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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MID, adj., n. Sc. usages:

I. adj. In place-names, of the middle of three farms created by sub-dividing an old township during the Agricultural Revolution (Sc. 1963 N.E. Scotland 91). In Combs. and Phrs.: 1. mid-aged, of middle age. Obs. in Eng.; 2. mid-ben, half or part way through; 3. mid-cellar, = 8. (i) (Ork. a.1926). See Cellar; 4. mid-couples, see 11.; fig. in Sc. Law: “the documents of title by which an heir taking infeftment by virtue of a precept of sasine, establishes his right to avail himself of this precept” (Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 55), now obs.; 5. mid-feather, a light strip of material used to slip between two surfaces (Sc. 1946 Spons' Practical Builders' Pocket-Bk. 441); 6. mid-finger, the middle finger (Sh., Gall., Uls. 1962). Obs. in Eng.; 7. midgates, halfway. See Gate, n., 1.; 8. mid-house, (i) n., the small middle room in a three-roomed cottage of the but-and-ben type (Bnff. 1962). Cf. 3., 14. and 17. (i); (ii) adv., half-way; 9. mid-impediment, any event happening between two others which prevents the latter event from becoming effective (Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 644, 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 55); 10. mid-iron, a golf-iron with a medium degree of slope on the face. See Iron, n., 1.; 11. mid-kipple, -cipple, -cuppil, -kiplin, the loop, usually of cow-hide or eel-skin, which connects the hand-staff of a flail to the beater (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., Uls. 1962). See Kipple and cf. 19.; ¶12. mid-larf, a nonce ballad word, really a corruption of middle-earth s.v. Middle, adj. (1). Scott replaces it by midnight in Minstrelsy II. 37; 13. mid-pin, a wooden pin round which a ball of straw rope is wound and which secures the beginning of the rope so that the ball is eventually unwound from the centre (Sh. 1962); 14. mid-place, = 8. (i) and 17. (i) (Abd. 1962). Dim. -placie; 15. mid-ply, the under-sole of a shoe lying between the insole and the sole proper (Abd.31 1962); 16. mid-rig, -ridge, (i) the open furrow between two ridges of a ploughed field (ne.Sc., Lth., sm. and s.Sc., Uls. 1962). See Mids; (ii) the strip dividing the upper and lower wynin of a long field, ploughed crosswise. It is the fleed or end-rig common to both wynins (ne.Sc. 1962); 17. mid-room, -rum, (i) = 8. (i) and 14. (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 340; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 228; Sc. 1880 Jam.); (ii) the middle compartment in a Sh. sixern fishing boat (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1962); 18. mid-row, a kind of ale of medium strength (see quot.); 19. mid-shackle, -sheckle, = 11. (Bnff.2 c.1930); 20. mid-shot, see quot.; 21. mid-spoon, a wooden golf-club with a concave head, of medium curvature. See also middle spoon s.v. Middle, adj., 5. and Spune; 22. midstick, the central stick in the framework of a kite; 23. mid-stone, mining: a layer of stone separating two coal-seams; also, in pl., the stones comprising the layer; 24. mid superior, Sc. Law: one who holds an intermediate position of superiority in the occupancy of land between an over-superior and a vassal or series of vassals. See quots. and Superior. Hence mid-superiority; 25. midthraw, in phr. in the midthraws, in the throes, in the depths. See Thraw; 26. mid-throck, the oxen which formed the fourth pair of the twelve-oxen plough. See Throck and 29.; 27. midtime-a-day, — o' day, midday (Sh. 1962); 28. mid-water, -wattir, “deep water”, difficulties. Adv. mid-waters, midstream, halfway across the water; 29. mid yoke, the fourth pair of oxen in the twelve-oxen plough. Cf. 26.; 30. mid-yokin, a break for refreshment halfway through a yoking (Ags. 1962).1. Per. 1897 C. M. Stuart Sandy Scott 14:
He was na a laddie, but a mid-aged man and a lamiter.
2.Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web iv:
I didna learn Doric frae a buikie. I learned it frae ma bluid kin, at kistins, at waddins, at wark an at play, in the howfs an parks an glens o Deeside, Skene an Cromar. I dinna recollect ae relation, stoppin mid-ben a spikk an wheekin oot a dictionar tae see gin a wird wis richt standart Scots or nae!
4. Sc. 1758 Session Papers, Fraser v. Lord Advocate (2 Aug.) 8:
When the Mid-couple wanting is thus made up by a Conveyance from the Person to whom the Right would have belonged.
