Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
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.

READ, v., n. Also Sc. forms reed, rede; red. For arch. usages see also Rede, v.2

I. v. 1. As in Eng. (1) in combs. with vbl.n. readin(g) and phrs.: ‡(i) reading-made-easy, reedie-, reed-a-, -madeasy, -ma-deezy, -med-aisy, -ma-daisy, a first reading book for school children (Gall. 1967). Also in Eng. dial.; (ii) readin sweetie, a flat sweet or lozenge with a motto inscribed on it, a conversation-lozenge. Gen.Sc.; a thing of little value; (iii) to read one his character, to tell someone what one thinks of him (Sh. 1967); (iv) to read up, to read aloud (Fif., Wgt. 1967).(i) Sc. 1827 Scott Chron. Canongate Intro. iv.:
A very responsible youth heard them their carritch, and gied them lessons in Reedie-madeasy.
Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies Pref.:
We first got the A B C, then the Reedy-ma deezy.
Wgt. 1896 66th Report Brit. Ass. 619:
The first reading book was called “Reed-a-ma-daisy”.
Uls. 1898 S. MacManus Bend of Road 103:
A poor ignorant shoe-maker . . . slipped through me Readin'-med-aisy an' me Spellin-book.
(ii) Dmf. 1915 D. J. Beattie Oor Gate-En' 64:
Get a poke o' readin' sweeties.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 40:
Dir nae need o' pittin onything mair i' da window is maybe a bottle o' reedin' sweeties.
Abd. 1960 People's Jnl. (2 Jan.):
Ilka ane gat an “extra strong” in winter an' a “readin'” sweetie in summer.
Rxb. 1967:
I wadna gie a readin sweetie for it.
(iii) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (23 July):
A'll read dem der karater, or dan my name is no Sibbie Arter.
(iv) Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 100:
“Sall I read it up, sir?” “Do, ore rotundo, like a Grecian.”
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 17:
Then, when we set foot on a foreign shore, and went birlin' away to Paris, the very first station I read up was Creil.

(2) in vbl.n. reading, (i) a loan (of a book) in order to read it, a chance to peruse (Ork., Ayr. 1967). See II.; (ii) specif. a reading from the Bible, esp. as part of or as constituting family worship (Abd. 1904 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc., obsol.; (iii) a recitation, as a piece of entertainment (Cai. 1967).(i) Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 9:
The beuk must be a curious ane indeed, and you must gie me a reading o't.
Ork. 1993:
She is to get the reading of it first.
(ii) Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 39:
But breakfast done, an' readin' by, The men t'hill, and Kate t'kye.
Ags. 1820 Montrose Chron. (13 Oct.) 384:
Nae readin' now at even — that's a' gien owr.
n.Sc. 1840 D. Sage Memorabilia (1889) 179:
He also, every Sabbath evening, kept what was called “a reading”, the substitute in those days for Sabbath schools.
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (17 April) 431:
Family worship, or “makin' readin',” as it's generally ca'd, in a Scottish ferm, hynd or cottar's hoose.
Rnf. 1876 J. Nicholson Kilwuddie 144:
Let us fa' to the readin', to God let us pray.
Abd. 1926 M. Argo Makkin' o' John 22:
I jist cam ben to say I winna wite up for the readin the nicht.

(3) in agent n. reader, one appointed to an office recommended in the first Book of Discipline (1560) to read the Scriptures and set prayers in the absence of an ordained minister. Although the office was abolished by the General Assembly in 1580, it lingered on in outlying districts esp. under Episcopacy in the 17th c. or where the services of a minister were difficult to obtain (see 1884 quot.) and it has recently been revived for sim. reasons; gen. after 1700 the name was applied to the Precentor, q.v. Hist.Sc. 1709 W. Steuart Collections i. x. § 5:
Precentors or chanters, are they who begin and order the tune of the psalm that is to be sung, and thereby direct the church's music: By the vulgar sort they are yet called readers, though improperly.
Sc. 1731 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) IV. 215:
There has been a Process between the Marquis of Tweddail and some Minister and parish, about a Reader and Precentor, which he claims pouer to put in, as a Reader of the Bible; and the parish and session pretend pouer to chuse their oun Precentor; the office of Readers being abolished.
Inv. 1763 Trans. Inv. Scientif. Soc. VIII. 163:
The Session resolved that they should pay no salary to the Clerk, Catechist, or Reader or Officer, until better times turned up.
Ayr. 1766 A. Edgar Old Church Life (1885) 64:
£12 for the erection of “Minister's seat, Pulpit, Reader's seat, and Baptismal seat.”
Mry. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VIII. 392:
The parochial school here has no other salary, than 7 bolls of bear, called Reader's Bear.
m.Lth. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 561:
After the Reformation . . . the parish [Newton] for many years had only the benefit of a reader, to whom the vicarage was assigned for his maintenance.
Sh. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Report App. A. LIII. 239:
He was thereafter appointed “reader,” with a salary of £20 from the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. . . . His duties . . . consisted of reading occasionally an old sermon to about five people [on Foula].
Peb. 1964 Stat. Acc.3 74:
Two Peeblesshire elders . . . are Readers of the Church of Scotland and regularly take service.

