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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PUDDOCK, n., v. Also puddick, -ag, paddock, -och, -ic(k), pod(d)ock (Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxiv.), -ick, -uck, pathock, -ick (Mry. 1927 E. B. Levack Old Lossiemouth 10); reduced forms puddy, pad(d)y, -ie, -eh, -ih, -a(g), -o(o), -ow, pawdie (m.Sc. 1928 O. Douglas Eliza for Common 102), pawdday. [′pʌdək; ne.Sc. ′pod-, Mry. ′pɑð-; em.Sc.(b), s.Sc. ′pǫde]

I. n. 1. The frog, genus Rana (w.Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 62; Ayr. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Applied also to the toad, Bufo vulgaris (Ork. 1891 Buckley and Harvie-Brown Fauna Ork. 265, paddoo; Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 400; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, paddock; Dmf. 1952), prob. as a result of confusion between the species. Also used attrib. in such combs. as puddock-cheeks, -face, etc., having puffy cheeks (a face, etc.) like a frog (ne.Sc. 1966). Deriv. puddocky, adj., abounding in frogs or toads.Sc. 1701 J. Brand Descr. Zetland (1883) 116:
No Poddocks or Froggs are to be seen, tho many in Orkney.
Sc. 1724 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 91:
Batavius with his Paddock-Face.
Slg. 1757 Session Papers, Wallace v. Morrison, State of Process (18 Nov.) 65:
When there were paddocks at the well, he went down into the ditch, and took up his drink.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 183:
Snails and puddocks mony hunder.
Peb. 1793 R. Brown Carlop Green (1817) 135:
Wi' paddock cheeks, and ether's nose, A' mouth frae lug tae lug.
Sc. c.1800 J. Maidment Sc. Ballads (1859) 155:
Wha is't that sits next the bride, but the Sola puddy wi' his yellow side?
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxvii.:
Ower mony maisters, as the paddock said to the harrow, when every tooth gae her a tig.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xlviii.:
Puddocks and taids, and other beasts of prey that den about dykes and ditches.
Sc. 1828 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 284:
Over all the water-cressy and puddocky ditches.
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 134:
They pull'd out Jock wi' a tether o' hair, Like a paddy they haul'd him out.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 243:
Swall oorsels oot like pathocks in a peel.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 164:
Big pamper'd paddocks, geyan sleekit.
Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 36:
Green's 'e sappy dutches, Far 'e puddags peep.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 6:
There was nochts left o the nerrest-hand loch bit paddihs, fishes stankin for braith, an glet.
Arg. 1926 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 14:
See that fellow there flachterin in the sun like a puddock.
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 42:
A puddock sat by the lochan's brim, An' he thocht there was never a puddock like him.
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 47:
All this time she had been sitting listening to their clack, cherishing her own memories and her knowledge by the fireside. "No," she said now.
"You croak like a puddock, old yin," said Wat, who was nearest her.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 87:
Dougie thought suddenly that the world was the same as a puddock pool, filled with weeds and dim light, hotching with craiturs that spent their time fighting and spravelling about, one with another ...
Abd. 1995 Sheena Blackhall Lament for the Raj 26:
Lowpity lowp comes the teenie flech,
The puddock, the taed, the bawd,
Scooshlin alang wi the strippit brock
The mowdie, tyke and tod.
Edb. 1995:
Ma cake came oot as flat as a puddie.

