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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BAIRNHEID, BAIRNHEED, BAIRNHOOD, n. Childhood. Also attrib. [bernhid]Sc.(E) 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah xlvii. 15:
Frae yer bairn-heid [A.V. youth] an' a', yer trokers a', ilk ane till his howff, they sal slip awa.
Abd.(D) 1921 Weekly Press (21 Dec.) 2/1:
An' gars ye min' on th' days o' yer bairnheed, an' fin ye wis a loon at th' skweel.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 65:
Throwoot ma bairnhood, ma lugs war niver quat o the clickin an chimin an whurrin an gurrin o clocks, aa set bi Faither.
Ags. 1866 R. Leighton Poems (1869) 343:
As I think upo' my bairnhood — a short-lived sunnie day.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 33:
He mairched aboot the gitters o ma bairnheid
three medals on his briest an the pipes soundin.
m.Sc. 2000 Bruce Leeming in Alec Finlay Atoms of Delight 53:
A whaup's wheiple
lane amang the hills -
bairnheid mindins.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson The Wyse-Sayin's o' Solomon xxii. 6:
Airt a bairn's bairnheid in the richt gate, An' he'll haud on till't till he's auld an' grey-heidit.
wm.Sc. 1991 James Russell Grant in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 55:
Bairn ae a street bringin back bairnhood days
Mither deckin ye oot in white an blue
Yirsel a soulfu wee craitur maist happy whiles.

[O.Sc. barnehede, etc., childhood; childishness. Bairnhood is due to influence of Eng. childhood.]

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"Bairnheid n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 May 2024 <>



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