2. Of a preacher: to read a sermon, as opposed to preaching extempore. Gen.Sc., obsol. Deriv. reader, a minister who habitually does this (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.). Ppl.adj. in comb. readin' priest, id. Cf. Paper, I. 2.Sc. 1752 Reading no Preaching II. 6:
To read, and not preach, is to deny the Spirit his office.
Ags. 1888 Barrie Auld Licht Idylls iii.:
To follow a pastor who “read” seemed to the Auld Lichts like claiming heaven on false pretences.
Sc. 1891 R. Ford Thistledown 67:
An old woman . . . who sat on the pulpit stairs inquired of a neighbour if she thought he was a reader. “He canna be a reader, for he's blind”.
Kcb. 1897 G. O. Elder Borgue 30:
Awa' wi' yer readin' priest, yer Latin dominies.

3. tr. and refl. To interpret, esp. of a dream, riddle, etc., to prognosticate, divine, now esp. in phrs. to read (the) cups, -cards, -dips, to read out of the fire, etc., to foretell the future by interpreting the pattern of tea-leaves, using playing cards, etc. (see quots.). Hence reader o' cups, one who does this. Rare in Eng. Orig. a usage of Rede, v.2, q.v., but associated later with mod. sense of read. Vbl.n. readin, interpretation.Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 122:
Like gospel, Sir, she credits a' ye said, And saus, she's sure 'twill happen as ye read.
Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 276:
But ye maun read my riddle, she said; And answer my questions three; And but ye read them right, she said, Gae stretch ye out and die.
Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 236:
I dreamed a dreary thing, master, Whilk I am rad ye rede.
Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane Trad. (1887) 91:
Yer no thinkin a'm a witch, or a spaewife, or a reader o' cups.
Ayr. 1847 Ballads (Paterson) II. 106:
My weird will be ill to rede.
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 215:
It's a most awfu' dream that . . . but I dinna exackly ken the readin' o't.
Sc. 1865 Carlyle Fred. the Great xiv. vii.:
The small riddle reads itself to him so.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 75:
He sat . . . gazing at the half-consumed peat brands which . . . formed themselves . . . into many strange fantastic shapes . . . Although “reading out of the fire,” as it was called, as well as cup-reading, was not new to the hermit, yet he knew little of these arts.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (7 July):
Oh! Hanna, Fader bliss dee an' read wis a cup, laek a gude sowl.
Ayr. c.1930:
Readin' o' the dips, the reading of candles to see how the soul of the departed was faring.

II. n. 1. A loan of a book, newspaper, etc., for the purpose of reading it, a perusal. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
Will ye gie me a read of that book?
ne.Sc. 1894 A. Gordon Northward Ho 90:
I ha'e brought ye a read o' the paper.
Abd. 1926 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 112:
It gaed roon fae hoose tae hoose, an' A min' ma fadder eest t' get the fift read o' ane.
Uls. 1953 Traynor:
I would like a read of that book.
Gsw. 1966 Archie Hind The Dear Green Place (1984) 23:
He would get a long lie, a read at the papers, then perhaps it would be back to writing again.
Dmf. 2003:
Gies a read o yer buik.
Edb. 2004:
Ah need a read o these notes afore the meeting.

2. A reading aloud, a passage so read.Slk. 1907 H. Murray Shepherd's Sweat 21:
The offer of a short read from the Bible and a prayer.

3. An interpretation, explanation.m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 220:
Hae ye made ony readin' o' yer dream? I've gien't a bit read.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: