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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.

PUND, n.1 Also pun; and in sense 2. also, from the St. Eng. form, poond (Bnff. 1871 Banffshire Jnl. (19 Dec.); Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 15), poon (Sc. 1898 L. Walford Leddy Marget viii.); poun (Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Yonderton xxii., 1891 Trans. Bch. Field Club II. 13); powan (Abd. 1900 Weekly Free Press (6 Oct.)), pow(e)n (Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert vii.; Bnff. 1959 Banffshire Advert. (5 Feb.)), powin (Abd. 1926 Trans. Bch. Field Club XIII. 30). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. pound. [In sense 1. and in unaccented position also in sense 2. pʌn(d); in sense 2. ′pʌun(d), ′pʌuɪm]

1. As in Eng., a unit of weight.

Sc. form of Eng. pound.m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 14:
If it's no the peanut butter thit's coastin mair, it's the meat's noo 69 cents a pund instid ae 49; ...
Edb. 2003:
Twa pund o sugar.

Sc. usages:

specif. in Sc. a measure having a double value according to whether the standard was Troy or Dutch, used gen. for meal, meat, metal, or Tron, for butter, cheese, wool, and some other home-produced commodities. The Troy pound according to the Lanark standard stone was 7656.25 grains; the Tron varied in various localities and freq. according to the commodity between 21 and 28 ounce avoirdupois. Obs. since 1824 when Imperial measures became standard. The pl., esp. after a numeral, is pund, as in colloq. Eng. Dim. pundie, a variety of very large pear, the black Worcester (Per. 1967). Cf. †Eng. pound pear, id.Sc. 1700 Overtures offered to the Parliament 11:
But the 12 Ounces or pund Scots weighs less than the English [Troy] pund, be 4 pennies, 9 grains English, or be 5 Denniers, 9 Grains and 18 primes of Scots weight.
Sc. 1736 Mrs. McLintock Receipts 1:
Take a Peck of Flour, two Pound of Butter.
Bnff. 1794 J. Donaldson Agric. Bnff. 32:
A pound of Butter (24 oz.) . . . 6d. to 9d. A pound of Cheese (do.) . . . 2d. to 3d.
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII. 375, XIX. 354:
The price of beef, mutton, veal, and pork, is generally regulated by the prices of our cattle markets, being about 3d. per lib. of 17½ oz. — Butter is 9d. per lib. of 22 oz. tron weight. . . . Butter sells at 10d. the pound of 20 ounces Scotch, equal to 22 ounces English avoirdupois. Merchants retail it salted during winter, giving 16 ounces English for a pound, by which the unwary purchaser loses 6 ounces.
Fif. 1795 Ib. XVI. 97:
The best beef is for the most part 4d. per lb. (16 ounces).
Kcb. Ib. XI. 313, note:
Scotch cheese, at 3d. the pound; the pound to all is 16 oz.
e.Lth. 1876 J. Teenan Song 23:
They voted seeven pund o' caun'le For the wundows o' the puir.
Dmf. 1894 J. Cunningham Broomieburn 9:
I'll tell ye what, Wat, he's nine pun' if he's an unce.

Hence pund bysmer, a measure of weight formerly used in Ork. and Sh., a Lispund, q.v. See also Bismar.Ork. 1805 G. Barry Hist. Ork. 211:
The smallest of these weights, or the one of the lowest denomination is the mark. Twenty-four marks make a setteen or lispund, or pund bysmer, or span; all of which are equivalent and convertible terms; and though the three latter are now obsolete, they were commonly used in the last age; six setteens or lispunds, make a meil, and twenty-four meils a last.

2. A money of account, orig. of the same value as the English pound or pound sterling which, by gradual debasement of the coinage had by the 17th c. declined in value to a twelfth of that of the pound sterling, or 1s. 8d., the shilling being thus equivalent to an Eng. penny. In this devalued state, terminating officially with the Act of Union in 1707, it was known as the pound Scots, q.v. to distinguish it from its English equivalent. Freq. used in same form in pl. as in Eng. dial. and colloq. use. There was no 20 shilling piece in Sc. currency and the concept of the pound is rare in colloq. Sc. until the 18th c. when the word seems to have been reintroduced in its Eng. form and pronunciation, later adapted to Sc. dial.Lnk. 1716 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 169:
He is to have yearly for fee and bounty not above twenty four pound Scots.
Wgt. 1723 Wigtown Session Rec. (1934) 323:
He offered his bill for twenty eight pund and sixteen shilling Scots, payable the first lawfull day of May next.
Abd. 1746 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 33:
They must tell down good five pund Scots.
Fif. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 227:
Ye may thank de de'il for that gude four pund and de groat I hae gi'en you.
Slg. 1792 G. Galloway Poems 41:
Twa pair of shoon . . . For three pund Scots.
Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xvii.:
Hughie Dun left a good five hundred punds of Scots money to his only daughter.
Rnf. 1827 W. Taylor Poems 90:
Five poun' Scots wad bought a jockie coat.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xiv.:
Gweed men feein' at seyven-pun-ten; an' women for ootwark hardly winnin' abeen a poun' note.
ne.Sc. 1887 G. G. Green Gordonhaven ix.:
Jist only lat a chiel hae a hunner powin or twa i' the bank.
Uls. 1900 A. McIlroy Craig-Linnie Burn xiv.:
Ony ither twa-three pun a may hae scrapit up.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 15:
This waddin's cost five thoosan poon,
A dauchlin guest did say.
An sae it sud! Like Hollywud,
The cameras birred and cleek't.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 64:
' ... Cromwell's commander in Scotland was General Monk. I had the Cooncil gie five thoosan pund tae the construction o the citadel, and that satisfied Monk - I think he could see Cromwell wasna lang for the warld, and that mebbe it would be silly tae lose aw favour wi us for the sake o a wheen English brewers and glessblawers. ... '

Hence pound-note, a bank-note of the value of one pound sterling, first issued by Scottish banks in 1704 and continued without interruption to the present day. Eng. bank-notes were invariably of higher denominations exc. during the Napoleonic Wars and since the First World War. See Scott Letters of Malachi Malagrowther; pound-piece, a coin of the value of a pound, a sovereign.Sc. 1886 W. Graham One Pound Note 1:
A history of the Scottish banking system, in its widest extension, is simply an evidence of the power of the one pound note.
Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie xxii.:
There are twenty gouden pound-pieces, and seven bonny white siller shillings.

[O.Sc. pund, = 2., 1375, = 1., 1389. The u remains short before nd in Sc. and so does not suffer later diphthongisation as in Eng. Cf. Grund, Hund.]

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"Pund n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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