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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CAULD, Kald, Caul, Cald, caald, adj. and v. Also cowld (Cai., Rs.); ,  ¶call (Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 38). Sc. forms of St.Eng. cold. See also Cowld. The Eng. form is illustrated only where the usage is peculiar to Sc. Used also as a noun in Sc., but only with meanings corresponding to those in St.Eng. [kɑ:l(d) Sc., but m.Sc. + kǫ:ld; kɑul, kɔul, kʌul Cai., e.Rs., Kintyre, Ant.]

Sc. forms of Eng. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 191:
" ... there was a hollow at the head of the muir and a spring of clean cauld water that came out atween the stones ... "
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 30:
Ah'm awfy liable
Tae rheumaticks wi' bein' so lang oan the caul' flair, kneelin'.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 125:
'Aye it's the snaw lyin' that's the sign how cauld we are up here. ... '
m.Sc. 1991 William Montgomerie in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 18:
The spring rain rots ma hert
an I am cauld cauld
An autumn bud is faur ower late
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
til lang staunin cauld
in the watter a ripple kittled the sole
o my fit
Ags. 1993 Mary McIntosh in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 113:
"He didnae hae a uniform though, he took his anorak wi him. He'll no be cauld wull he? Aa that cranreuch ootside, he'll be cauld."
Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 8:
whit wey it is sair
whit wey it is toom
whit wey it is in the lane caald nicht
he kens
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 18:
The peelie mune blintin ower cauld stane, ...
wm.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 104:
'Na, na - oot, I said. Ootby if ye please. Maister Mitchel and I hae a private matter to settle.'
'It's gey cauld oot,' Mitchel protested. 'There's nae need, surely.'

Sc. usages: I. adj.

1. Of land: stiff, clayey (Bnff.2, Abd. and Ags. correspondents, Fif.10, Kcb.10 1938). Also in War. dial. (E.D.D.).Sc. 1918 Weekly Scotsman (29 June) 2/1:
The surrounding country turns up to the plough varying shades of rich brown soil, evidence of its native fertility, but is coated with stiff, white clay, “cauld and clorty,” in the homely phrase.
Uls. 1897 A. M'Ilroy When Lint was in the Bett vii.:
Run oot, cauld lan', nether drained nor manured . . . it's no worth twa hunner pun'.

2. Phrases: †(1) cauld-casten-to, caul-cassin-tee, “lifeless, dull, insipid” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2); (2) cauld iron, an exclam. used esp. among fishing communities when any word prohibited in sea-taboo was uttered, to avert the consequent ill effects (Rs. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.; I.Sc., Cai., Ags. 1975). An effort would be made simultaneously to touch some piece of iron conveniently at hand. The expression also found its way into school children's speech as a solemn pledge or asseveration (Abd., Ags., Kcb. 1938). Hence in reduced dim. form cauldie, a taboo name for a pig (Fif. 1960); (3) caul(d) kail het again, broth warmed up for a second time (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 189); given by Kelly in Proverbs (1721) 79 in anglicized form; also used fig. of a stale story or sermon, etc.; Gen.Sc.; †(4) cauld roast and little sodden, an ill-stored larder. Given as obs. in Watson Rxb. W.-B. (1923); †(5) to be (tie) in (the) cauld bark, “to be dead” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); (6) to blaw a cauld coal, see Blaw, v.1, III. 2.(1) Abd. 1825 Jam.2:
The metaph. is taken from the brewing of beer. If the wort be cauld casten to the barm, i.e. if the wort be too cold when the yeast is put to it, fermentation does not take place, and the liquid of course is vapid.
(2) Fif. 1844 J. Jack St Monance 6:
It [pig] is called "the beast," or "the brute," and in case the real name of the animal should accidentally be mentioned, the spell is undone by a less tedious process- the exclamation of "cauld iron" by the person affected being perfectly sufficient to counteract the evil influence.
Fif. 1861 E. B. Ramsay Reminisc. 31:
At the repetition of the word [swine], more commotion was visible, and the words "cauld airn", the antidote to this baneful spell, were heard issuing from various corners of the church.
(3) Sc. 1998 Herald 5 Jun 22:
The second point that is being made is that Scottish publishers no longer publish anything worthwhile and our lists are largely a reheating of "cauld kale", to quote Mr Alan Taylor.
Bnff.12 1931:
The minister gied us “cauld kail het again,” the minister gave us an old sermon.
Abd.1 1929:
He micht gie his story a cheenge; caul kail het again is aye pot tastit.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail III. xxx.:
As for Meg's and Dirdumwhamle's, theirs was a third marriage — a cauld-kail-het-again affair.
(4) Rxb. 1825 Jam.2:
He needna be sae nice atweel, for gif a' tales be true, he's [has] but cauld roast and little sodden at hame.
(5) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 20:
Alas poor man! for aught that I can see, This day thou lying in cauld bark may'st be.

