snaw aff the hoose-head before the throwin' heat o' the noon-day sun. Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (13 Feb.) 334:
There's the verra identical ochre on the elbow I gat again' the wa' at the head o' the seat the last Sabbath day. Rs. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Evid. II. 1128:
Thirty-four years ago our land was so much abridged that we have nothing outside the heads of our rigs, between us and the sea on the other side. We have no pasture ground at all. wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs McCraw 97:
The gairden [of Eden] wis juist like the heid o' the pairish, no a leevin' sowl excep' sheep an' shootin' ludges. Sc. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xiii.:
If ye'll promise to stick to the head o' the toun and let me alone in the ither end, I'll tell ye. Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 16:
It wasna fer ti the heed o the brae.
Phrs. and Combs.: (1) a shower i' the heads, — dam-heids (Knr. 1956), a fit of weeping; (2) heid-ban(d), (a) = (3) (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 76); (b) = 1. (3) (a) above; (c) the waist-band of a garment (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne.Sc., Knr., m.Lth., wm.Sc., Kcb., Uls. 1956); (3) heid-bauk, the float-rope, with corks attached, from which the older type of herring-net was suspended in the water (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 76; Sh., ‡ne.Sc. 1956). Cf. Bauk, n.3; †(4) head-coal, (a) “formerly, the stratum of a coal seam next the roof. More usually now, the top portion of a coal seam when left unworked, either permanently, or to be afterwards taken down” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 35; Fif. c.1890, heid-); (b) “the top coal on a loaded waggon” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 35); (5) heid-dyke, a wall separating lower-lying arable land from higher uncultivated ground or moorland (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1956). Cf. (12); (6) head koil, -koll, a covering for the top of a corn stack, gen. made of straw (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), -koil, -koll, 1914 Angus Gl., -koil, Sh. 1956); (7) headleck [ < Lug], the rope running along the top border of a modern herring net connected by the upper set of ossils to the head rope (Mry.4 1933). Cf. fitlick s.v. Fit, n.1, III. 20.; (8) head o' (de) dimm, see Dim; (9) heid o' the heap, — hape, see Heap, n., 5. (1); (10) head rape, = Eng. head-rope, a rope on which a naval flag is hoisted. Hence fig. in phr. to show head-rape, to reveal one's identity and purpose, to show one's true colours; (11) heid-rig(g), hiddrig, †hetherig, the ridge of land at the end of a field on which horse and plough are turned during ploughing, often including a strip at either side of the field ploughed along with the ends of the rigs in one continuous journey (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 258; Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1905 Uls. Jnl. Archæol. 123). Gen.Sc.; (12) head room, (a) the outer or marginal strip of an arable holding where it abuts on common grazing ground. Still found in farm names; (b) and (c) see 1. (11) above; †(13) head screech, in phr. at head screech, at the loudest pitch of voice. See Skreich; (14) heidsheaf, -shafe, -shave, the last sheaf of grain placed on the top of a stook (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., 53; Arg. 1956), or rick. Gen.Sc. Hence fig., the crowning point, finishing touch; the “last straw” (Mry., Bnff. 1956). In this comb. heid may have replaced an orig. huid. See Huid; (15) heid-steel, (a) the front or bow seat in a rowing boat (Mry.1 1925). For the second element, see Stuil; (b) see 1. (14) (a) above.
