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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LEID, n. Also leed (Dmf. 1711 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. (1920–1) 130; Gsw. 1763 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1912) 167; Edb. 1806 H. Macneill Poems I. 38; Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 9; Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 21); ledd (Sh.). Sc. forms of Eng. lead, the metal. [Sc. lid, but I. and em.Sc. (a) led. See P.L.D. §§ 88, 93.3, 96.2, 120, 130.]

1. As in Eng. Adj. leiden; leeden (Lnk. 1890 H. Muir Rutherglen 40), leaden; comb. leaden-heart, a lead charm or amulet (see quot.); “the lead, in a state of fusion, must be cast into water, receiving its form fortuitously, and be prepared with a variety of incantations” (Sh. 1825 Jam.).Sh. 1822 Scott Pirate xxviii.:
Norna … knotted the leaden heart to a chain of gold, and hung it around Minna's neck; — a spell, which, at the moment I record these incidents, it is known has been lately practised in Zetland. where any decline of health, without apparent cause, is imputed by the lower orders to a demon having stolen the heart from the body of the patriot.
Gsw. 1991 James Alex McCash in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 14:
Latent: germinant, the foetal, crescive dawn ablow
dull leiden cloud quickens, crepusculine.

2. Sc. combs.: †(1) lead-brash. a kind of epileptic or paralytic disease in the lead-mining areas of Lanarkshire, prob. a form of lead-colic; (2) lead butl-axe, a stick of lead used as a pencil. See quot. and Bullax; (3) lead-draps, small shot used in fowling (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Wgt. 1960); (4) lead-pike, = (2), and see quot. s.v.; (5) lead-stane, a lead-sinker for a fishing handline (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh., Heb., Ayr. 1960).(1) Lnk. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XXI. App. 98:
Horses, cows, dogs, cats are liable to the lead-brash. A cat, when seized with that distemper, springs like lightning through every corner of the house, falls into convulsions, and dies. A dog falls into strong convulsions also, but sometimes recovers. A cow grows perfectly mad in an instant.
Sc. a.1814 J. Ramsay Scot. and Scotsmen (1888) II. 318:
Till they were put under strict regimen, the miners were subject to what is called the lead-brash; and frenzy or idiotcy were not uncommon among then , which were ascribed to the noxious effluvia of the mines.
(2) ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 163:
When the [shooting] match was finished the boys … immediately set to work to dig for the balls. The lead so recovered was manufactured at times anew into balls; but oftenest into “lead pikes” and “lead bull-axes” to rule the copy-books at school, as pencils were scarce, and ruled copy-books were not then in use.
(3) Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie x.:
Thou herries nests, thou sets slee traps To catch auld sparrows, Or riddles them wi' cauld lead-draps.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
My grandsire gied Sandie a siller tester to pit in his gun wi' the leid draps, bein' mair deidly again bogles.
(5) Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 129:
Formerly sinkers were made of klamal or soap-stone, instead of lead as at present, and to this day fishermen speak of the haandline stane or lead stane, a remnant of the ancient practice.

3. A lead vessel used for storing liquor or for brewing.Inv. 1721 Steuart Letter-Bk. (S.H.S.) 155:
If you can find a tun of good strong wine I mean Claret drawen of the Gross lead, [you] may ship a tun for my accot.
Abd. 1731 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 7:
An old lead with a crubb, with two old fatts.

4. A boy's marble, or counter in the game of Buttons, hand-made from lead (Wgt. 1921 Gsw. Herald (7 Dec.) 10). Dim. leadie (Wgt., Rxb. 1960); deriv. leader, a lead bullet, esp. one used as a marble (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.).Ags. 1887 J. McBain Arbroath 340:
What evenings were spent in casting “leadies”, that is, making lead castings from the shell of some big button!

5. One of the lead-weights on a pendulum clock (I.Sc., Ags., Wgt. 1960).Sh. 1899 Shetland News (7 Oct.):
Da clock been dumb frae yesterday, 'at da string broke, an da ledd fell i' da boddom o' her.

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"Leid n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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