3. Combs.: (1) cauld cock, = (10); (2) cauld comfort, “inhospitality. This generally includes the idea of poor entertainment” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2); known to Bnff.2, Abd.16, Ags.17, Fif.10, Kcb.9 1938; (3) caul'-drawn, (a) “cold in manner” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 24); (b) of a speech, sermon, etc.: dull, heavy; known to Abd. correspondents only (1938); (4) cauld-farrant, cold in manner, reserved, aloof (Slk. 1965), formally based on Auld-farrant; (5) caul' gab, a period of stormy weather at the beginning of May; known to Abd. correspondents and Fif.10 1938; (6) kald kol, “a cinder” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); ‡(7) cauld morality, applied to sermons: a moral discourse devoid of all Evangelical fervour; known to Abd. correspondents and Fif.10 1938; †(8) cauld seed, cold seed, “late pease” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2, cauld — ); late oats. Given as obs. in Watson Rxb. W.-B. (1923); ‡(9) caul(d) steer, — steerie, sour milk (or cold water) and oatmeal stirred together (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). Given as obsol. in Watson Rxb. W.-B. (1923), but known to Abd.9, Abd.16 and Ags.1 1938; †(10) cauld straik, “a cant term for a dram of unmixed, or what is called raw, spirituous liquor” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B., obs.); (11) cauld-wamed, cold in manner, cold-blooded (Fif.10 1938); (12) cauld-water, apathetic, indifferent (Abd.2, Abd.9 1938); †(13) cauld-win', “little encouragement, q[uasi] a cold wind blowing on one” (Clydesd. 1825 Jam.2); (14) caul' win' bagpipes, see 1926 quot.; also cauld wind pipes, caul-wind pipes, cauld-wind. = Lowland pipes (s.v. lawland n.1); †(15) cauld winter (see quot.).(1) Edb. 1783 W. Creech Fugitive Pieces (1815) 56:
Lovers of a frosty nail in the morning, of cauld cocks, Athole brose, old man's milk.
(3) (b) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 24:
The sermon wiz unco caul'-drawn the day; an' a cud hardly been on fa'in' asleep.
(5) Abd. 1930 “Buchan Farmer” in Abd. Press and Jnl. (8 March) 6/3:
We have still to weather the borrowing days, the caul' gab, the coo's quake, and the yowe trummle before we are clear of unpleasant weather.
(7) Sc. 1924 R. B. Cunninghame Graham Conquest of River Plate v.:
He . . . spoke to them upon the principles of right and wrong and matters of that kind. In fact, his sermon, in the Scotland of old days, would have been called “a cauld morality.”
(8) Sc. 1789–1799 Prize Essays and Trans. Highl. Soc. of Scot. I. 117–118:
Common, or Blainslie oats, are the most hardy. . . . They are later than the Dutch, Poland, or red seed, and earlier than the Angus, or cold seed.
Rxb. 1798 R. Douglas Gen. View Agric. Rxb. 87:
Peas are sown of two kinds: one of them is called hot seed, or early peas, and the other is called cold seed, or late peas.
(9) Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 351:
Them that likesna water brose will scunner at cauld steerie.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays and Leg. of the North (1908) 5:
Plish-plash the water skelpit in, Across the disty fleer, Owre-lap the troch, an' in a trice The mealer wis caul' steer.
Ags. 1878 J. S. Neish Reminisc. Brechin 18–19:
“I'll do or the morn at this time,” said Tam complacently, when he had finished the “cauld steer.”
(11) Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Merry Men ii.:
Fish — the hale clan o' them — cauld-wamed, blind-eed uncanny ferlies.
w.Dmf. 1910 J. L. Waugh Cracks wi' Robbie Doo viii.:
She's a lang, tankard-backit, cauld-wamed kind o' a woman is Mirren.
(12) Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 154:
I'll punish the cauld-water, heretic dowgs.
(14) Abd. 1926 Buchan Observer (23 April):
Francie would appear in the village with his Irish or "caul' win'" bagpipes. These were blown by a bellows which was worked by an oscillating movement of one of the arms, the bag being squeezed by the other.
 Sc. 1980 Hugh Cheape in Edward J. Cowan The People's Past 149:
A recent arrival on the scene in the bands is the Lowland or Border bellows bagpipe, the caul-wind pipes.
Sc. 1990 Scotsman 24 Feb X:
Moore puts his finger on the moment that changed the course of his life; the discovery of an early 19th-century set of bellows, or "cauld wind", pipes at Kingussie in 1981.
Sc. 1995 Scotsman 9 Nov :
The LBPS [Lowland and Borders Pipers' Society], after all, was formed more than a decade ago to promote the renaissance of Scotland's forgotten bellows-blown Lowland and small pipes - "cauld-wind pipes" as they are sometimes generically labelled ...
Sc. 1999 Hugh Cheape The Book of the Bagpipe 59:
This 'Lowland' bagpipe had three drones, two tenor and one bass, fixed in a single common stock and was preferred with bellows by which 'cauld-wind' (i.e. cold wind) kept the reeds dry and avoided much of the instability and shorter life of mouth-blown reeds.
Edb. 2005:
Caul'-wind pipes was a term customarily used by Andrew Law (c. 1899-1982) of Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire.
(15 Per. 1825 Jam.2:
Cauld Winter. The designation given in Perths. and perhaps other counties, to the last load of corn brought in from the field to the barn-yard. . . . The name seems to convey the idea that this portion of the fruits of harvest comes nearest, in respect of time, to the cold of winter.