(1) Slk. 1818 Hogg Wool-Gatherer (1874) 73:
He's takin' a pipe to himsel at the house-end — there's a shower i' the heads wi' Barny — his heart can stand naething. Slk. 1825 Jam.:
A shower i' the heads, a flood of tears; a ludicrous phrase used by those in a pastoral district, and borrowed from the proof that rain is falling in the high grounds, or at the heads of rivulets, by their swelling below. (2) (c) Sc. 1736 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1927) III. 113:
Wilson . . . took Robertson by the head-band of his breeks. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxviii.:
Giving the headband of his breeches a . . . hoist with one hand. Sc. 1836 M. Scott Cruise of the Midge x.:
The iron-hook was . . . passed through the head-band of his nether garment. Lnk. a.1852 Poet. Scot. (Wilson 1877) I. 384:
For her new muslin gown they rave Frae headban' to the tail o't, Wi' a screed that night. Abd. 1887 Bon-Accord (16 April) 9:
The shepherd drew a muckle knife An' slashed the heedban' o' his breeks. (4) (a) Fif. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IX. 662:
The first, or what is commonly called the 9 feet seam, which consists of . . . Splint coal . . . Spar coal . . . Head coal. (5) Bte. 1704 Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 561:
They ratifie the act . . . puting sheep out of the body of the toune in all its articles and lykewayes the head dykes to be bigged. Sc. 1752 Trial of J., D. and R. M'Gregor (1818) 49:
He conveyed Robert Campbell part of the way northward into the muir, the length of his father's head dyke. em.Sc. 1794 W. Marshall Agric. Cent. Highl. 30:
The vallies, especially the larger ones, are separated from the hills by a stone fence, called the “head dyke” (or by an imaginary line of partition answering to it), running along the brae or slope. Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits Sc. Life III. 238:
You will have to come along with us, and send the dog to them, for they must not be allowed to leap the head-dyke on any account. Edb. 1897 P. H. Hunter J. Armiger's Revenge iii.:
Last Candlemas, whan the Peesweep Storm cam', an' the snaw was drifted sax feet deep in the Swyre, an' the yowes were smoored at the heid dyke. (10) Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life III. 126:
When Peter Headles and his treasonous clanjamphry had collected a penny sufficient to authorize them to show head-rape, they got a plan for a holding-forth houff, from an architecturer in Glasgow. (11) Lnk. 1710 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 98:
The saids laboured lands shall be fenced with dyke, ditch or hedge or headriggs made thereupon. Bnff. 1745 Rec. Bnff. (S.C. 1922) 372:
Where their lands join the highway they take care to make out head riggs and end riggs. Rnf. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XV. 500:
Some make composts of earth and dung; others make them by frequently ploughing a high head-rig in Summer, into which they put lime, and afterwards lay it on the field. wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 161:
We made up to them at the head-rig whar the hedge keppit them. Dmf. 1873 A. C. Gibson Folk Speech Cmb. 119:
An' back I took my darksome way By gerse-grown dykes an' resh-rouch heid rigs. Kcd. 1894 J. Kerr Reminisc. III. 15:
On the headrigs an' en's they need room for the ben's. Uls. 1900 A. McIlroy Craig-Linnie Burn 20:
A' shore what gress a' could get aff the heidrig yisterday. m.Sc. 1947 Scots Mag. (April) 11:
Young Wull Henderson left his horse at the heid-rig an' cam ower. Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iii.:
“Fleeds” being but another name for the “endriggs” or “heidriggs” of a cultivated “feedle.” (12) (a) Lnk. 1706 Burgh Rec. Lnk. (1893) 273:
Ane middenstead on his oun headroum. Rxb. 1764 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1916) 5:
Drinkston has what the neighbourhood call a head-room, but he calls it several ground, and he uses it in the same manner as he does the rest of his farm. (13) Lnk. 1862 D. Wingate Poems 64:
And bairns, to whom the road was dreech, Cam toddlin' slowly at head-screech. (14) Sc. 1743 Earls of Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 290:
I understand the kirk session and almost all the commons of the parish are for him, I hope your lordship will put the head sheaf on the affair. Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 233:
I fear my business wi' Curwhang, was the headsheaf o' her yirdly dool. Lth. 1882 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny 255:
That's grand, Bell, that's just exactly the very thing . . . that's the “Head-sheaf.” Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 102:
The heid-sheaf was juist put on my feelings, when I heard oor neebor's twa wee laddies on the stairfit. Slg. 1901 R. Buchanan Poems, etc. 181:
What put the heidshave on his bewilderment was that he hadna a stitch o' claes on his body, guid nor bad. em.Sc. 1926 H. Hendry Poems 115:
And as a head-sheaf to his fame Oor Provost, bless him, made a feast. Bnff. 1955 Banffshire Jnl. (24 May):
That in itsel' wis wirth the seein', for that wis the heidshaif o' Sandy's duties for the day.
6. The flat top or upper surface of a floor, or a piece of furniture (Sc. 1811 Edb. Annual Reg. lxxii.), used esp. in combs. e.g. desk-heid, drawers heid, dresser heid (often including the dish-rack above). Gen.Sc.; fluirhead, the floor (Per., Fif., Ayr., Slk. 1956). Also of a road, esp. in phr. the heid o' the road, used in various contexts to denote a roving, restless disposition.
Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 54:
Whene'er I [spider] offer to set up my Loom On a Cabinet Head, or the Roof of a Room. Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail ci.:
Dirdumwhamle then took off the seal, and applying the key to the lock, opened the desk-head. Sc. 1826 Justiciary Reports (1826–29) 34:
She took her key from the drawer's head, on which it was lying. Dmf. 1846 W. Cross Disruption v.:
Paid doun my fee on the dresser-head at ance, and ordered me aboot my business. Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin viii.:
The floor head could nae langer accommodate the motley multitude. Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife 11:
Bat set the bossy back again Upon the bowie heed. Ags. 1897 Barrie Margaret Ogilvy 46:
“The Pilgrim's Progress” we had in the house (it was as common a possession as a dresser-head). Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 110:
The sneck o' the door he jist liftit, An' richt to the flair-heid gaed in. m.Sc. 1950 O. Douglas Farewell to Priorsford 121:
Mhor noticed the big Family Bible lay open on the kitchen table — Sandy always kept it on the “drawer's head.” Abd. 1956 People's Jnl. (15 Sept.):
Onywye ah hae ma doots g'in ferm chiels noo-a-days wid bide as lang aff the heid o' the road at e'en as clean horse or harness either.
7. In pl.: the projecting points of a millstone face which stand out more prominently than others which have worn down (Edb.6 1949).
8. The part of the old Scots plough, corresponding to the modern sole, now the front part of the ploughshare to which the sock, mould-board and other parts are fitted (Arg.1 1937; Arg., Kcb. 1956).
Sc. 1762 A. Dickson Treatise Agric. 147:
This part of the plough, which, in Scotland, is called the head, is commonly, in England, made of iron, is of one piece with the soke and is called the ploughshare. Sc. 1831 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Agric. 391:
The materials with which ploughs are constructed is, generally, wood for the beam and handles, cast iron for the head. Sc. 1871 H. Stephens Bk. Farm I. 76:
The attachment of the sock is with the lower end of the head of the plough.
9. Of a loaf of bread, the first slice cut (‡Uls. 1956).
Abd. 1954 (Boddam) :
The heid, the tae o' a loaf — the first slice cut, the opposite of heel.
†10. In weaving: a knotted loop through which thread was passed in a loom (see 1876 quot.). Hence headed, furnished with such a loop.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 152:
Temper yer ilka thrum and thread, Yea, whither they wimple thro' a head, Or thro' a mail. Rnf. 1876 D. Gilmour Paisley Weavers 22:
When the whole pattern was thus finished, two strong upright cords of three strands each, called “gut cords,” were placed ten or twelve inches apart. . . . These had what were called long heads kenched loosely round them, having a knot at their end. On each head was kenched firmly a lash, a head being taken from each gut cord alternately. . . . When the lashes were kenched, there was a bridling card attached to each head, ten or twelve inches apart. . . . The patterns, instead of being read on in the weaving shop, were given to the weavers on the simple, headed and bridled, ready to attach to the harness-tail. . . . The cross bridles were made and headed by draw-boys at their spare time.
11. In curling or bowls: that portion of the game in which all the stones or bowls on both sides are played to one end of the rink; the position of the stones or bowls thus played (Ayr. 1828 Kilmarnock Treat. Curling 47; Dmf. 1830 R. Brown Mem. Curl. Mab. 107). Gen.Sc. Also attrib. Cf. En, n., 5.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 72:
While station't an' steady the soopers are ready To keep baith the howe an' the head ice in trim. Sc. 1871 in A. Boswell Poet. Wks. xxi.:
You can . . . hear the roar of the channel-stone as it speeds on its mission of making or unmaking a decisive “head.” Ayr. 1886 J. Meikle Lintie 101:
When the leader plays well so do the other members of the team, and at the end of the “head” Largs scored no fewer than five points, bringing their score to 7. Sc. 1890 J. Kerr Hist. Curling 392:
All matches to be of a certain number of heads. . . . In the event of parties being equal . . . play shall be continued . . . for another head. Sc. 1953 Sc. Carpet-Bowling Assoc. Handbook 9:
Should any played bowl be displaced before the head is reckoned, it shall be placed as near as possible where it lay.
