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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

YAIRD, n.1, v. Also yeard, yerd; and yird, by confusion with Yird in sense I. 2. Dim. form yairdie; deriv. yairdin by conflation with Gairden. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. yard, an enclosure. See P.L.D. § 48.1.(2). [je:rd]

I. n. 1. Sc. forms of Eng yard.Sc. 1991 Roderick Watson in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 105:
It was screivit in the year saxty-yin
Whan I was let oot o that yerd
Atween the dour waas o Sauchton
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 14:
Bairn o seven dischairged
Fae watching the slauchter.
Men yeuk like warriors,
A swine squeals atour the yerd
Trotters clicking on corbled tiles
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 18:
While doun thir weel-defined trail, fae the station yaird,
Spatter't kye, ti a killin hoose tryst wi Tam Baird.

2. A garden, esp. a cottage- or kitchen-garden (Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 113, 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Ork., ne., m., s.Sc. 1974). Now only dial. in Eng. See also kailyaird s.v. Kail, 5. (36). Deriv. yairdin, id., by assimilation to Gairden.Wgt. 1707 Session Bk. Glasserton MS. (14 May):
He went to Whithorn that day and brought thence some plants for his yard.
Gsw. 1713 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (B.R.S.) 511:
The houses, biggings, yeards, grass pasturages.
Cai. 1736 J. T. Calder Sketches (1842) 231:
It was a mischievous diversion to robb honest men's yeards, and that the practice was in itself superstitious.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 106:
The bonny yeard of antient Eden.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Address to Deil xv.:
Lang syne in Eden's bonie yard, When youthfu' lovers first were pair'd.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley viii.:
The cottages being irregularly divided from each other by gardens, or yards, as the inhabitants called them.
Abd. 1882 W. Forsyth Writings 155:
Frae Justice Port to Windmill hill Wis wavin' green wi' yairdins a'.
Sh. 1892 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 46:
He's creepin trou da yard.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden (1922) 107:
It has been set doon in oor back-yaird.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 385:
Twa o' the dragoons gaed into the yaird tae get a wheen berries.
Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 81:
My broth-pot will be a richer yin than his when winter's snaws cover the yairds.
Abd. 1963 J. Kesson Glitter of Mica 16:
Planting out their “yards” with curly kail and first early potatoes.

Combs.: (1) yaird-dyke, a garden wall (Ork., n., m.Sc. 1974); (2) yaird-fit, the foot of a garden (Lth., Wgt. 1974); (3) yard-head, the top end of a garden; (4) yaird-lupan, of an animal: given to jumping garden-walls (Ork. 1974); (5) yard-male, rent paid for a garden. See Mail, n.1(1) Kcd. 1705 Urie Ct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 113:
Noe tennent, shall pule doune anie of their yeard deikis.
Dmb. 1753 Session Papers, Buchanan v. Towart (9 Aug.) 1:
Cutting and stealing Trees in the Woods of Wester Auchindinnan, or that grew about the Yard-dikes of the said Lands.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 174:
Lay them [docks] on the yard dyke to dry.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 18:
The yaird dyke was doon, an' a' things lay in ruins.
Sh. 1902 J. Burgess Some Sh. Folk 20:
He caught her by herself at the corner of the yard dyke.
(2) Ayr. 1819 Kilmarnock Mirror 136:
I shall relate ye the true account of ane [a ghost], that was seen at my yard-fit.
Rnf. 1873 D. Gilmour Pen' Folk 39:
Three times daily did he and his wife meet at “the yard-fit.”
(3) Sc. 1721 Caled. Mercury (5 Jan.):
George Watt's, Brewer in the Yard-Heads of Leith.
(4) Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 121:
As hich as a yaird-lupan' gimmer.
(5) Ags. 1723 Caled. Mercury (11 Feb.):
Ninety eight Pounds four Shillings eight Pennies of Yard-males, . . . with the Fews and Yard-males holding free Burgage.

3. A churchyard (Ork., ne., m.Sc. 1974). The form yird is due to confusion with Yird.Bnff. 1722 Trans. Bnff. Field Club (1887) 90:
That piece of ground in the north end of the yeard.
Ayr. 1791 Burns There'll never be Peace iii.:
Now I greet round their green beds in the yerd.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 41:
Low doun yon lanesome, eerie yird.
Gall. c.1870 Gall. Bards (Harper 1889) 184:
The lanely yird on the breist o' the brae.
Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie 71:
A “meat tea” ready for the men coming back from the “yaird.”
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 124:
Afore we got Getherer's corp the length o' the yaird.
Rxb. 1933 Kelso Chron. (3 Nov.) 5:
The auld wife in the clachan yird had barely time tae cool.
Sc. 1991 R. Crombie Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 29:
The shilpit mune of autumn
Keeks wanly thro the mirk,
The manse stauns bien and doucelik
In the yaird ablow the kirk.

4. Gen. in pl.: a school-playground, specif. that of the High School in Edinburgh.Edb. 1753 W. Maitland Hist. Edb. 182:
At the Southeastern corner of the High-school-yard.
Edb. 1808 Lockhart Scott i.:
I made a brighter figure in the yards than in the class.
Edb. 1909 Bk. Old Edb. Club II. 9:
The High School, built 167 years previously, stood in the High School Yards at the foot of Infirmary Street.

5. As in Eng. a stack-yard on a farm. Comb. yardsook, a strong drying breeze at harvest-time after the crop has been stacked (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1974). See Souk, n., 3.

II. v. To stack (corn) in a yard (Ork. 1974).Sc. 1757 Session Papers, Petition A. Smith (8 March) 17:
The Corns of the Croft I got off by Proof, which I took care to see cut down and yarded.

[O.Sc. yeard dyk, 1612, yeard maill, 1671.]

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"Yaird n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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