Special combs. and phrs.: (1) a puddock in the ream-bowie, a lump of butter left in the cream-dish from a previous day's churning (Bnff. 1966). Cf. Paidle, v.1, 1. (1); (2) paddocks an' tods, the game of leap-frog (Dmf. 1957). See also Taid; (3) puddock broo, -bree, soup made from frogs, here jocularly considered as a French delicacy; (4) paddo-bull, a bullfrog; (5) puddock('s) crud(dles), -croods, -croot, frogspawn (ne.Sc., Lnl., Lnk., Kcb. 1966). See also Crud, Crudle and cf. (17) and (19) below; (6) paddock-dabber, one that snaps up frogs for its food, a heron; (7) paddy-down, the down or fluff growing on very young creatures, esp. young birds or nestlings (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). Cf. (11) and (14); (8) paddy-seat, a toadstool (Ork. 1973 Orcadian (8 July)). Rare; ¶(9) puddock-flower, ? prob. the buttercup or ranunculus; (10) puddock-frame, the popular name for a type of machine used in gauze weaving (see quot.); (11) puddock-hair, padda-hair, = (7) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., padda). Phr. to be in the puddock-hair, freq. of human beings: to be very young, an infant; defined more doubtfully as “to be in a state of puberty” (Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 249); (12) pad(d)y-ladle, a tadpole (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., padda-; s.Sc. 1966). Cf. (16) and Ladle, n., 5.; (13) puddock loup, a vaulting jump over another's bent back in the game of leap-frog, the game itself. Cf. (2); (14) puddock-oo', = (7) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., padda). Cf. also (11); (15) puddock pipes, the marsh horse-tail, a grass of the genus Equisetum (w.Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 389; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 389; Clc. 1886 B. and H. 391; ne. and em.Sc., Lnk., Kcb. 1966). See also Joiner, n., 2.; (16) puddock('s) powney, -pony, = (12) (Per. 1904 E.D.D., 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 262, Per. 1966); (17) puddock redd, -ride, (i) = (5) (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems Gl., -ride; Slg. 1910 Scotsman (12 Sept.), -redd; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., padda-redd; Wgt., s.Sc. 1966). Cf. (19) below and see Redd, n.2; (ii) a trailing or slimy water-weed of the Potamogeton genus (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (18) paddy's rhubarb, the butter-bur, Petasites vulgaris (Lth., s.Sc. 1966); (19) puddock-rude, -ruth, = (5) (Sc. 1808 Jam., rude; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., padda-rude; Cai. 1966). For second element see (17); (20) puddock-spawn, = (5). Also applied to a fossil, poss. the eggs of some gastropodous mollusc, of sim. appearance. Cf. (23); (21) puddock's spindle, the spotted orchis, Orchis maculata (Per. 1886 B. and H. 365; Ags., Ayr. 1966); (22) puddock('s) spit(tle), paddie-, -spitting, cuckoo-spit, the secretion left on plants by the cuckoo-spit froghopper (Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 153). Gen.Sc.; (23) puddock's spue, = (20); (24) puddock stane, (i) a toadstone, popularly believed to be produced by toads, and credited with magic and healing properties; (ii) a type of rock popularly called toadstone from its speckled appearance, gneiss. Hence with def. art. applied to specific rocks of this substance; (25) paddock sticker, a large knife (Ags. 1966); in pl., a jocular term for women's high-heeled shoes, sc. “frog-stabbers” (Ags. 1955), stiletto heels; (26) puddock-stool, -still, -steel (ne.Sc.), paddeh-stuill (Rxb. 1958 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 23), a toadstool or mushroom, applied to a wide variety of stalked fungi, whether edible or inedible, fungi in gen. (w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 62, paddock-; Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 191; Arg. 1930; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng. Applied to persons as a term of dislike and contempt, in 1840 quot. with the implication of an upstart; a wooden darning-knob, from its shape (Arg. 1966). Cf. 5. below; (27) to be as fu' as a burstin puddock, to be full to bursting (Fif. 1957).(3) Ags. 1878 Arbroath Guide (23 March) 3:
Astounded at your cheek to try To sell your puddock broo.
Abd. 1887 W. Carnie Waifs (1890) 43:
To French snail pies I'll never stoop, Nor common puddock bree.
(4) Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 95:
A paddo'-bull frae Kutisgail.
(5) ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 19–4:
If the [milk] utensils were washed in a stream or pond, great care was employed not to allow any of the water used in washing to fall back into the stream or pond. . . . This was done lest the frogs should swallow any particle of the milk, in which case all the milk became thick and stringy, somewhat like “poddock-cruds.”
Ags. 1897 G. A. Mackay Where the Heather Grows 98:
Then how did man come? “Jist like a bloit o' puddock cruds,” was the amazing answer.
Gall. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 290:
Rub yer fit wi't, an a' the time ye'r rubbin't keep sayin — Paddick cruds and snail broo; Confoond the deil an cure the goo.
