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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

REID, adj., n., v. Also reed, ried (Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms cvi. 7); read; rid (Sc. 1700 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 282, 1752 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) III. 126; Uls. 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings 28; Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 23; Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 103); rud(d) (Arg. 1920 H. Foulis Vital Spark 101, 1939 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 372). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. red. See P.L.D. §§ 88. (2), 95.2 (3), 121, 142 (3), 147 (4), 164 (9). Also Compar. reidder, ridder; Superl. reidest.[rid, red, rɛd; Sh., wm.Sc. rɪd; Cai. reid. See P.L.D. § 147, 157(1).]

I. adj.

Sc. forms:m.Sc. 1979 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 40:
They coost me doon at the Maister's feet:
ma chaffs were burnin an reid wi shame.
When I liftit ma heid his e'en to meet
a flegsome fear was in ma wame.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 44:
A reid dawin.
Sun and Yirth jurmummelt.
A bairn's face taks lowe
i the causey.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 21:
That's no tae be sniffed at, he's - so the world's heard -
The Big Aristocrat - in his ain back-yerd.
Wi' his rid, plooky grunzie - is he no quite it!
Abd. 1987 Sheena Blackhall in Joy Hendry Chapman 49 57:
A mirey, dubby, tapsalteerie burn
Teirin alang a bank o' reidest thorn
Nae tinklin puil, o' tranquil blessed calm
Twar better sic a thing war niver born!
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 62:
Whan the rid lowe hits Loch Grannoch's mirror
atween the Fell an Craiglowrie Hill,
syne bid fareweel tae the dour winter,
tae dowie lift an the crannreuch's chill.
m.Sc. 1991 William Montgomerie in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 18:
Aroon me are the reid leaves
the reid rose leaves the reid rose leaves
m.Sc. 1991 William Neill in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 50:
Poother tae mak ye whiter,
lipstick tae mak ye ridder,
a hunner assortit smells tae droon oot the stink
o common humanity.
Slg. 1991 Janet Paisley in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 127:
Ah go rid tae the roots o ma hair. Weel it's no fair, is it?
Feel a right twit.
m.Sc. 1994 John Burns in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 25:
He watcht the fire grow reidder an reidder as he caad the haunnle.
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 141:
Went beetroot rid, so eh did. Like ah sais, beetroot rid, my auld man laughed, jabbing fork into space.
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 14:
The skillet skailed, bluid struled
Sutherland cursed tae hae
Sic reid hauns.
Hingin thro the sinnons
O its hin haughs
Harrigals fleitin in watter
The swine swayed
And the bern bauks creaked.
m.Sc. 1997 Tom Watson Dark Whistle 54:
His lineage hings
Aff breist-bane rid,
His neb an' claws
Wi' ran-dan bluid aye clagged,
Yet wi' rumgumption
Tholes yon coinage o'
Bad cess, the cleck

Sc. usages:

1. Sc. combs. and phrs., where reid has sometimes come to have a merely intensive force, e.g. (37), (39), (53), (55), (63), (80): (1) red-aiten, see (24); (2) red-arsie, -ersie, “the name vulgarly given to a large bee that is red behind” (Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 169; ne.Sc., Ags. 1968, -ersie). Cf. (7), (21) and (23); (3) red-avised, having a ruddy complexion, red-faced (Sh., Slk. 1968). Cf. Black-A-Viced; red-haired (Dmf.3 1920); (4) rid-baa, the yolk of an egg (Sh. 1968); (5) reid-back, the ladybird, Coccinella (Slk. 1968); (6) red bellie, a trout of the genus Salvelinus, a char. Also in Eng. dial. Cf. (76); (7) red beltie, a bee