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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.

REDE, v.2, n.2 Also reed, read. Pa.p. rede. [rid]

I. v. 1. To clear (a space) of encumbrances, to make room.Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 271:
An I'll rede room for thee, Jock, Or else my mailin's sma'.

2. To clear a passage-way, as in a mine, of the throat, etc. Cf. Redd, v.1, 4.e.Sc. 1842 Children in Mines Report (2) 60:
When [the roof is] soft, a continual cutting or clearing takes place by a set of men and girls, who rede (clear) the roads and ways every night.
Gsw. 1870 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 39:
Or, when sharp sarcasm thou'dst rattle, It [beuk lear] helps tae rede thy cheepin' thrapple.

3. To clean the intestines of a slaughtered animal of their fat (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). See Redd, v.1, 4. (6).

4. To comb the hair. Ppl.adj. reeding, in comb. reeding-comb a comb for the hair. See Redd, v.1, 6. (3) (i).Sc. 1802 Laird o Logie in Child Ballads No. 182 A. vii.:
She has stolen the king's reeding-comb.

5. To settle a quarrel with up. Phr. to rede marches, to compose differences, act the peacemaker. See also Redd, v.1, 6. (4) (i).Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis s.v. Mere:
To rede marches betwixt two contending parties.
Lnk. 1873 J. Hamilton Poems 294:
To rede up their quarrels he mony times gaed.

6. To separate combatants. See Redd, v.1, 6. (5).Ayr. 1826 R. Hetrick Poems 61:
So this took Gaen and that took John And rede the pair.

7. To tidy (a room, building, the person, clothes, etc.), to set in order. See Redd, v.1, 7.Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 42:
Some ca' the milk, some thresh the mow, An' some to rede the barn.
Rnf. 1842 R. Clark Rhymes 29:
Wi' ilka thing about her aye rede up sae snod an' clean.

II. n. Rubbish, rubble; specif. that from a coal-pit or quarry. Comb. redesman, a worker employed to keep the passages in a coal-pit clear of debris. See Redd, n.1, 4.Edb. 1713 Burgh Rec. Edb. (1967) 251:
To remove her reed from off the walls of the fish mercat.
m.Lth. 1842 Children in Mines Report (2) 438:
I work with the redesmen who go down at night to clean the roads and make the walls.
Fif. 1875 A. Burgess Poute 69:
With Truck and Horse — to drive his rede awa' —.

[O.Sc. rede, to put in order, clean out, 1470, O.E. (ȝe)rœ̄dan, to arrange, dispose, put in order, to tidy (the hair). Cf. cognate Mid. Du., M.L.Ger. reden, reiden, Du. reeden, to set in order, Swed. reda, to comb (the hair). All the meanings are parallel to those of Redd, v.1, the relationship to which is dealt with s.v.]

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"Rede v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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