4. In deriv. pl. caalders, see quot. Kcd. a.1914 Scots Mag. (Nov. 1973) 188:
Hot porridge for breakfast, cold porridge (caulders) for dinner.

II. v. To chill, make cold. Found gen. as ppl.adj .: cauldit, calded, colded: 1. suffering from a cold. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.16, Ags.17, Fif.1, Lnk.3 1938. This use has been obs. in Eng. since 1598 (N.E.D.); †2. applied to horses: suffering from disease (prob. glanders, which causes swellings on the neck).Edb. 1865 M. Barr Poems 136:
"To bed yersel'"-that's a' the thanks I get for cauldin' o' my shanks, An' shiverin' here on thir bare planks.
1. Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 117:
But arena ye geyan sair cauldit the nicht? for you're hoarse and husky — yet that only gars you jirt out the words wi' additional smeddum.
Sc. 1829 J. G. Lockhart in Scott Journal (1890) II. 262, Note:
3 April: I found him in his nightcap . . . colded badly.
2. Sc. 1704 in Border Mag. (March 1939) 47:
Whoever has calded horses, to sell or fell the same before Saturday next.

[O.Sc. has cauld, 1375, cald, a.1400, cold, coldness; cold (as an ailment), c.1500; also as adj., 1375, and v., to grow cold, 1571 (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cauld adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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