Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NOD, v., n.1 Also nud-; freq. form noddle, and reduplic. forms (nid-) nid-nod, niddy-noddie, -y, nidity nod(ity) , nidy noy. Sc. usages:

I. v. 1. As in Eng.; in reduplic. forms, to nod repeatedly, as when dozing (Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 114, 1887 Stevenson Underwoods (1914) 57). Ppl.adj., vbl.n. nid-nodding. Sc. c.1770 Herd's MSS. (Hecht 1904) 180:
They'r a' nodding, nid nid nodding, They'r a' nodding at our house at hame.
Slk. c.1817 Hogg Tales (1837) I. 289:
She sat nid-nodding and casting imploring looks for me to go to bed.
Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 147:
Lang may ye noddle i' yer chaumer, Free frae the noise o' spitefu' clamour.
Rnf. 1830 A. Picken Dominie's Legacy III. 169:
Ye set doun your feet, man, when ye march, just as ye were treading the treadles; an' your vera head gangs nid nodding, as if ye were following the shuttle.
Sc. 1866 Carlyle Reminisc. (1881) I. 324:
The little phantasm of a creature . . . who went niddy-noddying with his head.
Edb. 1915 J. Fergus The Sodger 12:
An' the bairnies drappit aff to sleep, nid-noddin' where they sat.

Hence (1) nidity-nodity, niddlety-noddlety, used as a term of endearment: dainty. Also in Lan. dial.; (2) nidy noy, staggering or walking unsteadily from drink; (3) noddy, nudie, adj., sleepy with drink; n., a sleepyhead (Cld. 1880 Jam.). Combs.: Hendry Noddie, the sandman, Wee Willie Winkie, the fairy who brings sleep to children (Sh. 1964); noddy-head, id., noddy-headit, sleepyheaded, dazed, as with drink (Cld. 1880 Jam.). (1) Slk. 1829 Hogg Poems (1874) 430:
Sweet little niddlety-noddlety Nanny.
Fif. 1879 W. D. Latto Song Sermons 23:
A pair of nidity-nodity neat little booties playing at bo-peep from beneath a petticoatie of spotless purity.
(2) Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 173:
An' nane can nature's charms enjoy, . . . Wha ay gang donarin' nidy noy To houses flisky.
(3) Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 24:
Syne he gied each a glass o' toddy To cheer them up and mak' them noddy.

2. To plod on in a quiet, steady, unruffled manner, to jog along. Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 57, 141:
Gif good or ill the warl bodid, He ne'er took tent, but onward nodded. They soom athort the sa't sea water, An' hameward nod.
Ags. 1890 Brechin Advertiser (19 Sept.):
Gin he be aye noddin' aboot he maun be a fell bittie past his best.

II. n. 1. A nod, nodding, as from sleepiness; a nap, forty winks; a short, polite bow. Gall. 1796 J. Lauderdale Poems 18:
Fear o' robbers on the road, Or breaking in my house o' sod, Did never discompose my nod.
Lnk. 1808 W. Watson Poems (1877) 32:
Countra bodies, Wha, tentless o' yer niddy noddies, Yer squints, an' scrapes, an' how-d'ye-do's, Tell owre their min', an' tak' their booze.
Fif. 1845 T. C. Latto Minister's Kail-yard 36:
The spirit mov'd, but still the body Was unco fu' o' nid-nid-noddy.

Phrs.: ¶(1) friend nods, a personification of sleep, Morpheus; (2) to play nod, to nod from drowsiness, to fall asleep, — niddy noddy, -niddity nod, to bob up and down, to shake unsteadily as from old age; (3) to slip to nod, to go to “the land of Nod,” to go to sleep. (1) Gall. 1796 J. Lauderdale Poems 74:
But while they were at a' this odds, By lucky chance, comes on friend nods.
(2) Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 51:
Her paps plays nidity nod when she gangs.
Lnk. 1877 W. Watson Poems 38:
An', ere we're ha'f gate wi' our life, Our head plays niddy noddy, Auld-like some day.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 118:
Sleep their winkers baith let fa', An' they play'd nod.
(3) Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 36:
He the bizzy roun' hath trod, An' quietly wants to slip to Nod.

2. A yarnwinder having two arms set in a plane at right angles to each other. The operator kept count by repeating a rhyme (Kcb. 1956, niddy-noddy). So called from its bobbing motion.

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"Nod v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/nod_v_n1>

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