Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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LADDIE, n. Also laddy, lauddie; loddy (em.Sc. 1920 J. Black Airtin Hame 25); luddie (Fif. 1952 B. Holman Diamond Panes 115); lathie (Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister iii., Ags. 1960); lawthie (Ags. 1895 Caledonia I. 433); and, with alternative dim. endings, laddock(ie), laddikie. A dim. form of Lad, q.v., in various usages. [′lɑ(:)di, ′l(:)dɪ, ‡Ags. + l:ðe]

1. As in Eng., a boy, a youth, gen. in his earlier years, and usu. referring to one of any age from babyhood to the end of his schooldays; sometimes a male infant, a baby son; a chap, fellow. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc., usu. with familiar or affectionate force. Deriv. ¶laddier, one who is fond of boys. s.Sc. 1768 Letters Mrs Cockburn (1900) 74:
I am grown a laddier. I hate any man that's above sixteen.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 71:
I trou, my mettl'd Louden lathie, Auld farran birky I maun ca' thee.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 136:
Our Jock wha wis a little gabby gaun laddock, cry'd ay, mither mither.
Ayr. 1789 Burns To Dr Blacklock vi.:
I hae a wife and twa wee laddies.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 50:
When I was a laddie langsyne at the schule.
Bnff. 1872 W. Philip It 'ill a' come Richt 29:
We've been able to . . . get eddycation for the lathie.
Ags. 1890 A. Lowson John Guidfollow 57:
A gey guid-lookin' bit laddikie aboot saxteen years auld, dressed like a common ghillie.
Kcd. 1900 W. Gairdner Glengoyne I. 19:
You were a bit royt loon and fond o' tricks like the lave o' the lathies.
s.Sc. 1926 H. M'Diarmid Penny Wheep 37:
And I've a bonnie laddie noo And breists for him to sook.

Freq. attrib. as in laddie-bairn, a male child, laddie-band, laddie-days, laddie-herd, laddie-loon, a youth, laddie wean, laddie-years; deriv. laddiehood, and reduplic. comb. laddie-paddie, boyish, puerile. Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xvii.:
Every laddie wean in the parish attended them to the field.
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 196:
Ah! weel I mind his laddie days.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 34:
Laddiehood life's joyful dawnin'.
Ags. 1886 Arbroath Guide (26 June):
Nae far awa' a laddie loon Was waitin' on her.
Ags. 1886 Brechin Advertiser (2 Nov.):
Naething wid sair 'im but to stop at Forfar an' pay a veesit till an auld laddie-paddie acquantance o' his.
Per. 1888 R. Ford Glentoddy 24:
A wife wi' a widden leg, an hauf a dizzen o' laddie bairns.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 92:
An' oor wee laddie-herd — he rins Skeer nakit.
Per. 1893 Harp Per. (Ford) 352:
I love to be thus backward cast To laddiehood in heart.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi.:
Feech! I wudna be dodled wi' them; juist a lot o' laddie-paddie buff.
e.Lth. 1896 J. Lumsden Battle Dunbar 183:
And of a valiant laddie-band I chosen was the King to be.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 29:
A mither canna thole the seein' Laddie years like lichtnin' fleein'.
Fif. 1938 St Andrews Cit. (29 Jan.) 3:
I spent my laddie days in Ayr.

2. In the riding festivities of Kelso: the leading male rider who acts as standard-bearer. Cf. Lad, n., 8. Rxb. 1937 Scotsman (19 July):
The first “Kelsae Laddie,” was accorded a rousing reception as he rode on horseback at the head of the procession waving the beautiful burgh standard.
Rxb. 1956 Scotsman (7 April) 6:
Installed this year's Kelsae Laddie at a ceremony in the Town Square last night. The new Laddie is a baker at Morebattle.

3. A male sweetheart, a boy-friend. See Lad, n. Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 81:
O my bonny, bonny Highland Laddie, My handsome charming Highland Laddie.
Ayr. a.1796 Burns There was a Bonie Lass i.:
There was a bonie lass, and a bonie, bonie lass, And she loed her bonie laddie dear.
Abd. 1809 J. Skinner Amusements 89:
Saw ye e'er a lawland lassie Happy in her lawland laddie?

4. Any contrivance used as a substitute for a young assistant by a person working single-handed: e.g. a bar of wood used by carters to tighten the bang-chain (see Bang, n.3) in securing a load (Per. 1960); a curved piece of wood fitted with hooks and suspended from a rope to hold the mouths of sacks open while being filled and to help to raise them, used by millers, etc. (e.Lth. 1954).

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"Laddie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 May 2021 <>



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