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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

MIDS, n., v. Also midds, midse, midz(e). [mɪdz]

I. n. 1. The middle, centre, midst (ne.Sc., w.Lth., Ayr., Rxb. 1962). Also fig. Obs. in Eng. Freq. in phrs. in the mids, mang —, in the middle, in the midst, in the act. Combs. †mids-day, mid-day, noon (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 340); †midsman, a middleman, intermediary, go-between.Abd. 1701 Aberdour Records (Cramond 1896) 47:
The Session do appoint a four nooked big stool to be made of an ell high to stand in the mids of the floor.
Sc. 1702 Queries to Presbyterians 8:
A Priest is one Impower'd by God, to stand as a Mids-Man between God and the People.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 12:
A burning coal with the hett tangs was ta'en Frae out the ingle mids, well brunt an' clean.
Sc. 1776 Lord Ingram & Chiel Wyet in Child Ballads No. 66 C. xxiii.:
A loud laughter gae Lord Wayets Mang the mids o his men.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 29:
Gif hell has ony mids, this is the spot.
Slk. 1828 Blackwood's Mag. (June) 825:
He hardly wan by the mids, where he stuck up to the waist in mire.
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes xxix.:
I'm i' the mids o' cleanin the shune.
Ags. 1880 J. E. Watt Poet. Sk. 80:
Aye he wad growl i' the mids o' the road.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 25:
Hoosever, in the mids o' our care, wha should come doitin' roon a corner but Doctor Duguid himsel'?
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 68:
Tak' a vizy o' ma knockie here. It stoppit in the mids o' the day.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 211:
I' the mids o' Lammas fair.

Phr. in the mids o the meantime, meanwhile, just now, at present (Abd. 1962).Abd. 1872 J. Michie Deeside Tales 248:
It's my thoucht that it's nae his will that ony o' his creatures shu'd gang afore him i' the mids o' the meantime.
Abd. 1882 G. Macdonald Castle Warlock xlix.:
I' the mids o' the meantime I'm gaein aff yer property the nearest gait.

2. An average, a mean; a middle course, a compromise (ne.Sc. 1962). Freq. in phr. a guid mids.Sc. 1703 J. Clark New Year's Gift 13:
Keep a good mids in all your affairs swaying to no extream.
Sc. 1729 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) III. 426:
The very concession and midse, yielded to for peace last Assembly.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 340:
There's a gude mids in a' things.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 114:
To strike a mids, to take the average, to come to an agreement.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 67:
There's a midse i' the sea, ye ken, an' it is not wisse-like to gae sic len'ths.
Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chron. (4 March) 2:
“There's a gude midz”, as our grandmothers were fond of saying.
Bch. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 7:
But I winna sup ower muckle, for in a'thing there's a mids.

Hence midsman, an arbiter, a third party appointed to settle a dispute.Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd MS. 135:
You'll be the midsman, you'll make up the peace.

3. A method, a means.Sc. 1710 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1842) I. 145:
But this is the midse that is fallen upon at present to prevent rents.

4. In ploughing: the dividing or central furrow between two ridges (ne.Sc. 1962).Bch. 1735 J. Arbuthnot Bch. Farmers (1811) 88:
This will make the mids narrow.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 114:
To tack oot the mids, is to draw the last furrow.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 242:
The “mids”, or finishing furrow, is critical.
Abd. 1960 Huntly Express (5 Aug.):
After an indifferent feering, he settled down to the ploughing of a memorable rig; every furrow of which was as straight as a ribbon and finally achieved a perfect mids.

II. v. To come to an agreement (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 114); ¶to cohere.Abd. 1925 R. L. Cassie Gangrel Muse 44:
Bit puckles mair [atoms] tae mids are laith, Sae roon they roll.

[O.Sc. myddis, the middle, 1375, middes, a means, 16th c., v. to compromise, 1693, Mid.Eng. middes, < in middes, in the midst.]

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"Mids n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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