Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WEED, n.3 Also weid (Sc. 1808 Jam.), wyde (Abd.). Reduced form of Weidinonfa, q.v. [wid; Abd. wəid]

1. A high fever, a sudden febrile attack (Sc. 1902 Brit. Med. Jnl. (19 July) 209); specif. puerperal fever, affecting women in childbirth (Sc. 1808 Jam.; n.Sc., Fif., Dmf. 1973). Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 19:
The weed and gut gaes thro' my flesh like lang needles, nails or elshin irons.
Sc. 1790 A. Duncan Med. Comm. (Dec.) II. v. 300:
It may be difficult, therefore, in the beginning, to distinguish puerperal fever from accumulations of faeces in the alimentary canal, especially if joined to an Ephemera, or Weed.
Sc. 1819 Scots Mag. (March) 220:
Very sick of a fever, incident to women in her situation, and here termed a weed.
s.Sc. c.1830 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1916) 86:
Many women when suckling their children are liable to ephemeral fevers, vulgarly called weeds and onfas.
Abd. 1890 Gregor MSS.:
One mode of turning the Wyde or Weed was by a “reekit drink”, i.e. a draught of milk mixed with water heated by a piece of burning paper or cloth so as to give it the flavour of the smoke.
m.Lth. 1897 P. H. Hunter J. Armiger 37:
Wullie Johnson's wife was doun wi' a weed an' no' likely to win roun'.

2. An attack of ague, a chill characterised by trembling and chattering teeth (Peb. 1825 Jam.; Dmf.3 c.1920). Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xii.:
Dinna ye hear the bairn greet? I'se warrant it's that dreary weid has come ower't again.
Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce I. xii.:
“The Laird has ta'en a weid,” said he. “He is a' in a grue, shaking like an aspen.”
Uls. 1830 W. Carleton Traits Irish Peasantry (1843) I. 308:
Besides, I'm a bit bothered on both sides of my head, ever since I had that weary weid.
Gsw. 1843 Sc. Song (Whitelaw) 410:
A' trembling, just as he was in a weed, He says, “Tak me an' a'.”
Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 200:
Swall'd dropsy, sleepy influenza, The chilly weid.
wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs. McCraw 36:
Whan I hed the weed last Januar's a twalmont'.

3. A feverish ailment thought to have been caused by a chill in farm animals; specif. in female animals, mastitis. Gen. (exc.Sh.) Sc.; in horses: an affection of the legs accompanied by swelling and feverishness. w.Lth. 1811 J. Trotter Agric. W. Lth. 168:
Milch cows, however, are not unfrequently subject to what is here called a weed, which is a kind of feverish affection.
Sc. 1849 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm I. 328:
What has been designated a weed or shot of grease in the heavy draught-horse.
Sc. 1887 Trans. Highl. Soc. 208:
Their (cows') greater liability to take chills and “weeds” (catarrh of the udder) when turned out daily.
e.Lth. 1896 J. Lumsden Battles 22:
Limping wi' spavie, weeds, an' racks.
Abd. 1952 Huntly Express (18 July):
There is the risk of the ewes in the flush of milk taking a weed in the udder.

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"Weed n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Aug 2020 <>



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