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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

REDD, n.2, v.2 Also red; †ridd; †ride; †reed, rede. [rɛd]

I. n. 1. The spawn of a fish or frog (Per., Wgt., Rxb. 1967); gen. in combs. fish-redd, paddock-redd (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Also in n.Eng. dial.Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 48:
Wow, friend, to meet you here I'm glad, Wham I've ne'er seen sin' time o' redd.
Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems II. 40:
Rake the gotts frae paddock ride.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 389:
Puddock-reed, the spawn or rid of frogs; what says the auld stave Puddock-reed is fu' o' e'en, And every e'e's a pow-head.

2. The rut in the gravelly or sandy bed of a river made by salmon for spawning in. Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial.s.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
With their snouts they form a hollow in the bed of the river, generally so deep, that, when lying in it, their backs are rather below the level of the bed. This is called the redd. When they have deposited their spawn, they cover it with sand or gravel.
Rxb. a.1860 J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 427:
Twa or three o' us [salmon-poachers] are thinkin' o' lichtin' a bit bleeze at the redds the nicht.
Per. 1863 Edb. Ev. Courant (23 Jan.):
The weather during the spawning season has been very favourable, and during the whole time the number of fish seen on the “redds” has been larger than for many years back.
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 147:
In the go-hairst, when the black fish are coming on to the redds.
Slk. 1908 W. S. Brown Ne'er-do-Weel 188:
The redes on which the fish lay were always approached from the rear.
Inv. 1916 Trans. Inv. Scientific Soc. VIII. 324:
Salmon and all kinds of trout are very much alike in their spawning habits. The spawning bed, often called a “redd”, is composed of gravel or rough sand.
Bnff. 1920 J. Taylor Cabrach Feerings 63:
Towards the end of the season when the salmon were on the “reds” was the best time for spearing.
Dmf. 1966 Dmf. Standard (19 Feb.) 2:
Towards winter's end the fragile, tiny fish emerge from the gravel bed, or “redd”, where they have hatched.

II. v. Of a fish: to spawn (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Wgt. 1967). Ppl.adj. redd, having spawned, spent.Sc. 1701 Acts Parl. Scot. X. App. 101:
October, at which time salmond do commonly spawn and ridd.
Abd. 1961 People's Jnl. (9 Sept.) 2:
The redd codlins caught on the lecks made into fish soup — nothing wasted.

[O.Sc. raid, the spawn of fish, 1648. Origin obscure. The orig. vowel quality is uncertain (cf. Rodd), and some of the forms may be influenced by Redd, v.1, n.1, and in 2. poss. also by Mid.Eng. rede, a small trench or furrow.]

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"Redd n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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