Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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THIRD, adj., n. Also met. forms thrid(d) (Sc. 1706 Earls. Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 16, Edb. c.1730 E. Burt Letters (1815) I. 20, Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 358); in Sh. trid (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1972). Sc. forms and usages. [θɪrd, †θrɪd; Sh. trɪd]

1. As in Eng. Sc. comb., phrs., and derivs.: (1) third and teind, see Teind, n., 1.(48); (2) thirden, adj., third. Only in ballad usage; (3) thirder, see Teind, n., 1.(48); †(4) thirding, a feudal duty or rent of one third of the total produce of the land; (5) thirdsman, an arbiter between two disputants, a referee or third party (ne. and em.Sc., Lnk., Wgt., s.Sc. 1972); (6) trids o' kin, related in the third degree (Sh. 1972); (7) thirdy, a square in the game of hopscotch (see quot.); (8) two-part and thridd, two-thirds of the way along a certain length (see quot.) (Sh. 1972). (2) Sc. 1918 Scots Mag. (June) 527:
At the thirden blast that ye sall gae.
(4) Kcb. 1788 Dmf. Weekly Jnl. (19 Feb.):
Mill of Newabbey, with the multures of the barony, and thirding of fish.
(5) s.Sc. 1793 T. Scott Poems 333:
Hout, hout! hae done, ye'll never gree, Let me be thirds-man.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxiv.:
MacCallummore's blood wadna sit down wi' that; there was risk of Andro Ferrara coming in thirdsman.
Slk. 1827 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) vii.:
Wherever ye set the place o' combat, I shall have a thirdsman there to encourage you on.
Arg. 1878 Trans. Highl. Soc. 19:
The settlement necessarily falls to the thirdsman or oversman.
Bnff. 1907 Banffshire Jnl. (22 Sept. 1953):
They nott a thirdsman.
Abd. 1924 M. Argo Janet's Choice 25:
Ye've jist come timeous, ye'll mak a good thirdsman.
(6) Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 71:
Auld Ibbie Bartley, dat was trids o' kin ta my wife's foster midder.
(7) Ags. 1909 A. Reid Regality of Kirriemuir 400:
The pavement or ground was marked off so the divisions being termed “Firsty, secondy, thirdy; kittlety dum, scum; Palaly, A' the Warld.”
(8) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 448:
Anciently, the quarter staff was held “twa-part and thridd,” one third part of it beneath hand, the other two-thirds above.

2. Golf: a handicap of a stroke deducted every third hole (Sc. 1887 Jam.). Fif. 1857 H. B. Farnie Golfer's Manual 68:
The exact proportion of odds may, in many cases, be considerably less than one more; accordingly, a stroke may be given each alternate hole, which is termed “half one”; or, on every third hole, when it is called “a third”; and so on.

3. Pl.: the residue of grain left after milling or brewing, the middlings between bran and flour or barley meal, third quality flour (ne., m. and s.Sc. 1972). Used fig. in 1898 quot. Ags. 1898 A. H. Rea Divot Dyke 100:
He was tryin' to explain, in a way o' his ain, But his matter was poor meal as thirds.
Sc. 1899 Mont.-Fleming:
A very common name given by cow-feeders to grain got from brewers and maltsters after having been used by them.
Sc. 1927 J. Kirkland Baker's ABC 353:
“Thirds.” — A term, familiar in Scotland in stone-mill days, to describe all the offal from wheat, except brans. . . . Thirds correspond to the products now indicated as pollard and sharps.

Hence thirdie, -y, n., a loaf of coarse or inferior flour with a large admixture of bran (Ags. 1851 Montrose Standard (7 March) 8). Kcd. 1853 W. Jamie Emigrant's Family 76:
Twa penny thirdies.
Ags. 1878 J. S. Neish Reminiscences 17:
No other nourishment than a penny “Thirdie” and a drink of water.
Ags. 1896 Arbroath Guide (2 May) 3:
Marget's baker came up wi' her twa thirdies.

[O.Sc. thrid, third, 1375. Sh. trid may represent Norw. dial. tridje, tredje, third.]

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"Third adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2021 <>



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