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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FEED, n., v. Sc. usages. The irreg. pa.t. †fode is found (Abd. 1825 Jam.); also pa.p. feeded (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 360).

I. n. In comb.: feed-dish, the wooden measure for horses' corn (Arg.3. Kcb.10 1951).

II. v. 1. To pasture (flocks). Obs. in Eng.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. ii.:
The Lads they're feeding far beyont the Height.
Sc. 1757 J. Home Douglas II. i.:
My name is Norval; on the Grampian hills My father feeds his flocks.

2. tr. and intr.: To fatten (of animals). Gen.Sc. and common in Eng. dial. Ppl.adjs. feeding, fed. Cf. Feeder, 1.Lth. 1829 G. Robertson Recoll. 441:
The farrow, or yell cows, being reckoned among the feeding stock.
Knr. 1887 “H. Haliburton” Puir Auld Scot. 12:
Straw was then carried to the cows, turnips to the fat cattle — the feds as they were briefly called.
Bwk. 1952 Scotsman (15 March):
Annual Special Sale for Feeding and Breeding Sheep, all Classes of Store Cattle . . . 150 Feeding Hoggs . . . 50 Feeding Cattle.

3. Of weather or storms, esp. snow storms: to grow in intensity, to add to what has gone before (ne.Sc., Per., Fif., Arg., Gall. 1950). Gen. in vbl.n. and ppl.adj. feeding.Sc. 1815 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) IV. 19:
The weather here seems setting in for a feeding storm as we call it when the snow lies so long.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 202:
Feeding o' frost. A slight thaw, amid frosty weather; after thaws of this kind, the frost commonly becomes more severe than ever; hence they are said to feed the frost.
Ags. 1873 D. M. Ogilvy Poems 215:
She woke ae morn surprised to find The snaw sae deep around — a feedin' storm!
Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 11:
The win' began to rise, and they were sure noo that they were in for a feedin' storm.
Abd. 1950 Huntly Express (24 Nov.):
On Thursday of last week it wis a feedin' day and snow fell all day.
Gall. 1951:
A feedin o snaw is snow that lies long at dyke-backs and encourages another fall of snow.

[O.Sc. feeding-storm, id., 1641.]

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"Feed n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2023 <>



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