with red striped markings. Cf. (2), (21) and (23); (8) red biddy, a mixture of cheap red wine with methylated spirit or other alcohol, also any cheap red wine, phs. thought of as drunk esp. by the Irish in Gsw., from Biddy, pet form of the common Irish female name Bridget. The reference may be to a somewhat notorious and lawless Irishwoman prominent in the Glasgow Riots of 1848. See Gsw. 1892 R. Alison Anecd. Gsw. 321. Gen.Sc. slang; (9) red-bog, a red-coloured substance, phs. a species of alga, underlying a growth of Sphagnum palustre on the surface of a bog; (10) red brae, the gullet (Ags., Rnf., Ayr., Gall. 1968). Cf. (13), (44), (50), (65), (69); (11) red braxy, a disease of sheep or cattle, anthrax. See Braxy, n., 1.; (12) red cap, also Redcapie-dossie, a fairy or goblin supposed to haunt old buildings. Cf. (18) and Capie-Dossie; (13) red-close, the gullet (wm.Sc. 1880 Jam.). See Close, n.1 and cf. (10), (44), (50), (65), (69); (14) redcoal, redcoll, the horse-radish. See Redcoll; (15) red-coat, reed-cuyte, ¶-kite (Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxvi.), (i) a red coat worn by a town officer or †a golfer; (ii) a name for the ladybird (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Kcb., Rxb. 1968); †(16) red-clout, a derogatory name for a red-coat or soldier; (17) red cock, used fig. = fire raised maliciously, arson; (18) Red cowl, = (12); (19) red-cross, the fiery cross. See Fiery, 2. (3); (20) red curldoddy, red clover, Trifolium pratense. See Curl-Doddy, n., 5.; (21) red-doup, a bee with red markings behind (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), an Italian bee. Cf. (7), and (23); (22) red-early, of grain: sprouting in the stack from being imperfectly dried; (23) red-end, a bee with red markings behind, polite variant for (2) or (21). Dim. -endie (Knr. 1887 H. Haliburton For Puir Auld Scotland's Sake 212); (24) red etin, -eitin, -aiten, a giant, a mythical monster; fig. a savage or bad-tempered person (Fif. 1825 Jam.). See also Etin; (25) reid face, see Face, I. 3. (1); (26) red-fish, (i) the male salmon at spawning time when it assumes a reddish colour (w. and sm.Sc. 1968); (ii) a gen. term for salmon, used in fishing districts as a taboo synonym, sometimes also of trout (Ags., Edb. 1990s). Hence deriv. red-fisher, a salmon-fisher; (27) reed flannen, ne.Sc. form of Eng. red flannel, in phr. to gae roon a bodie's hert like a yaird o' reed flannen, to warm one's heart, to prove very palatable or flattering (I. and n.Sc. 1968). See Flannen; (28) rid flook, a flounder, prob. the dab. See Fleuk, n.1, 2. (16); (29) red foul, the red grouse, Lagopus scoticus. See Fool; (30) reid-gibbie, -gobbie, the stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus (Ags. 1968), prob. from the red markings on the upper part of the belly during the breeding season. See Gebbie, Gob, n.1; (31) red-glove, a variety of gooseberry (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). Sic but? globe; (32) red gown, the scarlet gown (and by metonymy its wearer) worn by (i) a judge of the Court of Session in his capacity as a Lord of Justiciary dealing with criminal cases; (ii) an undergraduate student in Arts of a Scottish university. See Toga; (33) red hand, orig. a hand red (with blood), hence used as adv. phr. and later adj. of a criminal: with the evidences of murder or, by later extension, of any crime still about him, in the act of crime. Gen.Sc., adopted by Eng. Used by Crockett and Munro to mean violent, murderous, blood-thirsty (see quots.). Phr. to lift the reid hand, to strike with murderous intent. Deriv. reid-handit, with a victim's blood, stolen property or the like, on one's person, red-handed. Coined by Scott and now adopted in Eng.; (34) red hawk the kestrel, Falco tinnunculus, from the reddish tint of its plumage (Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 62; Cai. 1887 Harvie-Brown and Buckley Fauna Cai. 177); (35) Red Head, the name of a promontory of red sandstone on the Angus coast between Arbroath and Montrose, in comb. Red-head tax, a freight-tax levied upon coal carried by sea further north than this point (Ags. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 III. 282); (36) red-heidit, as in Eng. red-headed, having red hair, hence, in popular belief, of an excitable impetuous nature; furiously angry or excited, driven desperate. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Comb. red-headed finch, the lesser redpoll, Acanthis flammea (Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 62); (37) reid horn mad, furious, in a state of uncontrolled passion (Ork., Cai. 1968). Cf. (53), (63) and (80); (38) Red Hose Race, a foot-race run annually at Carnwath in Lnk. for a prize of a pair of red hose (Lnk. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VI. 91); (39) reid-hunger, ravenous hunger (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Hence reid hungered, ravenously hungry (Ib.); (40) red-kail, †-cail, see Kail, n., 5. (43); (41) red kite, see (15); (42) red-kuted, having red ankles. See Cuit; (43) red land, red clay land. Also in Eng. dial. For a different red land see Redd, v.1, 4. (2); (44) rid lane, the gullet (Per., Rnf., Lnk. 1968). Cf. (13), (50), (65) and (69). Also in Eng. dial.; (45) red-legged crow, the chough, Coracia pyrrhocorax; (46) red-legged horseman, the redshank, Tringa totanus (Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. and Arch. Soc. 63); (47) red legs, a fly with red legs, freq. used as a bait by anglers, an ichneumon fly; (48) reid lichtie, a native or inhabitant of Arbroath (Ags. 1968). For origin see 1887 quot. Also a football player who plays for Arbroath Football Club. Also attrib. Also (Reid) Lichties, the Arbroath football team (Ib.).; (49) red linnet, the lesser redpoll, Acanthis flammea (Gall. 1869 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 40). Also in Eng. dial.; (50) red loan(in), the gullet (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., Dmf. 1968, loanin; Ork. 1968, loan). Cf. (13), (44), (65) and (69) and Loan, n.1, Loanin; (51) redloon, a kind of meadow-moss which leaves red ashes on being burned (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Also attrib. as an epithet of peats (Ork. 1968). ? Cf. (9). For loon cf. Norw. dial. lon, a drained piece of bog; (52) Red Lord, a judge of the Court of Justiciary, from his red robe. Cf. (32); (53) reid-mad, furiously angry, demented (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Sh., Cai. 1968); very enthusiastic in an unbalanced way. Cf. (37), (63) and (80); (54) redman, in comb. redman coddie, a small inshore codling, so called because of its reddish colouring, derived from the sea-weed it inhabits. See (77); (55) reid-nakit, stark naked (Abd., Kcd., Per. 1968); (56) re(i)d-neb, -nib, (i) a red nose, used as a nickname (Fif. c.1850 R. Peattie MS.), ppl.adj. re(i)d nebbit, -nibbit, red-nosed (Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wyllie xliii.; Sc. 1945 Scots Mag. (June) 175), in comb. red-nebbit pussy, the puffin, Fratercula Arctica (Mry., Bnff. 1968); (ii) the oyster-catcher, Haematopus ostralegus (Bnff., Abd. 1968); (iii) a variety of kidney potato with red markings at one end (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.); (57) redneck, (i) a nickname for a policeman (see quot.); (ii) a blushing face from embarrassment (Fif. 1980s); (58) red paidle, the male of the lump-fish, Cyclopterus lumpus. See Paidle, n.3, 10.; (59) red professor, an angling fly. See Professor, 2.; (60) reid ra', uncooked, applied in quot. to dough instead of meat. Another version of the rhyme has the more correct Lure, n.1, q.v.; (61) red Rab, the robin redbreast (Sc. 1911 S.D.D., Suppl.; w.Lth., Slk. 