Sc. 1832 J. S. More Stair's Instit. I. clix. Note:
When an heir . . . takes infeftment by virtue of a procuratory of resignation or precept of seisin granted in favour of his predecessor or author, it is necessary to set forth, in the instrument, the mid-couples, or writings, whereby he is connected with the said procuratory or precept.
6. Edb. 1735 W. Mitchell Letter to Sir J. de Graham 18:
His Thumb, and Mid-Finger within the sleeves, which form their [puppets'] Arms.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (17 Feb.):
“Shu . . . trivl'd his airm up efter, wi' her mid finger”. “Why wi' her mid fing'r, daa?” “Did doo niver ken . . . 'at da auld folk afore dis, widna touch ony sair wi' dir fore finger?”
7. Ags. 1883 Brechin Advertiser (4 Dec.) 3:
The auld manse wis . . . aboot midgates atween the closemoo an' the kirkyaird stile.
8. (i) Abd. 1877 W. Alexander Rural Life 157:
Woven by the weaver driving his loom in the “mid-house” or other section of his dwelling.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 8:
Such houses as had only a “but and a ben”, had a “mid-hoose”, in which the milk might be kept.
(ii) Peb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Works (1815) 394:
I dare not gang so far, But I shall gae mid house and mair.
9. Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute ii. vii. § 15:
The charter which confirms a public right has effect from the date of the right confirmed . . . But if any mid impediment shall intervene between the date of the charter granted by the vassal and that of the confirmation, it hinders the confirmation from having that retrospective quality.
Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 644:
The mid-impediment of an intervening marriage, in questions of legitimation per subsequens matrimonium.
Sc. 1882 A. M. Bell Conveyancing I. 686:
The second disponee's right will create a mid-impediment to the entry of the first disponee with the seller's superior.
10. Fif. 1933 J. Ressich Thir Braw Days 84:
He gies it a skelp up till the green wi' his mid-iron.
11. n.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Mid-Cuppil. This is sometimes made of an eel's skin; at other times, of what is called a tar-leather, i.e., a strong slip of hide salted and hung.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 115:
Cappin — a piece of green hide, firmly tied to that half of the flail called the “soople”, so that the “midkipple”, another piece of hide, may connect it to the other half, the “hand-staff”.
Per. a.1843 D. M. Forrester Logiealmond (1944) 116:
One of these [market] cries would sound strange now-a-days — “mid-couples”. This was a man perambulating the market with bundles of eel-skins, for attaching the “souple” of a threshing-flail to the “hand-staff” thereof.
Uls. 1942 E. E. Evans Irish Heritage 124:
The three parts of the flail are the helve or “hand-stave”, a straight stick of any light wood such as ash or larch, the shorter and heavier swingel or beater, called in Ireland the “souple” (generally made of hazel, occasionally of holly or birch) and the flail-joint, hanging or “mid-kipple”, which may be a sheep- or goat-skin thong, a length of flax, or an eel skin.
12. Sc. 1776 Sweet William's Ghost in Child Ballads No. 77 B. v.:
Cocks are crowing a merry mid-larf, I wat the wild fule boded day.
14. Sc. 1871 C. Gibbon Lack of Gold xvi.:
Entering the door there was an apartment on each side, a “mid-place” — that is, a big cupboard.
Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 69:
His father's house contained a butt, a ben, and a mid-placie, the latter being Geordie's sleeping apartment.
16. (i) Bch. 1735 J. Arbuthnot Bch. Farmers (1811) 88:
Allowing the plough to dive gradually into the mold, as it advances to the mid-ridge.
17. (ii) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (23 April):
Dy faaider, an' Robbie took da forward aers, an' Magnie an' Aandrew sat i' da midroom.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 127:
The boat was divided into six compartments, viz., fore-head, fore-room, mid-room, oost-room, shott, hurrik or kannie.
Sh. 1950 A. Halcrow Sail Fishermen 70:
Forward of the bailing division was the mid-room. In fine weather this was used for “shooting” and hauling the lines.
18. Dmf. 1819 Blackwood's Mag. (Nov.) 173:
I was desirous to partake of either ram-jam, mid-row, or pinkie, three denominations of ale, for which the landlord was become deservedly famous.