Abd. 1950 Buchan Observer (22 Aug.):
Gin the puddock croot be at the lip o' the stank, it'll be a weet spring.
(6) Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xvii.:
The Herons are but lang-nebbit paddock-dabbers to the Faas.
(9) Sc. 1829 H. Miller Poems 84:
The puddock flower o' golden hue, The snaw drap white, an' the bonny vi'let blue.
(10) Rnf. 1925 A. M. Stewart Paisley Shawl 17:
Of the sewing frame, for instance, of a hundred years ago, I can find no example or diagram, but if the “puddock frame” is its lineal descendent, it remains still a marvellous piece of mechanism. . . . It was used for weaving silk sprigs on the face of the cloth [fine gauze]. These little figures were sewn in, as it were, by a series of small bobbin-like shuttles. When in action their peculiar jumping, eccentric motion suggested the leaping of a frog. Hence the name “puddock frame”. There are still a few of these in existence.
(11) Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce II. xiii.:
I have seen little of him, I ken not wherefore, since he was in the puddock-hair.
Rnf. 1827 W. Taylor Poems 67:
O then I foun' sax bare wee things Wi' paddock hair upon their wings.
Ayr. 1832 Galt Stanley Buxton III. xx.:
Poor thing! it [hen] was an orphan, for its mother was killed when it was in the puddock hair.
Sc. 1836 Michael Scott The Cruise of the Midge Vol. I 324:
...I gradually began to trust mysell away in a wee bit flicht now and then, like a half-fledged shillfa with the puddock-hair on, hopping about its nest, but always ready to drop into it again, ...
Lnk. a.1854 W. Watson Poems (1877) xiv.:
He can tell . . . whether their wee gapin' gorlins are “scuddies”, or covered with “puddock hair.”
Arg. 1930:
Ach, the puddock-hair's no aff him yet.
(12) Bwk. 1880 T. Watts Woodland Echoes 115:
Ae Pady-ladle-lookin' scunner — . . . Close by yer lug play'd squeekum squeek.
e.Lth. 1924 I. Adair Glowerower 31:
Then he would come home with his hat filled with white anemones or glistening sundews; or, if he came round by the bog, with real live paddy-ladles.
(13) Peb. 1817 R. Brown Comic Poems 172:
Wi' juggles, merry nimble feats, Queer puddock-loups o'er backs.
(15) Bch. 1735 J. Arbuthnot Buchan Farmers (1811) 71:
It abounds with small paddock pipes.
m.Lth. 1743 Session Papers, Petition Sir A. Dick (3 March 1769) 11:
Horses . . . eating the grass and paddock pipes within the water thereof.
Rxb. 1805 A. Scott Poems 10:
His turban was the doudlars plet, For such the Naiad weaves, Around wi' paddock-pipes beset.
Slg. 1824 Wernerian Soc. Mem. V. 428:
It also contains in abundance the roots of paddock-pipes (the Equisetum).
Bwk. 1853 G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 257:
E. Limosum . . . It is called Paddie or Paddow-pipes, from the form of the stem, and from growing in the haunts of the frog or paddock.
(16) Per.4 1950:
He filled a jeelyjar fu o' puddock's powneys.
(17) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 180:
Like a shot Starn, that thro' the Air Skyts East or West with unko Glare, But found neist Day on Hillock Side, Nae better seems nor Paddock Ride.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 389:
Puddock-reed is fu' o' e'en, And every e'e's a pow-head.
Rxb. 1958 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 22:
[We] hunteet for paddeh-redd in the ditches.
(22) Per. c.1879 Harp of Per. (Ford 1893) 347:
Tattie disease an' paddock spittle upon the grass.
(24) (i) Sc. 1702 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 189:
I have gote together some adder, puddock, corby and elf stones.
(ii) Ags. 1848 W. Gardiner Flora Forfar 274:
The “Paddock Stane” near Invergowrie — a large boulder of gneiss which is probably the remaining pillar of a Druidical temple.
(26) Ayr. 1787 Burns Lament W. Creech iv.:
Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks, and fools . . . May sprout like simmer puddock-stools.
Dmf. 1794 J. Graham Poems 109:
Sae, as ye stow the stunted tree, That puddock-stool, my pedigree.
Kcd. c.1800 Fraser Papers (S.H.S.) 59:
He was always a soft silly creature and these puddock stools had imposed on him.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xxvii.:
I told them of the sarking of the roof, which was as frush as a puddock stool.
Sc. 1840 Chamber's Jnl. (11 April) 93:
Ken wha? — the paddock-stool of a creature they ca' Dronascandlich.
Bwk. 1853 G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 272:
The ill-favoured and deliquescent species, as well as the large Polypori and Boleti, are called Paddie or Paddock-stools or Tadestools.
Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Kincaid's Widow viii.:
You were eating mushrooms a minute syne — what if they were pisened puddock-stules?
Ags. 1915 V. Jacob Songs of Ags. 49:
And the braw reid puddock-stules are like jewels blinkin'.
Gsw. 1931 H. S. Roberton Curdies 53:
There's nae hats like thae noo-a-days; they're just like a wheen puddock-stills.
Abd. 1956 People's Jnl. (25 Aug.) 3:
Losh the verra thocht o' aitin' thae puddock steel things fair gars ma stamach turn.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 47:
"I dinna think ye sud dowp doon on the puddock-steel, Maisie" she'd say.