‡12. A number or group of things; specif. a lot of sheep or cattle allocated to a certain pasture; a division of carts.
Sc. 1807 Farmer's Mag. VIII. 207:
The carts were also divided into two heads, each having two of my squad to fill; the remainder were lent to Fairbairn. . . . A steady man was appointed for drawing out the dung to each head of carts. Ayr. 1925 Scottish Farmer (3 Jan.):
Ewes on a hill hirsel mostly go in lots variously known as “hefts,” “cuts,” or “heads.”
13. A measure of yarn, understood as = 4 Cuts, i.e. 1200 yards long. Since the establishment of the modern practice of selling wool by weight rather than length, the term is more loosely used, and now denotes a bundle of 1 oz. skeins, usually 8 in number (Sh., ne.Sc., em.Sc., Kcb., Dmf. 1956).
Wgt. 1705 Session Bk. Wigtown (1934) 90:
Item for 8 heads of thread . 00 12 00. Kcb. 1909 D. Frew Urr 103:
The transformation of lint into “heids” for the spinner. Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine My Frien' 48:
Here's the price o' a heid o' worsted for yoursel' syne ye dinna tak' a dram. Fif. 1951 14 :
Whun I wis merrit, ye cud get a heid o' wool for twa an' thruppence. Bnff. 1954 Abd. Press and Jnl. (18 Aug.):
A head of grey wool, which Grannie says she will soon knit up into socks. Sh. 1956 New Shetlander No. 43. 21:
A hesp, or heid of, say white wirsit is kosd for a treed o' grey or faa'n.
14. In pl. or dim. heidie. The head or top pupil in a class (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1956). Cf. fits s.v. Fit, n.1, 5.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 12:
The top and bottom scholars of a class are termed heeds and fits respectively. A'm heeds o the cless this week, an ee ken Tam Broon? — aweel, hei's fits.
15. The chief or essential point, purpose or intention of a matter or action, the main isssue or topic, the centre (Ork., ne.Sc.1956).
Bch. 1941 C. Gavin Black Milestone vii.:
When I gied him the heid o' ma eeran' he jist cried na.
Mostly in phrs.: (1) in (on) the heid o(f), busied about, occupied with, deeply involved in (Sh., Abd., Uls. 1956); (2) on the heid(s) o', in confirmation of, on the strength of, security of; over, concerning (Gall. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh., Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Kcb. 1956); (3) ower the heid(s) o(f), because of, in consequence of, on account of, concerning. Gen.Sc. Phr. to stand over the head of, to warrant the quality or quantity of anything (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.).
(1) Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 252:
I'm on the head o' my duty, an' I'll no be putten aff't for nane. Lnk. 1932 1 :
Aye, John, whit are ye on the heid o' the day? A'm on the heid o' a canary. Abd. 1935 A. F. Murison Memoirs 23:
He was “in the head of” every public movement of the least consequence. (2) Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 173:
We concluded the bargain, an' shook han's on the heads o't. Abd. 1887 Bon-Accord (5 Feb.) 16:
On the heeds o' the siller 'at I wis gaun to get, [I] bocht candie boolies to them. Uls. 1892 W. G. Lyttle Robin's Readings iii. 7:
Mony an argyment we hae had on the heid o't. (3) Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 39:
I am sae pleas'd that friendship is made up that I'll tak' a glass o'er the head o't. Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark North. Gleams 59:
He felt 'at he wid laek ta see if shü wis muckle upset ower da heids o't. Lth. 1929 Sc. Readings (Paterson) 110:
Mony a quiet laugh I get to mysel' owre the heid o't. Arg. 1952 N. Mitchison Lobsters on the Agenda xiii.:
He'd come on quick enough if he wanted. It's all ower the head o' the bridge. Bnff. 1955 Banffshire Jnl. (9 Aug.):
Mair than ae lad wis sichin' ower his sipper ower the heids o' bonnie Meggie.
16. The sprouting of barley in malting.
Abd. 1892 Meany MS. 37:
The staepit barley was puttin in these till it begud to take a heid.
