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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.

SMAD, n., v. Also smud, smod(d). [smɑd, Sh. Smʊd]

I. n. A small stain, a spot, blemish, smut, a dirty mark (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., smod, smud, 1914 Angus Gl., smud; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1970). Hence a very small quantity of anything, a particle, grain (Angus; Ork. 1929 Marw., smud). Also used fig. of a moral stain (Jam.). Adj. smuddy, stained, spotted, messy (Sh. 1970); foggy (Kcd. 1970).Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 57:
Her best black goon on, no' a smad to be seen on't.
Sh. 1901 Shetland News (23 Feb.):
Da sky is clear 'ithoot a smud.
Per. 1903 H. Dryerre Blairgowrie 256:
He “widna alloo a single smodd o' black aboot the angels.”
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
A smodd o' a meal. No a smodd o' dust.
Abd.1 1929:
Dinna lat a smad o' ink on tae ma table wi yer vreetin'.
Ags. 1949 Forfar Dispatch (11 Aug.):
My noo frock wiz a' smads.
m.Sc. 1950 O. Douglas Farewell to Priorsford 152:
I canna stand to see a minister a' smaddy doon the front.

II. v. 1. To stain, soil, blemish with dirt or the like, spot (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 157; n.Sc. 1825 Jam., smud; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1970). Ppl.adj. smaddit, -ed, stained, dirtied.Sc. 1703 Records Sc. Cloth Manuf. (S.H.S.) 356:
Ane end of whyt cloath being all smadded and spoylled.
Ags. 1866 R. Leighton Poems 321:
His sark-breest a' smaddit.
ne.Sc. 1925 Scots Mag. (March):
Dicht them this meenit, an' nae smad yer gweed claes.

2. Specif. of a fire: to smoulder and emit clouds of sooty smoke, to cause smuts (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., smud). Hence smuddoch, n., a smoky, ill-burning fire (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 429; Uls. 1953 Traynor).

[O.Sc. smad, to dirty, begrime, 1450. The forms are variations on Smot, smut, of Teut. orig., cf. Ger. dial. schmotz, schmutt, Dan. smuds, grime, L.Ger. smadderen, to dirty, soil. Gael. smad, a blot, smut, is appar. of the same orig., and may have influenced the form smad.]

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"Smad n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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