19. Bnff. 1908 Banffshire Jnl. (28 Jan.) 6:
(Parts of flail) The hand staff and the supple of wood jointed together by the mid shackle generally made of straw.
20. w.Lth. 1956:
The shot fired to clear the top of the seam in a shale mine. The lowest holing was the yankee, the higher up the braider, the highest the mid shot.
21. Sc. 1862 Rambling Remarks on Golf 13:
In some links, several of these clubs, such as the mid-spoon, baffing-spoon, driving and niblick may be dispensed with; but in greens such as St. Andrews, Musselburgh, Prestwick, and some others, they all come into requisition more or less.
Sc. 1887 W. G. Simpson Art of Golf 22:
There are long, short, and mid spoons, so called according to the length of the spoon.
22. Ags. 1887 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 170:
Splicin' the midstick o' a laddie's kite that had been broken.
23. Fif. 1841 Trans. Highl. Soc. 303:
Mid-stones . . . Stones lying between two seams of coal, but often so thin as not to prevent the seams being reckoned and spoken of as one.
Fif. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IX. 833:
Each of these divisions is generally denominated one seam, without any regard to the midstone which lies between the different beds or leaves.
24. Edb. 1819 Edb. Ev. Courant (12 April) 1:
The mid Superiority of certain Tenements in Cable's Wynd, yielding a yearly feu-duty of £4, 18s. 2d. sterling.
Sc. 1896 W. K. Morton Manual 137:
By virtue, then, of the charter and recorded sasine, the grantee at once acquired a real right in the property or dominium utile, as a sub-feu holding of the vassal as his immediate superior, upon condition of payment of the elusory feu-duty if asked, and relieving the granter of the duties payable by him as vassal to his own superior, thus creating an intermediate estate in land, or mid-superiority, of no value.
Sc. 1908 J. Craigie Conveyancing 133:
A vassal . . . can object to the interjection of a mid-superiority between the superiority and the property.
Sc. 1933 Encycl. Laws Scot. XIV. 273:
As every feudal proprietor may sub-feu his lands, an indefinite number of feudal estates may be created in any one parcel of land. Superiors lower in the feudal series are, in contrast with the over-superiors, called mid-superiors or subaltern superiors, and their estates are called mid-superiorities.
25. Lnk. 1939 Border Mag. (Aug.) 116:
Hech! but it does a body guid, I' the midthraws o' winter, To hae the simmer in his bluid.
26. Abd. c.1780 J. Pratt Buchan (1858) 18:
In a ten oxen plough, the mid throcks were wanting.
Bnff. 1902 J. Grant Agric. Bnffsh. 12:
The fourth pair were termed mid throck on land and mid throck in fur.
27. Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Tales 64, 247:
Sharg, sharg, shargin', eenin, mornin', and midtime o' day . . . Auld an' young maun noo hae it [tea], laek shute-watter, mornin', e'enin', an' midtime-a-day.
28. Sc. 1825 Coble o Cargill in Child Ballads No. 242 vi.:
But before that he was mid-waters, The weary coble began to fill.
Cld. 1880 Jam.:
Applied to a person who is always in difficulties or trouble. “I ne'er saw him better, he's aye in mid-wattir”.
29. ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 179:
On large farms the plough was drawn by twelve oxen, and was called a “twal ousen plew”. Counting from the pair next the plough, the name of each pair was: — “Fit yoke, Hin frock, Fore frock, Mid yoke, Steer-draught o' laan, Wyners.”
30. Ags. 1959 People's Jnl. (9 May):
We would stop at mid-yokin' for a rest and a piece.

II. n. 1. The middle, the midst. Obs. exc. dial. in Eng. Comb. mid-a-toon, the middle of the village. Deriv. midders, = I. 30. above (Ags. 1962).Abd. 1881 J. W. Ritchie Geordie Tough's Squeel 11:
Oor writin' syne wis seen by John, The elder fae the mid-a-toon.
Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood xi.:
And forbye you were on the top of a tree, and it was in the mid of the night.

2. A lamb of middle quality or growth (Cai. 1962).Sth. 1840 Brit. Husbandry (Burke) III. 80:
The wedder lambs are divided into three sorts called tups, mids, and paleys.
Sc. 1843 Chambers's Jnl. (18 Nov.) 351:
The top lambs consigned to one gated fold, the mids to a second, and the paulies or smallest to a third.

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"Mid adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



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