1968); (62) red-rae, a roe deer in its reddish-brown summer coat; (63) red rantin, frenzied, wild. Cf. (53) and (80); (64) red rider, the spotted crab, Cancer maenas (Abd. 1815 J. Arbuthnot Fishes 59); (65) red road(ie), the gullet (Ags., Lnk. 1968). Cf. (10), (13), (44), (50) and (69); (66) red Rory, a small variety of crab with red markings on the belly (Abd. 1958); (67) Red Rotten, see Ratton, 1. Combs. (6); (68) red sauch, a variety of willow, Salix purpurea; (69) red seuch, -sheuch, the gullet or stomach (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 141; Sc. 1911 S.D.D., sheuch). See (10), (44), (50), (65) and Sheuch; (70) re(i)d shank, lit., a red leg, used fig. (i) a nick-name for a highlander, esp. a kilted highland soldier, because of his bare legs. Applied also in 16th c. Eng. to the native Irish and hence to any Gaelic speaker. Hence red-shanked, bare-legged; (ii) of various weeds having red stems or seed-spikes, esp. the common sorrel, Rumex acetosa (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); the broad-leaved dock, Rumex obtusifolius, as it becomes ripe (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. c.1930); the spotted persicaria, Polygonum persicaria (Sc. 1911 Trans. Highl. Soc. XXIII. 167; m. and s.Sc. 1968); (71) red sheuch, see (69); (72) red sker, = (65). See Scaur, n.1; (73) red sodger, -soldier, a red-coloured spider; (74) red stone, red sandstone; (75) reid stream, a name given to an unusually high tide in March (see quot.); (76) red-wame, -waimb, -weem, the char, Salvelinus alpinus (Inv. 1772 T. Pennant Tour 1769 161). Cf. (6); (77) red-ware, -waur, -waar, -wir, reed-ware, ridwir, -warr, the seaweed, Laminaria digitata, from its red colour (Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 29; I. and n.Sc. 1968). See Ware. Hence redware cod(ling), a young inshore cod (Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 52; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I., n. and e.Sc. 1968). Cf. (54); redware ebb, an ebb-tide which exposes this seaweed (Sh. 1968); redware fishick, the rockling, Onos mustela, which inhabits Laminaria; (78) red-wat, blood-stained. Comb. red-wat-shod, up to the ankles in blood; (79) red wood, rid-, the wood found at the heart of trees, the core-wood (see 1825 quot.); (80) re(i)d-wud, -wood, -weed, stark staring mad, furious, beside oneself with rage, distraction, etc., mentally unbalanced (Sc. 1808 Jam.; n.Sc., Fif., Ayr., sm.Sc. 1968). See Wuid and cf. (37), (53) and (63).(6) Sth. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 III. 579:
Loch Borley affords, in great abundance, a species of trouts called Red Bellies.
(7) Sc. 1846 Chamber's Jnl. (30 May) 349:
Of a' the bee bykes that ever I saw, The red beltie bears the gree.
(8) Sc. 1930 Times (12 Feb.) 8:
An alcoholic concoction commonly known as “Red Biddy” is being increasingly consumed in the poorer areas in certain districts of Scotland.
Sc. 1934 Scotsman (18 Jan.) 7:
The reason for the widespread drinking of “red biddy” was the high duty on whisky.
Cai. 1939 Neil M. Gunn Wild Geese Overhead (1991) 98-9:
Dark heavy Empire wine, full of alcohol, fourpence a large glass. The stuff that, with a dash of meth., was called Red Biddy. One of these, with a chaser of beer, and a fellow could be well on.
Gsw. 1952 Edwin Morgan Collected Poems (1990) 46:
A flask he carried, with red-biddy filled
And as he harped he hazily quadrilled
Between the trees, laughing to burst his face,
Startling his cage of birds, his lion, and his page.
m.Lth. 1991:
When I was young and yer cousin an you wir just toddlin, yer Auntie Edith and I used to drink a bottle of red biddy - ye ken four crown port, or something like that - in an efternin and think we were awfy sophisticatit.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 46:
Hi min, Wullie, nae mair red biddy fur me.
(9) Abd. 1774 Weekly Mag. (5 May) 163:
The grey or white bog-moss yielding the rusty coloured substance called red-bog.
(10) sm.Sc. 1928 R. W. MacKenna O Rowan Tree 214:
She opened her mouth to let him see that the jumbo-ball had “gone down the red brae”
(11) Sc. 1888 Trans. Highl. Soc. 194:
So-called “red braxy” is often nothing more nor less than anthrax.
(12) Sc. 1802 Scott Minstrelsy II. 348:
But Redcap sly unseen was by, And the ropes would neither twist nor twine.
s.Sc. c.1830 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1916) 100:
Red-cap or Red-cowl or Bloodie-cap, is a tutuler [sic] spirit of a mischievous and very cruel disposition and dreaded by all benighted travellers. . . . He is represented as a very thick short old man having long prominent teeth; fingers armed like the claws of eagles; large eyes like ale-caps, of a fiery-red colour; grizzly locks of hair dangling over his shoulders . . . and a red cap upon his head.
s.Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 120:
‘Redcapie-dossie, come out an ye daur, Lift the sneck, and draw the bar'. This is cried by boys in at the door or windows of deserted buildings, particularly old castles and churches of terrible character.
Uls. 1901 G. F. Savage-Armstrong Ballads 93:
Yer Redcaps a' hae vanished.
(15) (i) Gsw. 1779 Lumsden & Aitken Hammermen Gsw. (1912) 42:
One of the town's officers was appointed as a “Red Coat Officer” of the trade in 1779.
Fif. 1868 St. Andrews Gazette (26 Sept.):
The last field-day of what may be characterised as a brilliant golf season in Burntisland came off on the Links on Saturday. . . . A goodly array of red-coats were soon scattered over the ground.
(ii) Peb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 301:
Red-coat. A small insect of a scarlet colour, the red Scolopendrii, also called a Red Kite.
Rxb. 1912 Border Mag. (23 Oct.) 1:
The lady-bird . . . seems to be a favourite with children, who, in Roxburghshire, call it a red-coat. They pick it up and throw it into the air to make it open its wings, saying at the same time — “Red-coat, red-coat, flee away, And make the morn a sunny day”.
(16) Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xxv.:
Both promised to ding the stoor that day out of his Majesty's red-clouts.
(17) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. iii.:
We'll see if the red cock crow not in his bonnie barn yard ae morning before day-dawing.
(18) Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary ix.:
If you had challenged the existence of Redcowl in the Castle of Glenstirym.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch vii.:
Saying of prayers backwards, or drawing lines with caulk round ye, before crying, “Redcowl, redcowl, come if ye daur; Left the sneck, and draw the bar”.
(19) Per. 1893 Harp Per. (Ford) 341:
Let the red-cross speed through the glen.
(21) Ags. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 292:
The todler-tyke has a very gude byke, . . . But weel's me on the little red-doup.
(22) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 405, 414:
Redearly. Grain that has got a heat on sometime or other. . . . He doubted it wad not grow, as it was a weething o' the red early cast.
(23) Mry. 1887 Sc. Naturalist 178:
In these fourteen earth-bees the schoolboys of Moray saw only three species — the “Garreck”, the “Foggie”, and the “Redend”.
(24) Sc. 1821 Scots Mag. (April) 351:
Sic red-aitens, whase moolie geir is atween them an' their wits.
(26) (i) Ayr. 1702 Arch. and Hist. Coll. Ayr & Wgt. IV. 200:
Killing of red fish, murefull, etc.
Sc. 1824 Farmer's Mag. (May) 171:
This regulation was not for the purpose of saving the black or red fish.
Sc. 1836 W. Yarrell Brit. Fishes H. 10:
The body partakes of the golden orange tinge, and the Salmon in this state is called a red-fish.
(ii) Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 15:
Red-fishers — that is, fishers for salmon on the Tweed.