II. adj. Chief, principal (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); most important, best. Gen.Sc. For super. heidmaist, see sep. art.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
I wuss ye joy, sir, of the head-seat, and the white loaf, and the braid lairdship. Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin viii.:
Tuesday was aye a head-day at Button-hole, for it was washin' day. Ags. 1890 A. Lowson John Guidfollow xi.:
The Provost of the heid toon o' the Coonty. Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xiv.:
The holy day o' the Sabbath was their head time for the evil wark. Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 35:
Bit it's nae handy him bein awa eynoo in the heid heicht o' hairst.
Phr.: i(n) the heid hurry o', at the busiest period of, in the peak of. See also Hairst, 3. (2) (Fif. 1876 Trans. Highl. Soc. 16).
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 35:
April was just begun, and Saunders Malcolmson in the very “heid-hurry” of oat-sowing. Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert xiv.:
The dry, sinny, quaet days o' early September saw the kwintryside i' the heid-hurry o' the cuttin'. Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iii.:
Tak yer playocks an' dyang awa ben 'e hoose . . . an' nae deave ma an' me i' the heid hurry o' the week's manglin.
Combs.: (1) head-bu(i)l, -bu(ll), the best or chief house on an estate, a manor-house (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., -bûil, 1914 Angus Gl., -büll; †Sh., Ork. 1956, -bu'). See Bull, n.2 Now hist.; (2) heid-bummer, see Bummer, n.1; (3) head burgh, †-borough, Sc. Law: the principal town in a county or county ward, where the Sheriff holds his chief court; (4) head court, an annual court or meeting of the freeholders [q.v.] of a county, held at Michaelmas, at which the voters' rolls were made up and the county assessments fixed. Obs. since the Reform Act of 1832. Occas. locally used of meetings of feuars in burghs; (5) heid-deester, -diester, -do(e)ster, see Deester; (6) heid-hert, the height, dead, etc., e.g. heid-hert o' simmer (Bnff. 1956); (7) head-set, the principal set of dancers on the floor (Abd. 1956); †(8) headstock, see quots.; (9) heid yin, a leader, person in authority. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.; gen. in pl. = “the authorities” (w.Sc., Kcb. 1919 T.S.D.C. III.; Uls.3 1930). See Yin. Common in comb. high heid yins. Gen.Sc.
(1) Sh. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 314:
When Norwegian law became written law we find that the Udal succession approximated in this respect to that of Feudalism, and the eldest son inherited the “head-bul.” (3) Bnff. 1718 J. Grant Bnff. Roads (1905) 2:
All the public roads within the haill parioches of the said shyre such as lead to the head burgh of the shyre. Sc. 1752 J. Louthian Form of Process 82:
At the Market Cross of the Head-burgh of the Shire, Stewarty, or other Jurisdiction. Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute I. iv. § 5:
All shires have a head borough, where the jurisdiction is to be exercised, and where all letters of inhibition, interdiction, horning, etc., are to be published and registered. (4) Sc. 1700 Edb. Gazette (15–18 April):
Cowper (in Fife) April 10. The 2d. Tuesday of April being the day on which the Head-Court of the Freeholders of this shire is held here. Abd. 1715 Burgh Rec. Abd. (1872) 358:
It be proposed that sixtein persons, with a present baillie, be named be the said head court for proportioning the said fyve hundered pund sterling that is to be sent on the publict credit, among the severall inhabitants of this burgh and freedome thereof, according to ther respective stocks. Lnk. 1751 Gsw. Courant (7 Oct.):
The Freeholders at the Michaelmas Head-court held there [Lanark] upon Tuesday last, . . . did unanimously agree to assess the County in 10 Shillings Scots for each Hundred Pound of Valuation. Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute I. iv. § 5:
All freeholders were bound to attend the three head courts which were held by the Sheriff yearly. . . . These three head courts were at last reduced to one, called the Michaelmas Head Court, where the Sheriff had generally little other business till the Act 1681 [for the election of Commissioners to Parliament], than to call over the roll of the freeholders, and pocket up the fines of the absents. But by the Act 20 Geo. II. c. 50  proprietors of land are no longer subject to a fine for absence. Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery Introd. Ep. 6:
The laird . . . had to attend trustee-meetings, and lieutenancy meetings, and head-courts. Sc. 1830 W. Chambers Bk. Scot. 36:
The rolls of the freeholders are made up every year at the Michaelmas head court, by orders of the sheriff. Abd. 1886 J. Cranna Fraserburgh (1914) 336:
A Head Court of Feuars was called, but the meeting refused to consent to the revenue of the town's lands being offered as the security for a loan. (7) Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 185:
It was no unusual sight on such occasions [balls and weddings] to witness the Captain and Sandy trying each other's mettle at an old Highland “headset.” (8) Crm. 1834 H. Miller Scenes and Leg. (1850) 416:
On Fasten's-eve . . . the schoolmaster, after closing the services of the day with prayer, would call on the boys to divide and choose for themselves “Headstocks,” i.e., leaders, for the yearly cock-fight of the ensuing Shrove-Tuesday. (9) Rxb. 1921 Hawick Express (19 Aug.) 3:
There's some o' th' heid yins — th' agitators — wantin' tae keep up th' strife. Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (May) 142:
He wis administratin' somewheers in India, a rale high heid yin, mind ye. Gsw. 1935 McArthur & Long No Mean City xx.:
Both were emphatic that there must be something seriously wrong with the mentality and outlook of the “heid yins,” among whom they included the magistrature, the police and the City Council. Arg. 1952 N. Mitchison Lobsters on the Agenda i.:
They are some o' the head yins from Edinburgh. The Highland Panel it is. Sc. 1956 People's Jnl. (28 Jan.) 5:
I want to tell you about the staff — from the highest heid yin to the humblest messenger.
