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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GAIRDENER, n. Gen.Sc. form of Eng. gardener. Also gairdner; gairner (Ayr. 1826 Galt Lairds vii.; Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; ‡Cai.7, Abd.27, Slg.3, Uls.4 1952). See P.L.D. § 51 (2). [′ger(d)nər]Ayr. c.1827 Galt Howdie, etc. (1923) 3:
He was the head gairdner to the Laird of Rigs.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 81:
The gairdner crooks his weary back A' day in the pitaty-track.
Abd. 1917 D. G. Mitchell Clachan Kirk 125:
Wumman, quo' Jesus, What gars ye sab sae? . . . She, takin Him to be the gairdener, said . . .
Ags. 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden xii.:
The Smith's awin' the Gairner some bawbees.
Rxb. 1923 Kelso Chron. (6 April) 4:
Peter Purres is the gairdener there.
m.Sc. 1928 “O. Douglas” Pink Sugar x.:
Ay, McCandlish has gotten his place rale doss. Nae credit to him — wi' twae gairdeners.

Comb.: ga(i)rdener's ga(i)rtens, -garters, the ribbon-grass, Phalaris arundinacea picta (Ags. 1848 W. Gardiner Flora Frfsh. 194, -garters; Ayr. 1863–5 Trans. Highl. and Agric. Soc. 320; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., gairdener's gairtens). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial.Edb. 1823 M. & M. Corbett Petticoat Tales I. 240:
Would you like some slips of apple ringy . . . or gardener's garters, or bachelor's buttons?
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xiv.:
Great bunches of . . . gardeners' gartens, peony roses, gillyflower, and southernwood, were stuck in their buttonholes.
Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 287:
I was standing by the gairner's gartens there, listening to the cackle of the lasses coming home from the turnip-thinning.
Sc. 1909 Colville 121:
The old-fashioned gardens, with their . . . clumps of bachelor's buttons, gardener's gairtens.

[O.Sc. gairdnair, 1560, gairner, 1592.]

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"Gairdener n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2022 <>



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