Lth. 1865 W. Hutchison Tales of Leith 331:
If an uninitiated greenhorn of a landsman chanced to be on board of a Newhaven boat, and, in the ignorance and simplicity of his heart, talked about “Salmon”, . . . the said uninitiated gentleman would very likely have been addressed in some courteous terms as “Oh, ye igrant brut, cud ye no ca'd it Redfish!”
ne.Sc. 1951 Abd. Press and Jnl. (26 Oct.):
To evade the evil spell inherent in the word “salmon” they referred to “Red-fish” or “Spey-codlings”, while salmon fishers were talked of as Cauld Iron.
Abd. 1961 P. Buchan Mount Pleasant 33:
An' ye'll hear the tale o' a poachin' ploy For a reid-fish or a hare.
Hebr. 1995 Angus Duncan Hebridean Island: Memories of Scarp 22:
On Scarp we divided fish into four kinds: white fish, grey fish, red fish and herring; grey fish standing for the class of fish that is not perfectly white, such as cod, hake and ling, and red fish comprising salmon and trout. In the native language, these descriptive words are compounds, and not separate words, a fact that shows this way of classifying fish to be of long standing.
(27) Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Etrick xiv.:
Gaes roon yer hert like a yaird o' reed flannen.
(28) Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 25:
Rid flooks swalled oot o' aa shape.
(29) Sc. 1705 J. Spreull Accompt Current (1882) 27:
Black-Cock, Heath-Hen, Red foul, Partridges.
(30) Ags. 1921 A. S. Neill Carroty Broon x.:
The reid-gibbies with their red noses were the best, but you did not despise the shoals of wee minnins.
Ags. 1946 Forfar Dispatch (2 May):
Eliza wiz that wae for Mary Ann lossin her reid-gibbie.
(32) (i) Sc. 1731 Trans. Gael. Soc. Inv. XXVII. 203:
The Justice Clark is going very fast . . . I wish that my Lord Miltown and pater Grant may have his Rid and purple gowns.
Sc. 1762 Session Papers, Magistrates Old Abd. v. Middleton (9 Aug.) 4:
He would carry Mr. Middleton to Edinburgh, to the boys with the red gowns.
(ii) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 193:
Say, ye red gowns! that aften here Hae toasted bakes to Kattie's beer.
Sc. 1841 Tait's Mag. 519:
Instead of condescending to resume the red gown of the Glasgow student.
Sc. 1891 R. F. Murray Scarlet Gown (1909) 116:
The east wind makes the student draw more close his warm red gown. (33) Arg. 1700 Arg. Justiciary Records (Stair Soc.) I. 192: The said Ronald McDonald did thiefteously steall ane large sow belonging to Coline Campbell baylie of Inverarey and was taken redd hand therewith.
Sc. 1728 P. Walker Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 41:
Being taken rud-hand by that rare man Moses.
Sc. 1768 Erskine Institute II. iv. § 4:
The case where the murderer is seized red-hand or in the act.
Sc. 1819 Scott Ivanhoe xxv.:
One fellow, who was taken redhanded and in the fact.
Sc. 1881 L. B. Walford Dick Netherby vii.:
We'll catch the twa o' them reid-hand.
Abd. 1882 G. Macdonald Castle Warlock xxix.:
It cam o' bluid-guiltiness — for 'at he had liftit the reid han' again' his neibour.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders iv., xlv.:
The evil gypsies of the hill — red-handed men. . . . I was known for a gypsy and a red-hand follower of the chief persecutor.
Arg. 1898 N. Munro John Splendid iv.:
We want your red-handed friend Dark Neil.
(35) Sh. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 V. 195:
The exorbitant duty which has very unreasonably been laid upon Scotch coals, exported beyond the Red-Head of Angus.
Rs. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII. 353, note:
We have hitherto, from the advance in freight, seamen's wages, &c. experienced very little benefit from the suppression of the partial Red-head tax.
