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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LADDIE, n. Also laddy, lauddie, laudie; loddy (em.Sc. 1920 J. Black Airtin Hame 25); luddie (Fif. 1952 B. Holman Diamond Panes 115); lathie (Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister iii., Ags. 1960); lawthie (Ags. 1895 Caledonia I. 433); and, with alternative dim. endings, laddock(ie), laddikie. A dim. form of Lad, q.v., in various usages. [′lɑ(:)di, ′lǫ(:)dɪ, ‡Ags. + lǫ:ðe]

1. As in Eng., a boy, a youth, gen. in his earlier years, and usu. referring to one of any age from babyhood to the end of his schooldays; sometimes a male infant, a baby son; a chap, fellow. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc., usu. with familiar or affectionate force. Deriv. ¶laddier, one who is fond of boys.s.Sc. 1768 Letters Mrs Cockburn (1900) 74:
I am grown a laddier. I hate any man that's above sixteen.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 71:
I trou, my mettl'd Louden lathie, Auld farran birky I maun ca' thee.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 136:
Our Jock wha wis a little gabby gaun laddock, cry'd ay, mither mither.
Ayr. 1789 Burns To Dr Blacklock vi.:
I hae a wife and twa wee laddies.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 50:
When I was a laddie langsyne at the schule.
Bnff. 1872 W. Philip It 'ill a' come Richt 29:
We've been able to . . . get eddycation for the lathie.
Ags. 1890 A. Lowson John Guidfollow 57:
A gey guid-lookin' bit laddikie aboot saxteen years auld, dressed like a common ghillie.
Kcd. 1900 W. Gairdner Glengoyne I. 19:
You were a bit royt loon and fond o' tricks like the lave o' the lathies.
s.Sc. 1926 H. M'Diarmid Penny Wheep 37:
And I've a bonnie laddie noo And breists for him to sook.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 25:
Ye'll shuin be lichtlied by thir hornie laudies;
ye'll greit yir lane doun a toom an clartie close,
m.Sc. 1998 Ian Cameron The Jimmy Shand Story 6:
'Aye, lauddie, it's no a bad wee boat, that it's no,' Davie replied, but when Jimmy handed the yacht to him he gave it back saying, 'Na, you keep it lauddie.'

Freq. attrib. as in laddie-bairn, a male child, laddie-band, laddie-days, laddie-herd, laddie-lass, a tomboy, laddie-loon, a youth, laddie wean, laddie-years; deriv. laddiehood, and reduplic. comb. laddie-paddie, boyish, puerile.Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xvii.:
Every laddie wean in the parish attended them to the field.
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 196:
Ah! weel I mind his laddie days.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 34:
Laddiehood life's joyful dawnin'.
Ags. 1886 Arbroath Guide (26 June):
Nae far awa' a laddie loon Was waitin' on her.
Ags. 1886 Brechin Advertiser (2 Nov.):
Naething wid sair 'im but to stop at Forfar an' pay a veesit till an auld laddie-paddie acquantance o' his.
Per. 1888 R. Ford Glentoddy 24:
A wife wi' a widden leg, an hauf a dizzen o' laddie bairns.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 92:
An' oor wee laddie-herd — he rins Skeer nakit.
Per. 1893 Harp Per. (Ford) 352:
I love to be thus backward cast To laddiehood in heart.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi.:
Feech! I wudna be dodled wi' them; juist a lot o' laddie-paddie buff.
e.Lth. 1896 J. Lumsden Battle Dunbar 183:
And of a valiant laddie-band I chosen was the King to be.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 29:
A mither canna thole the seein' Laddie years like lichtnin' fleein'.
Fif. 1938 St Andrews Cit. (29 Jan.) 3:
I spent my laddie days in Ayr.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 152:
"And are you no' a lady?"
She pursed her tantalising mouth. "They ca' me a laddie-lass," she said simply, ...

2. In the riding festivities of Kelso: the leading male rider who acts as standard-bearer. Cf. Lad, n., 8.Rxb. 1937 Scotsman (19 July):
The first “Kelsae Laddie,” was accorded a rousing reception as he rode on horseback at the head of the procession waving the beautiful burgh standard.
Rxb. 1956 Scotsman (7 April) 6:
Installed this year's Kelsae Laddie at a ceremony in the Town Square last night. The new Laddie is a baker at Morebattle.

3. A male sweetheart, a boy-friend. See Lad, n.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 81:
O my bonny, bonny Highland Laddie, My handsome charming Highland Laddie.
Ayr. a.1796 Burns There was a Bonie Lass i.:
There was a bonie lass, and a bonie, bonie lass, And she loed her bonie laddie dear.
Abd. 1809 J. Skinner Amusements 89:
Saw ye e'er a lawland lassie Happy in her lawland laddie?

4. Any contrivance used as a substitute for a young assistant by a person working single-handed: e.g. a bar of wood used by carters to tighten the bang-chain (see Bang, n.3) in securing a load (Per. 1960); a curved piece of wood fitted with hooks and suspended from a rope to hold the mouths of sacks open while being filled and to help to raise them, used by millers, etc. (e.Lth. 1954).

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"Laddie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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