III. v. 1. To behead, decapitate. Obs. in Eng. since early 17th c. Now hist. or arch. Common in phr. heid or hang.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 246:
Messengers should neither be headed nor hang'd. An Excuse for carrying an ungrateful Message. Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy (1869) 359:
Sall we young Benjie head, sister, Sall we young Benjie hang. Bnff. 1847 A. Cumming Tales (1896) 38:
They darena head me nor hang me. Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona vii.:
The better the family, the mair men hanged or heided.
Hence (1) heading, beheading; (2) heading-ax, an executioner's axe (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (3) heiding-hill, the place of execution.
(1) Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man xxxi.:
“Hear ye that?” he said. “That is the warrant for my heading.” (3) Sc. 1755 Young Waters in
Child Ballads No. 94 xiv.:
They hae taen to the heiding-hill His lady fair to see And for the words the queen had spoke Young Waters he did die. Slg. 1913 E. Stair-Kerr Stirling Cas. 172:
The battlefield of Stirling Bridge, where Wallace won his greatest victory, may be observed beyond the Heading Hill — that dismal mound with its stone still showing the marks of the executioner's axe.
2. To put the finishing touches to a rick and secure the top. Gen.Sc.
Bwk. 1764 Session Papers, State of Process, Yules v. Others 81:
Some of the corns were thrown into the barn, and threshed out, in order to head or cover the stacks in the yard. Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 1 1 1:
I see Bogha' is heidin' a' his ricks.
Hence heading sheaf, the last sheaf placed on the top of a stook (in wet districts) or rick (Abd., Ags., Fif., Knr., Uls. 1956); also fig. (Bnff., Knr. 1956). Cf. heidsheaf s.v. Heid, I., 5. Combs.; and heidin, the thatch on a stack (Rnf. 1956).
Sc. 1800 Edb. Weekly Jnl. (5 Feb.):
The straw-ropes and the heading of stacks. Sc. 1825 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Agric. 459:
The sheaves are set on end in pairs . . . and covered or otherwise by what are called heading sheaves. Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 76:
Thir twa bairns hae lickit ane anither, an' torn ane anither's claise. That'll pit on the hehdin'-sheaf. Thir'll be a rearie noo.
3. To reach the summit (Bnff., Abd. 1956); also used fig. of accomplishing a task.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 131:
For me, my Muse, baith late an' ear, To head the brae is croighlin' sair.
†4. In weaving: to pass the requisite thread through a head in mounting a loom. See I. 10.[O.Sc. hede, from 1260, of a town or street, early 15th c., of a piece of furniture, etc., 1513, adj. from c.1441, v. 1. from 1375, hede-band, waistband, 1600, heid-bull, 1575, hede-burgh, 1510, hede-court, 1410, hede-dyke, early 15th c., hedegere, c.1420, heid-lace, 1513, hede-rig, 1475, hede-rowm, 1426, head stane, 1676, hede-stele, -staill, 1456, heid-wesching, 1551, hedisman, 1456, heding-axe, 1513, heding-hill, 1521.]
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