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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GAUD, n.2, v.2 Also ga(a)d, gawd; †gade. [g:d, gɑ(:)d]

I. n. †1. (1) A bar of iron, esp. one used in forging (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.). Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.T.Misc. 9:
Bid iceshogles hammer red gauds on the studdy, And fair simmer mornings nae mair appear ruddy.
Sc. a.1792 Tam Lin in Child Ballads No. 39 a. xxxiii.:
Again they'll turn me in your arms To a red het gaud of airn.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xxx.:
“De'il be in me but I put this het gad down her throat,” cried he in an ecstasy of wrath, snatching a bar from the forge.
Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize I. v.:
I never hear my ain bellows snoring at a gaud o' iron in the fire.
Gall. 1832 J. Denniston Craignilder xv.:
Each brother contributed a gad, that is, a bar of iron, to complete the work [of making a cannon].
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes I. xxi.:
Then he pulled out the red-hot gad or iron bar . . . and . . . put it on his anvil.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags lii.:
Sandy, after levelling a file [of soldiers] with his gaud of iron, was overpowered.
sm.Sc. 1979 Alan Temperley Tales of Galloway (1986) 223:
The leading inhabitants of Kirkcudbright each furnished the blacksmith with a gaud (bar) of iron, for they were anxious to rid themselves of the Douglases' tyranny, and wished to avenge the bloody murder of the Tutor of Bombie.

(2) The iron bar in a jail (see 1946 quot.). Hist.Kcd. 1699 in J. Anderson Black Bk. Kcd. (1843) 90:
He and his father freed their feet from the iron gade.
Sc. 1829 Note to Scott Guy M. 387:
When a man received sentence of death, he was put upon “the Gad,” as it was called, — that is, secured to the bar or iron.
Abd. 1946 Abd. Ev. Express (17 Aug.):
The gad, a round bar of iron sunk into one wall, runs about ten feet across the cell, six inches from the floor. A prisoner's ankles were clamped in shackles attached to a heavy chain four feet long, fixed, in turn, to an iron ring encircling the gad.

2. A spear. Arch.Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xiv.:
I took a young Southern fellow out of saddle with my lance, and cast him, it might be, a gad's length from his nag.

3. (1) A goad, a pointed rod or stick for driving cattle, etc. (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, gawd; ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 180; Bnff.5 1926). Since early 17th cent. only dial. in Eng.Sc. c.1715 Jacobite Minstr. (1829) 132:
I'll leave some heirship to my kin . . . A thraw-crook, and a broken gaud.
Abd. 1755 R. Forbes Shop Bill vii.:
The porter, car-man, or servant lad, That ca's the beast wi' fup or gad.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Young Jockey i.:
Fu' blythe he whistled at the gaud.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 120:
Yet Fortune's sic a thrawart jad, Nae man can drive her wi' a gaud.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man I. iv.:
Ye'll draw an Englishman by the gab easier than drive him wi' an airn gaud.
Kcd. 1894 J. Kerr Reminisc. iii. 6:
For nae rein, gaad, or whip, out o' that would they creep.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. vii.:
The loon 'at wis alang wi' 'im — ca'in' the owsen wi' the gaud, ye ken.
Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 83:
A wooden gaud, — Whittled, an' dinkit out in Brummagem.

Phr.: †to come out afore the gawd, to come well forward so as to be seen.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 124:
Then says to Jean, come out afore the gawd, An' lat fouk see gin ye be what ye're ca'd.

Combs. and deriv.: †(a) gad-boy, the boy who accompanied the ploughman to goad and direct the team of oxen or horses; (b) gaud(s)man, see Gaudsman; (c) gaadster, = (a); †(d) gawdwand, a goad (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis).(a) Peb. 1836 J. Affleck Poet. Wks. xiii.:
The greatly more arduous employment of “gad-boy” in the service of a neighbouring farmer.
(c) Bnff. c.1800 Sc. N. & Q. (1900) 184:
Both the “gaadster” and the ploughman whistled merrily as they went along.

‡(2) The man or boy who uses the gaud, the Gaudsman. Arch.Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (15 Jan.):
Sandy, the helpender, or “gaud” recovers some of his juvenile briskness.

4. A slat of wood, about nine feet long, used to direct the corn into a suitable position for the sweep of the reaper's scythe (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.; Abd.8 1917; Bnff.4 1927), or, as now, into the teeth of the binder (Abd. 1954).Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 116:
Men, women, and boys were all required, and hence the summer holidays at the schools were called “the hairst play.” Boys were useful for odd jobs, such as holding the “gaud.”

5. Of slate-pencil: a stick (Abd.13 1916, a gaud o' skyllie).

6. A fishing-rod (Peb. 1954). Also in n.Eng. dial.Peb. 1793 R. Brown Carlop Green (1817) 117:
Fishes wi' gaud and net, but whiles, Gets, fu', himsel' weell douket.
Lnk. 1808 W. Watson Poems 89:
Wha twa three greedy south'ron louns Wi's fishin' gaud he endet.
s.Sc. 1835 Wilson's Tales of Borders I. 149:
Will ye get your gad and your creel, and we'll awa see what sort o' sport there is.
Clc. 1922 G. Blair Haunted Dominie 37:
O set me back Glenshirrup way, And gie's the gawd and creel; Or let me hear, ayont Glenquay, The birlin' o' the reel.
Sc. 1939 Scotsman (25 Feb.) 17:
In the middle of last century eighteen to twenty feet was no unusual length for a [salmon] rod, or gad as it was then called.

Comb. gadstring, a line for an angling-rod. Wgt. 1762 Session Papers, Cutlar v. M'Clellan (10 Jan.) 18:
He remembers the above John Carsan at Weeding the Wood of Garchrew, that he bought from him some Gadstrings, for which he paid a Shilling.

7. A wedge used in quarrying.Sc. 1837 Bk. of Trades 95:
Two wedges of steel — sometimes called gads, driven into crevices, or small openings in the rock.

8. A gaff. Phs. a misunderstanding. m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 47:
I had nae gad, sae doun my wand I flang and pinned him [fish] on the sand.

II. v. To drive with a gaud; found only as ppl.adj. in comb. gadding pole, a goad for driving cattle (Bnff.4 1927).Lnk. 1816 G. Muir Cld. Minstrelsy 11:
Prick't his horse alang wi' gadding pole.

[O.Sc. has gad, gadde, n., = 1. (1) above, from early 15th cent., gaud, id., 1540; = 1. (2), 1621 (the lang gadde), a goad, 1662, gadding staff, 1578; Norw. dial. gadd, prick, sting, O.N. gaddr, goad, spike. The form gade is from O.Sc. gade, gaid, = n. 1. above, from c.1500, O.E. gād; cf. Geddok.]

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"Gaud n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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