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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

COD, Codd, Coad, Kod, n.1 Child's Ballads (1904) No. 66 C. xxvii. gives the form coad. [kɔd Sc., but m.Sc. + kod]

1. A pillow, “a cushion” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kod), as in preen cod, see Preen. Gen.Sc. Also dim. coddie (Rs. 1990).Sc. 1704 Account Bk. Sir J. Foulis (S.H.S. 1894) 350:
June 22: to Mrs Purves ane account ffor sheits, servits . . . tyken bedd and boulster and codds.
Fif. 1897 “S. Tytler” Witch-Wife iii.:
She lay stretched on high-piled mattresses and down “cods.”
Edb. 1999:
Ah didnae ken whit a coddie wis until Ah went tae Aiberdeen.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables R. Cummell iv.:
No sooner was my heid upon the codd than I fell soond asleep.

2. “A piece of wood fixed to an axle to act as a pillow or bearing for a cart, etc.” (Ork. 1929 Marw., kod; Bwk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 45: Fif., Lth., Bwk., Wgt., Rxb. 1975); a metal base plate or bearing in a machine on which it revolves or pivots.Gsw. 1770 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1912) 336:
Makeing brass cods to the cran at Broomelaw.

3. An old dance in which a pillow was used. The same as Bab at the Bowster, q.v.Lnk. 1912–19 Little Clyde Hurry in Rymour Club Misc. II. 65:
Noo day was approachin', which called for dispersin', To mak' a braw finish they a' danced the Cod.
Kcb. 1815 J. Gerrond Works 95:
Jean liked sae well the glowing smack, Fast up with him she hasted To dance the Cod.

4. In pl.: “a sort of cushion, which the common people in many parts of the country use in riding, in lieu of a saddle or pillion” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2).Ags. 1818 in Edb. Mag. and Lit. Misc. (Sept.) 235–236:
It is most probable that his horse has neither saddle nor bridle. In lieu of the first he has a kind of pannel, the covering of which is sacking cloth and stuffed with straw. Here this is termed cods, in other parts . . . sunks.

5. Combs.: †(1) cod-crune, -crooning, “a curtain lecture, . . . otherwise called a bowster-lecture” (Fif. 1825 Jam.2, -crune; Slk. Ib., -crooning); (2) cod-hule, -huil, “a pillow-slip” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2, -hule; 1923 Watson W.-B., -huil); (3) cod-poke, id.; (4) cod-sack, a pillow-case. Cf. (3); (5) codware, -war, id. Cod-war is given by Fif.1 from an Ags. private valuation (1738).(3) Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin xxi.:
I was seldom able to steer my head frae the cod-poke.
(4) Rnf. 1745 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) C. 3:
A Codsack of sax ell of Tweill.
(5) Per. 1898 E.D.D.:
“How much shall I give you?” . . . “Oh, fill the codware.”
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin xxvii.:
Nicht an' day was she thrang at the needle — makin' her tyken, blankets, sheets, codwares.

[O.Sc. cod, codd, coad, a cushion, a pillow, first date c.1420 (D.O.S.T.); n.Mid.Eng. cod, a.1400–1450, kode, 1402, O.N. koddi, a pillow (Zoëga). Codware, -war is also found in O.Sc. from 1488. Of the same origin as Cod,n.2 and v. ]

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"Cod n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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