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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAD, n.1, v.1 [pɑd, pǫd]

I. n. 1. A footpath, a narrow, unsurfaced track or way (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Gall. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 34; wm. and s.Sc., Uls. 1965), sometimes one traversing a slope. Cf. Peth, n.Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 67:
Ilk an must maund on his awn Pad.
Lnk. 1862 D. Wingate Poems 58:
Owre the stoory pad they spankit.
Lnk. 1895 W. Stewart Lilts 87:
Wi' ilka fairlie on the pad She [mare] has a faucht.
Uls. 1900 T. Given Poems 141:
Alang the pad he pip't a tune.
wm.Sc. 1931 Scots. Mag. (Sept.) 418:
She could work her town sisters blind and deaf and dumb, and walk six miles out ower a pad to a dance.
Ayr. 1950 D. Mackie Doon the Burn 16:
When doon the pad I gang An' through the glen.
Dmb. 1957:
There's a pad that the men-folk use.
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 31:
alang the stoorie pad
the lane sodger lad.
Arg. 1992:
There's a sheep-pad goin up that kinna steep bit.
Fif. 1998 Tom Hubbard Isolde's Luve-Daith 4:
As mony year it seemed as we follaed thon fankle
O pit-mirk pads whaur I wis feart ti hyter
Ower the skelets o men an aiblins o weemen an weans:

2. A route over a natural obstacle, a pass through hills, etc. Found in place-names, esp. Neilston Pad, Renfrewshire.Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize II. xxii.:
As we were toiling through the deep heather on the eastern skirts of the Mearnsmoor, a mist hovered all the morning over the pad of Neilston.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 104:
We swore by sand and clay, and by Neilston pad sae hie.
m.Sc. 1930 J. Buchan Castle Gay iv.:
The two riders dismounted, and walked the road which wound from one grassy howe to another till they reached the low saddle called the Pad o' the Slack.

II. v. 1. intr. and absol., or tr. with cognate obj.: (1) to travel on foot, to trot along steadily and purposefully (Sc. 1818 Sawers; n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. Phrs. (i) to pad it, her, etc., to proceed on one's own legs rather than by any form of transport, to foot it, to use Shanks's mare; (ii) to pad on, to move around busying oneself at a task (Abd.7 1925, Abd.30 1961), to get a move on; (iii) to pad the road(s), street(s), to trudge around, usu. looking for work.Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 37:
Fareweel, ye wordiest pair o shoon; On you I've paddit late an' sune.
Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 118:
Once a robber was inform'd That such a man designed to pad, At a set time upon a road. Gall. 1904 Crockett Raiderland 21: Only my grandmother padding softly about in her list slippers (or hoshens), baking farles of cake on the “girdle”.
Knr. 1895 H. Haliburton Dunbar 38:
Mockery rides with hand on rein; While merit pads it on the plain.
Ags. 1932 Our Meigle Book 171:
A waggish local ploughman accosted him in broad Angus dialect, “Are ye paddin' her? (are you walking?)”.
(iii) Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 108:
But since, wi' foolish thoughtless geats, I've brought mysel' to ruin's gates, I'll pad the road mysel'.
Gsw. 1882 Evening News (17 May) 4:
Many an honest man . . . is forced to . . . “pad the road” in search of work.
Abd. 1891 J. Leatham Ancient Hind 8:
Ye can get some ither body's job, an' he can tak your place at paddin' the streets.
ne.Sc. 1914 G. Greig Folk-Song cxxxviii.:
The harvest hands wi' bundles big They now must pad the road.

(2) To depart, take oneself off, e.g. after one's dismissal, gen. with implication of haste.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxvii.:
My faither advised me to pad off, and strike a bargain at ance.
Abd.7 1925:
We have the signal of dismissal from an interview, “Ye can pad noo”, i.e. go on your way.
ne.Sc. 1930 Bothy Songs (Ord) 231:
At the Barnyards o' Beneucbies he has lang been a grieve, But come May the twenty-saxt he has to pad, I believe.

2. tr. (1) In phr. to pad ane aff, to send someone a journey on foot; to dispatch one on an errand.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin v.:
It was determined . . . that I sid be padded aff to the schule to begin a coorse o' mental discipline.
Abd. 1898 J. Hardie Sprays 119:
Saxty years syne an' less, laddies o' ten were paddit aff to the herdin' at the Whitsunday term.

(2) To tread or beat down (earth, snow, etc.), to form a path by repeated treading (Sh., Abd. 1965). Ppl.adj. padded. -it, trampled, oft-trodden (Id.), and freq. form padder(e)d, id. (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict.; Lth. 1825 Jam.; Uls.2 1929).Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 87:
Some . . . on the paddered green Frae doon to doon, shoot forth the penny-stane.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 370:
A road through snow is padderd, when it has been often trod.
Kcb. 1901 R. D. Trotter Gall. Gossip 386:
There wus nae paddit track bye Barskeoch, an he ken't they could easily track him in the clean snaw.

[As a n., orig. a cant word in 16th c. Eng. from L.Ger. or Du. pad, a path; still strictly a cant term in 1720 quot. For the v. cf. L.Ger. padden, to tread a path.]

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"Pad n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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