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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SAIDLE, n., v. Also saiddle, saydle, seddle. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. saddle. Dim. saiddlie (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xl.). [sedl]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. (Abd. 1705 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VI. 268; Rnf. a.1810 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 203; Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 10). Gen.Sc. Hence said(d)ler, seddler, a saddler (Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 43; Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 37; Lnk. 1951 G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 41). Gen.Sc.; fig. a leather whip (Abd. 1969).ne.Sc. 1930 Bothy Songs (Ord) 210:
They aft required the saiddler To pull them up the hill.

Combs. and phrs.: (1) saddle-bore, a hole punched in the leather of a saddle (Cai. 1969). See Bore, n., (6); (2) saiddle-bow, = (3) (Cai. 1969); (3) saidle-crub, the steel groove in the saddle of a cart-horse in which the back-chain works (Ayr. 1928; ne.Sc. 1969); (4) saiddle-for-side, = (10) (Ork., Cai. 1969); (5) saddle-gear, saddlery; (6) saddle-iron, a stirrup; (7) saddle-lap, the side-flaps of a saddle; (8) saddle-seat, fig., a riding-horse; (9) saddle-sick, weary and sore from long riding; (10) saddle-tae-side, saidle-tae-sidlins, adv., side-saddle, as of a woman rider (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 416; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 147; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.); (11) to put one to a' the seats or to every corner o' the saddle, to put one to extremities, to drive one to desperate shifts.(1) Sc. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 293:
There's gowd ahint, there's gowd afore, There's silk in every saddle-bore.
(3) Abd. 1961 Buchan Observer (28 Nov.) 4:
The back-chine flees fae side tae side i' the seddle crub.
(5) Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 40:
Whupmen race an' s — r For saddle gear.
Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 24:
Beets an' saidle-gear'll seen be oot o' the fashion.
(6) Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize I. i.:
A profitable traffic in saddle-irons and bridle-rings.
(7) Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 266:
He louted owr his saddle lap, To kiss her ere they part.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxxiii.:
Horsemen weltering, in this dangerous passage, up to the very saddle-laps.
Gall. 1843 J. Nicholson Tales 129:
He hadna gane far till down he plumpit in a quaa to the saddle laps.
(8) Knr. 1895 H. Haliburton Dunbar 70:
Farmers that hed a saddle seat . . . Keep nae beast noo but cats an' mice.
(9) Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail vii.:
I trow ye'll fin' this a saft easy seat, — well do I ken what it is to be saddle-sick mysel'.
(11) Sc. 1825 Jam.:
To put one to a' the seats o' the saddle, to nonplus, to gravel one; obviously borrowed from the uneasy sensations of one who feels his seat on horseback too hard for him.
Sc. 1825 Lockhart Scott lxii.:
I have the dregs of Abbotsford House to pay for — and all besides my usual considerable expenditure; so I must look for some months to be put to every corner of my saddle.

2. The part of a stall in a stable or byre on which the animal stands, “between manger and grip” (Fif. 1863 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 725).Fif. 1800 J. Thomson Agric. Fif. 77:
Both stables and byres too short in the saddles.

II. v. As in Eng. (Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes xxxii.; Cai. 1869 M. Maclennan Peasant Life 326; Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 154). Gen.Sc.Abd.4 1928:
He disna aye ride fan he saidles — i.e. doesn't always keep his word or stick to his purpose.

Phr. saiddle-my-nag, a form of leap-frog (Mry. 1898 A. B. Gomme Trad. Games II. 147). Cf. skin-the-goatie s.v. Skin.

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"Saidle n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Mar 2024 <>



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