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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

LOWDEN, prop.n. Also Loudan, -en, -o(u)n; ¶Lodian; Louthian (Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 71). Variant forms, still current locally, of the place-name Lothian, the area in the Central Lowlands of Scotland comprising the counties of Haddington, Edinburgh and Linlithgow, called respectively East, Mid-, and West Lothian, and collectively the Lothians. Also attrib. Deriv. Lowdener, Loudener, an inhabitant of (the) Lothian(s). [′lʌudən]Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 71:
I trou, my mettl'd Louden lathie.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxxix.:
His Honour the Duke will accept ane of our Dunlop cheeses, and it sall be my faut if a better was ever yearned in Lowden.
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 212:
Whan up and started a Loudon Lord, Wi' Loudon hose, and Loudon sheen.
Hdg. 1848 A. Somerville Autobiog. 173:
They never . . . gar women drive carts in Loudan.
Fif. c.1850 in A. M. Houston Auchterderran (1924) 134:
The old Fife miner, as found in this parish, was called a “hereaboots man,” as distinguished from the “incomer,” who might be styled a “Loudaner” (East and West Lothians), a “Heelanter,” from north of Forth and Tay, or a “West Country man,” against whom there was a deep-set aversion.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders Foreword:
Merse wheat, Lowden oats, and Galloway bear, should be in the stackyards under thack and rape by the second day of September.
Fif. 1957 R. Holman Character Studies 1:
The hitherto unbroken law of the village that “Loudeners,” persons from the Lothians, would not be allowed to take up residence in Fordell.

1. Special combs.: (1) Lodian brace, see quot.; (2) Lowden pennyworth, a thing of little value, a trifle, prob. because of the relatively low value of money in the metropolitan area of Scotland; (3) Lowden tone, the drawling intonation of Lothian speech (see quot.).(1) Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) 75:
Lodian brace. A grate of a particular form set up against the gavel projecting all its width from the wall, two timber pillars at the corners supporting the timber lum which ascends about three feet from the fire-place. The reik does not ascend through a vent within the end wall or gable but through a timber frame connected with this brace and set up against the gavel [as opposed to having the fire in the middle of the floor].
(2) Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
A Lowden penny-worth, i.e. cheap and easy.
(3) Hdg. 1848 A. Somerville Autobiog. 173:
In Loudan the women are so slow at their work, and have such a long tone to their words, that when they speak they stop their work until the tone comes to an end. Gin the lasses o' the Merse would eik the Loudan tone to their short goons, their short goons would set them the better.

2. Specif.: (a member of) one of the four Nations into which, according to their place of birth, the students of St Andrews University were till 1858 divided for matriculation and rectorial elections. Glasgow University has also a Lothian nation but uses the Latin form Loudonianus and Loudoniana (natio), as did St Andrews officially, viz. Lothiani.Fif. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIII. 193:
All these masters and students are divided, according to the place of their birth, into 4 nations, Fifans, Angusians, Lothians, and Albans.
Sc. 1910 J. Kerr Sc. Education 43, 219:
St. Andrews was modelled after the constitution of the University of Paris, and, like it, was divided into four “nations” — Fife, Lothian, Angus, and Alban. . . . Lothians — Natives of Linlithgow, Edinburgh, Haddington, Peebles, Selkirk, Berwick and Roxburgh.

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"Lowden prop. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Mar 2024 <>



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