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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TAID, n. Also tade, taed, tead; tede (s.Sc. 1824 J. Telfer Border Ballads 45), ted; tid. Dim. forms taedie, taidie, ted(d)ie; tiddy. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. toad. See P.L.D. § 32. [ted]

1. As in Eng. (Slg. 1910 Scotsman (12 Sept.); Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.(exc.I.)Sc., freq. in proverbial and other phrs.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. ii.:
The venom of black taids and snakes.
Sc. 1818 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxxv.:
A taid may sit on her coffin the day.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 411:
And the milk on the tade's back I wad prefer, To the poison on his lips that be.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 44:
Mony masters, quo' the taid, when every tynd o' the harrow took him a tide.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 140:
Half a poddock, half a tead.
Sc. 1894 Scots Mag. (April) 392:
“Hoo did your minister get on las' Sawbath?” asked the one. “Get on!” said the other; “he got on — just like a taed amang tar.”
Ags. 1959 G. Michie Glen Anthol. 10:
Sittin' like twa taeds i' the cart o' a stane.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 32:
Claik a hunner different leids
Dwines tae a hoolet's lanely croon.
Nicht, like a taed, his hunkered doon.

2. Combs.: (1) ted labster, the hermit crab, Pagurus pollicaris (Abd. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.). Cf. 4.; ¶(2) taid's ee, jealousy, from the belief in the malignancy of a toad's glance; (3) taid-red, toad- or frog-spawn (Sc. 1887 Jam.). See Redd, n.2, 1.; (4) taid-spue, id. (Ib.); (5) taid-stane, a toadstone, a stone thought to come from the head of a toad, and used as an amulet (see quot.); (6) taid stuil, tade-stool, a toadstool (see quot.) (ne., m. and s.Sc. 1972); (7) tappit taed, a toad thought to have a precious stone in its head, Cf. (5) and Tap, v.; (8) yerd taid, the common toad. See Yird.(2) Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 10:
Yon vile discrimination, That breeds aye the taid's e'e In mony a congregation.
(5) Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 128:
It [charm] was for stoppin bluid whun onybuddy wus woundit. They put a Taed-stane on the wound.
(6) 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 Tade-stools.
(7) Rxb. 1917 Kelso Chronicle (5 Oct.) 4:
Jordanlaw Moss was the reputed habitat of the tappit taed, a unique specimen, whose head was believed to contain a gem of fabulous price.
(8) Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xxxiv.:
A baukie-bird in the air, or a yerd taid on the brae.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail lxv.:
Ye would as soon think o' likening a yird tead to a patrick or a turtle-dove.

3. A sheep tick or ked, so called from its toad-like appearance (Ayr., Dmf. 1958), also in comb. sheep-tade (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 425; Cld. 1825 Jam.; wm., sm.Sc., Rxb. 1972).

4. The spider crab (ne.Sc. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.). Cf. 2. (1).

5. A contemptuous name for an objectionable trouble-making person (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 211; Ork., ne.Sc., Per., Slg., Ayr. 1972), freq. also connoting unpleasant appearance. Cf. Eng. toad with sim. meanings.Peb. 1793 R. Brown Comic Poems (1817) 127:
A swindling, hen-peckt, poisonous taid, The vilest o' them a'.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xliii.:
The same wee blackent-like taid as when you left the Stoneyholm.
Fif. 1886 S. Tytler St Mungo's City xxii.:
You thrawn taed, I doubt it's ill-gotten gear.
Ork. 1907 Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 62:
He waas said tae be a filty leean taed.
Abd. 1928 Word-Lore III. 147:
Johnnie Shearer, a puffin' ganjin ted.

6. Used as a term of endearment, esp. of a child or young woman (Sc. 1825 Jam., taid(ie); Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1972), occas. used of pet animals (Abd. 1972), and attrib. = small, dinky, teeny-weeny.Per. 1768 T. L. K. Oliphant Lairds of Gask (1870) 357:
Poor Tods, I think of them all every child I see.
Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage xxxiv.:
Your wife, an' your wean, puir taed.
Ags. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan II. xi.:
I'll mak' a bane-fire o' a' my trees if that wee taed is to be set aside.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums ix.:
Lads, what a persuasive tid she was!
Kcd. 1910 W. Macgillivray The Elder 28:
The smallest porridge cappie for the young child when first trusted to feed himself out of his own teddie cap with his teddie horn spoon.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 9:
Annie wis aye a clivvir ted.
Abd. 1960 People's Jnl. (16 July) 8:
The wife afore me hid a gey gabbin' ted o' a loonie wi' her.

[O.Sc. taid, toad, lit. and fig., 1475, taid-stane, 1577.]

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"Taid n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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