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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

CHILDER, Sc. form of Eng. children. Known to Abd.9, Slg.3 1940. Found also in Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). [′tʃɪldər]Sc. 1818 S. E. Ferrier Marriage II. xi.:
They ne'er presumed to say their heeds war their ain i' thae days — wife an' servants — reteeners an' childer, aw trummelt i' the presence o' their heed.
Ork.2 1931:
In Ork. childer is never used: it always has the -s attached. It is sometimes used for older folks than children, but if so, consciously, I think. That is — it is used metaphorically.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 35:
Bedown Leith-walk what burrochs reel . . . That gar their wives an' childer feel Toom weyms for their libation O' drink thir days.
wm.Sc. 1835–1837 Laird of Logan I. 279:
Baith my childer, son and dochter.
Ayr. a.1839 Galt Howdie and other Tales (1923) 3:
When my gudeman departed this life, he left me with a heavy handful of seven childer, the youngest but a baby at the breast and the elder, a lassie, scant of eight years old.

Phrs.: (1) children's hearing, also in shortened form hearing. In 1971 the children's hearing system replaced the former court procedures regarding children and young people under 16 who commit offences or are in need of care or protection. The hearing is a meeting of three lay members of a children's panel; (2) children's panel, a group of trained volunteers who hold children's hearings to decide, in the case of a child in trouble or in need of protection, what action, if any, is in the best interests of the child. (1) Sc. 1998 Aberdeen Evening Express 24 Apr 13:
When people phone the hotline they hear the Scottish lawyer and broadcaster Austin Lafferty giving information on any one of 40 legal topics ranging from divorce to children's hearings.
Sc. 2003 Herald 28 Apr 7:
The statistical picture of life for many Scottish children makes distressing reading: 30% are estimated to be living in poverty (310,000 in 2000-01), while referrals to children's hearings have soared from 24,656 in 1972 to 68,380 last year. More than half of lone parent households are poor, and one-parent households are twice as likely to be poor as couples with children.
 (2) Sc. 2003 Herald 25 Apr 1:
The children's panel received a record number of referrals in 2001-2002 with nearly 40,000 children dealt with by the hearings system.
Just three months earlier a report by Audit Scotland highlighted 38 failings in the hearings system branding it "too slow" with many cases taking eight months to resolve.
Sc. 2003 Herald 10 Jul 8:
" ... Another report, also published that day, of the Secure Accommodation Advisory Group, also points out that many children who should be in secure accommodation don't go there because children's panels themselves know that places are not available."
Rnf. 1986 John Mitchell Class Struggle 123:
After a sleepless night, I learn that assault charges against me are to be withdrawn! The cheering news arrived at lunch time along with the information that Lamont himself is to go before the children's panel over the bullying incident last Wednesday.

[O.Sc. has childer, childir, children, off-spring, from 1375 (D.O.S.T.). The O.E. plural was normally cild, but in late O.E. the word was partly assimilated to the neuter -os stems, making cildru, -ra, which gave Mid.Eng. childre, childer (N.E.D.).]

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"Childer n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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