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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BLADE, BLED, Blaid, Blaud, n. and v. [bled, blɛd]

1. n. Applied gen. in Sc. to a broad, flat leaf, as the outer leaves of cabbage or lettuce, the leaves of rhubarb, tobacco, etc. In Eng. it is now used chiefly for the leaves of grass and cereals, and vaguely also in literature for foliage. In Sc. as in Eng. the word is extended to any long, flat object, as a sword, a paddle. Its application to a human being seems wider in Sc. than in Eng. See examples.

(1) Leaf of cabbage, turnip, etc.; also of a tea leaf (Ork., Abd., Ags. 1975). Cf. Tea, Combs. (3).Sc. 1820 Anon. Dialogue between Maggy and Janet 12:
Mony a pickle well butter'd kail bleds I gid him, haden out o' my ain wame.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Bled . . . used . . . of leaves of plants . . . also of leaves in a book.
Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 131:
Better, I trow, ilk bledd o' Tea Had first been blasted on the Tree.
Kcb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IV. 117; Kcb.9 1934:
Sent their children to school with “a cauld kail blade” in their pockets for a piece.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Blade. A broad flat leaf, as of the cabbage, lettuce, rhubarb, dock, etc.

(2) A measure of quantity (see quot.).Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gt. Ant. and Dwn.:
Strawberries, raspberries, and currants, are sold by the blade; i.e. a cabbage-leaf into which a pint or quart, as the case may be, of the fruit, has been put. [Also known to Fif.1 1934.]

Hence bladie, blaudie, adj. (See quot.)Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Bladie, Blaudie. Full of large, broad leaves; applied to plants the leaves of which grow out from the main stem, and not on branches; as “Blaudie kail,” “blaudie beans,” etc.

(3) (See quot.)Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Bled is used of a tongue of land, shaped like a leaf; often in place-names, e.g.: de Bled o' de Er.

(4) A human being.Ags. 1815 W. Gardiner Poems and Songs, etc. 48:
Ye'll daut his head for d — the blade, He's devil o' Dundee.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 11:
Our antient castle shoots at noon, Wi' flag-staff buskit, Frae which the soldier blades come down.
m.Lth. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems in Sc. and Eng. 196:
But still for a' the blast that's made, I doubt you are some sleekit blade, That never handled shool or spade.
Ayr. 1900 “G. Douglas” House w. the G. Shutters (1901) xvii.:
More to keep the blades from bickering than from any wish to know.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 169:
Lament him, ilka heartie maid, Mourn for him, every canty blade.

Phr.: to draw the blade oure the e'e, to deceive.Ags. 1823 A. Balfour in Edinburgh Mag. XII. 274–275:
You player folk are a' gude at the gab; but ye'll no draw the blade oure my e'e in a hurry.

Combs.: (1) docken blade, “dock leaf used for cuts and abrasions” (Fif.1 1875); (2) healing blaidies, “leaves of marsh plant applied to wounds” (Cai.7 1934).

2. v.

(1) To strip the leaves from a plant. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1818 Edinburgh Mag. (Aug.) 157:
When she had gane out to blade some kail for the pat.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Abd.13 1910:
De kail is bleded, the leaves have been plucked off the cabbage.
Bch. 1928 (per Abd.15):
I wid think naething o' a bodie bleddin a starn kail.
wm.Sc. [1835] Laird of Logan (1868) App. 486:
I saw King . . . this verra day, bledding a cabbage stock up fifteen steps of a ladder.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
Blade. To strip (a cabbage, etc.) of “blades.”

(2) Of plants: to leaf; shoot out leaves.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
De plants is bledded, the plants have got their leaves.

[O.Sc. blade, blaid, blad, bleed, etc. (1) blade of knife, etc. (2) Leaf of tree, plant, grass, etc. (D.O.S.T.). O.E. blæd, a leaf, blade (of oar) (Sweet).]

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"Blade n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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