2. Applied to human beings (1) as a term of affection. Sometimes used jocularly for the youngest member of a family (Per. 1975). Cf. Taid.Sc. 1798 Laing MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm. 1925) II. 659:
O my puddock, there is a letter come this very minute from your own dear self.

(2) as a term of abuse and vituperation = a mean, spiteful, “poisonous” person, one who arouses aversion and distaste, a pompous arrogant person.Ayr. 1821 Galt Ayr. Legatees xxx.:
Ye're a spiteful puddock; and if the men hae the e'en and lugs they used to hae, gude pity him whose lot is cast with thine, Becky Glibbans.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
There was grand-father's siller tester in the puddock's heart of him.
Ags. 1918 V. Jacob More Songs 23:
Fine div I ken what ails yon puddock, Janet, That aince would hae her neb set up sae hie.
Bnff. 1924 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 343:
Upsettin' podduck, wi' a' his new-fangled antics!

(3) to describe someone who is clumsy, ungainly or ugly, an unprepossessing individual, a clodhopper (Bnff., Abd. 1966).Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xlii.:
The very sight of sic a puddock as me in the capacity of a joe, would gar her kick me ouer on my back wi' her tae.
Bnff. 1933 M. Symon Deveron Days 16:
Wir Lairdie. That's his mither in her doo's-neck silk gaun by, The podduck, so she tells me, 's haudin' up the H.L.I.
Sc. 1946 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 264:
“Ye meeserable ragged wee puddock,” he rasped; “will ye just shaw me, and I'll shaw ye something else when ye've done!”

3. A flat wooden, gen. triangular platform, drag or sledge, somewhat resembling a frog in shape, used about farms for transporting heavy loads of hay, large stones, etc. (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 371; Abd. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1960). Combs. paddock-barrow, id. (Rs., Abd. 1966), puddock cart.Abd. 1738 Abd. Estate (S.C.) 65:
I to give 16 yoaking of my own oxen and puddock and two men to attend you to bring in the found bigg stones.
Ayr. 1834 Galt Stories of Study III. 13:
Getting a puddock cart to go before us with the Noah's ark [a large trunk].
Ayr. 1841 J. Paton Songs 34:
Spades, shovels, paddock barrows.
Abd. 1887 J. M. Bulloch Pynours 53:
The slip, sled, or paddock came into use.
Kcd. 1947 Abd. Press & Jnl. (10 Nov.):
Horse Roller, Hay Paddock, Turnip Slicer, Steelyard and Weights.
Abd. 1957 Abd. Press & Jnl. (4 Oct.):
The “Puddock,” usually a very crude affair, home made from the stout forked limbs of a tree and some cross sticks, was used as a sledge on which “muckle stenes” dug from the cultivated land were dragged by horses to the dykeside or a convenient dump.

4. In Mining: “a cast-iron plate forming the crossing of flanged hutch rails” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 53), from its frog-like shape.

5. A wooden darning-knob, a “toadstool” (Arg. 1966). Cf. 1. (26).

6. In pl.: an impromptu type of cricket played with a round stick for a bat and a pail laid on its side or the like for a wicket, into which the ball is aimed (Ags.20 1957; Cai., Edb. 1966); the game of cat and bat (Fif. 1966). Edb. c.1864 Earl of Suffolk Encycl. Sport (1898) II. 148:
In the summer a modification of cricket called puddex is played at odd times. Note. Also spelt puddocks, and podex. The name was invented by Mr Andrew Lang.

II. v. To move (stones, etc.) by means of a puddock, see I. 3. (ne.Sc. 1966).Abd. 1853 J. Mackie MS. Diary (29 April):
Other pair plowing and podocking of stones.
Abd. 1869 G. Gall MS. Diary (12 Jan.):
Poddicking stones and building the dyke at the ditch side.

[O.Sc. padok, a toad, a.1400, Mid.Eng. paddoke, dim. form of O.Sc. pad, a toad, c.1470, O.E. pade, id. Cf. Mid. Du. padde, id. O.Sc. has paddock-pipe, 1646, paddock rod, c.1500, paddokstane, 1488. The u forms appear in the 18th c.]

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"Puddock n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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