Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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YAIRD, n., 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]

1. 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.(35). 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Jan 2020 <>



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