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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LAID, n., v. Also lade, †laed, led, †lead (Gsw. 1720 Records Trades Ho. (Lumsden 1934) 60); †leid (Rxb. 1708 Stitchill Court Bk. (S.H.S.) 162; Abd. 1825 Jam.); and corrupt forms labe, lave (Lnk. (Leadhills) 1825 Jam.). Dims. leadie (Mry. 1889 T. L. Mason Rafford 52), leady (Mry. c.1850 Lays and Legends (Douglas) 27). Gen.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. load. See P.L.D. § 32. [led]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., lit. and fig. (I.Sc., Fif., Lth., Bwk., Ayr., Rxb. 1960). Sometimes used as collective pl. Phr. a laid abeen a birn, an extra weight added to an already heavy load, the last straw, too much of a good thing (Abd., Ags. 1960). See Birn, n.1 For half-lade, see Half, II. 1. (13).Sc. 1706 Sc. Antiquary XII. 100:
This 'il be a Laed aboon a Burden, that will gar monny a honest Man's back crack.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 107:
Ye Gods! What Laids ye lay on feckless Man!
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 86:
Your claith an' waith will never tell wi' me, Tho' ye a thousand led thereof cud gie.
Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter 55–6:
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure, The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Confessions 320:
He had ten horse-laids afore him o' Flanders lace, an' Hollin lawn.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan III. ii.:
What a lade is lifted frae my heart.
Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.:
A led of corn, hay, or peats: a load for a pony.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 24:
When one boy or girl made a present of “sweeties,” lozenges, or such like, to another, if only one or two were given, the following words were repeated: — Ane's nane, Twa's some, Three's a birn, Four's a horse laid.

2. Specif.: a measure of weight varying in amount according to district and commodity (see quots.), e.g. of meal: = 2 bolls, “the quantity sufficient to load a horse” (Sc. 1808 Jam.), = 2 bolls of 16 pecks, with one thrown in (Peb. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 1125), = 20 stone tron or 25 imperial (Dmf. Ib.), = 260 lbs. (Lth. Ib.), = 16 stone (Ags., Per., Lnk., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf. 1960, obsol.).Lnk. 1710 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 93:
A load or tuo bolls of victual.
Lnk. 1769 R. Frame Interest Lnk. 73:
In the Country markets, the meal is weighed by the load consisting of Thirty-three pecks Lanark weight.
Fif. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 542:
The loads in the above computation contain 27 stone Dutch weight each, which is one third more than the sale load, or load sold to the country. The former is known by the name of the collier's load.
Ags. 1846 G. Macfarlane Rhymes 79:
Aft wi' a lead I've fleetly gane, Wi' weel raised back.
Gall. c.1870 Bards Gall. (Harper 1889) 150:
'Twad be for twa-three lade o' meal, To gie the puir.
Abd. 1877 W. Alexander Rural Life 38:
When corn or meal had to be taken to or from the mill . . . a sack or “lade” was put across each horse's back.
Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 157:
A laid o' coals or a pair o' buits for some puir cratur.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 246:
A led of peats was what one horse could carry; three or four leds were equal to a small, and about five equal to a large cart-load.

3. Fig. Of liquor: as much as one can hold at a sitting, gen. used jocularly (s.Sc. 1960).Sc. 1824 R. K. Douglas Poems 112:
I hae brewed a lade o' yill.
s.Sc. 1917:
He has a heavy (richt) laid — he is very drunk.
Peb. 1953:
He has a greetin (lauchin) laid = he has enough drink in him as to be at the weeping (laughing) stage.

4. Combs.: (1) laid-barra, a barrow without sides with a right-angled end, used for carrying sacks (Kcb., Dmf. 1960); (2) lade-berry (Ork. 1929 Marw.), led-berry (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), lid- (Ork.), a jetty or flat ledge of rock along which a boat can moor to be loaded or unloaded. See Lodberry; (3) laidman, lade-, a carter, esp. a miller's assistant who collected and delivered corn and meal for those using the mill (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (4) laid saddle, a wooden pack-saddle. Also in n.Eng. dial.; (5) laid-tree, the centre rail of a frame laid on a corn- or hay-cart to enable it to take a heavier load (Slk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 177; Sc. 1851 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 357; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).(3) Bwk. 1798 R. Romanes Lauder (1903) 129:
For every five Teviotdale Bolls, a heaped dishful of meal to the laidman.
Hdg. 1848 A. Somerville Autobiog. 44:
The miller sent his horses and cart and “lademan” for the oats.
Lnk. 1880 W. Grossart Shotts 106:
The conductor of a pack horse was called a lademan.
e.Lth. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-head 245:
I filled the arduous post of a lademan, or miller's carter, at a grinding mill on the Tyne.
(4) Sc. 1720 J. Kelly Proverbs 77:
Cadgers has ay mind of load Sadles. Spoken when People bring in, by Head and Shoulders, a Discourse of these things they are affected with, and used to.
Sc. 1726 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 175:
The pannel of an auld led-saddle.
(5) e.Lth. 1806 Foord Acct. Bk. MS. 2: 
To mending a long Cart with tuo earbroads and 14 side sheths and 2 shilvens and a loadtree.
Bwk. 1880 Joiner's Acct. Bk. MS.
To Repairing a long cart with a New Bottom, a Laid tree, etc.

II. v. Pa.t.: strong lade; weak laidit; pa.p.: strong †ladden, lade; weak laidit, laded; vbl.n. laidin, laden, -in, a load, as of peats, straw, potatoes, etc. (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) L.19). As in Eng., lit. and fig. (I.Sc., Fif., Lth., Ayr., Rxb. 1960).Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 150:
Our Mill Knaves that lift the Laiding.
Sc. 1745 S.C. Misc. (1841) 366:
If I were as well ladden of money as other people, I should defy them.
Kcd. 1768 in A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 5:
May thrist thy thrapple never gizzen! But bottled ale in mony a dozen Aye lade thy gantry!
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 123:
Speak, was I made to dree the laidin Of Gallic chairman heavy treadin?
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 59:
They . . . come hame like tir'd pounies laded.
Dmf. 1820 J. Johnstone Poems 129:
The fates hae laid on me sic lading, To love, without hopes of my Jean.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 35:
He lade me far aboon my pow'r, Wi' stanes, coals, divets, corn, an' flour.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xiii.:
The lading, and so on, of the brig.
m.Lth. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller 134:
A' lade wi' the profits o' vice yestreen.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 398:
It micht hurt his back to lade him sair.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 14:
Sweeter sweets than lade the gale.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 96:
They watched the carts lade up ance mair.
Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 27:
When he gangs wi' his cairtie laidit wi' strae!
m.Sc. 1947 Scots Mag. (April) 8:
A gaed tae gie the herd a hand to laid the sheep on tae the lorry.

[O.Sc. lade, a load, 1375, as a specif. measure, 1482, layd man, 1375, lade sadil, 1398.]

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"Laid n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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