(36) Lth. 1856 M. Oliphant Lilliesleaf xxviii.:
Very red-headed, and never will be as douce a lass as Lilly.
Gall. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 122:
Tae keep them [children] quait, an hinner them fae gettin red-heidit an canker't.
wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs. McCraw 26:
The mortal got reed-heeded an' bounced oot at the door.
Gsw. 1947 Weekly News (27 Sept.):
Wi' that the hussy gied me a lot o' lip, I got reid-heided, an' sic a cerry-on there wis.
(37) Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (3 Jan.):
Losh, noor let dab or she'll gang reyd horn mad.
Cai. 1961 “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 36:
He wis nearly reid hoarn mad wi' rage an' cownan' wi' vexation.
(38) Lnk. 1960 Stat. Acc.3 557:
The Red Hose Race is commonly reported to be the oldest foot race in Scotland. According to tradition, the prize of a pair of red hose must be offered for competition each year by the Laird of Carnwath and Lee on pain of forfeiture of his estate to the Crown.
(42) Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 363:
Who imagines every red-kuted Lizzie he meets to be a shepherdess.
(43) Ags. 1855 Justiciary Reports (1858) 4:
The soil in the river is gravelly, and also on the banks — not red land.
(45) Sc. 1776 T. Pennant Brit. Zool. I. 196:
Red legged Crow. The legs and bill are of a bright orange colour inclining to red.
Wgt. 1875 W. McIlwraith Guide Wgt. 139:
These precipices are frequented by the red-legged crow.
m.Sc. 1906 J. A. Harvie-Brown Fauna of Tay 144:
The old local name of the Chough in most parts of Scotland where it appears to have been known, was “Red-legged Crow” or “Daw”
(46) m.Sc. 1954 Bulletin (17 Aug.) 9:
It was a glassy-winged fly with a black body almost half an inch long. I've heard it described as the Bloody Doctor, but the name it gets in my part of the country is the Red Legs, because its rather thick legs are scarlet.
(48) Ags. 1875 Arbroath Guide (16 Jan.) 4:
Red Lichties, bless the whistlin' loon.
Ags. 1887 J. M. McBain Arbroath Pref. ii.:
There is still another name by which Arbroathians are familiarly known — viz., that of “Red Lichties”. Once on a time the Harbour Commissioners had agreed to have coloured lights exhibited on the pier-head at night for the guidance of approaching vessels. In order to economise a bit, a worthy commissioner had the guiding lamp painted red, and on going off land in a boat to see the effect, he found, to his amazement, that the lamp was quite opaque. On the incident becoming known in the neighbouring towns, the Arbroath folks were nicknamed “Red Lichties”, a name which has stuck to them ever since, and one to which they now take very kindly.
Ags. 1964 People's Journal (21 March) 20:
My husband and I are ex-Red Lichties from Arbroath.
Ags. 1990s:
A much more common cognomen for today's Arbroathian is "Reid Lichtie".
This dates from the time, many years ago, when the Harbour Commissioners had agreed to have coloured lights exhibited on the pierhead at night for the guidance of approaching vessels.
Ags. 1993 Evening Telegraph (28 Oct):
A plea has gone out for public-spirited Red Lichties to keep the Community Council in operation. Only eight newly-elected councillers were in attendance when Arbroath Community Council was re-constituted last night.
Sc. 1995 Daily Record (2 Jan) 61:
Arbroath, who sacked George Mackie last week, are advertising the job. But the Red Lichties are believed to be interested in Burns, who has already talked to chairman John Christison.
Sc. 1995 Scotland on Sunday (23 Apr) 18:
Sye Webster, who never misses a match, watches the youth and reserve teams play, and even, when he can, watches the first team train, received his barring order from Gayfield after ecstatically running onto the pitch to hug and kiss Red Lichtie immortals during a 5-2 demolition of East Stirlingshire.
Sc. 1998 Daily Record (19 Oct) 14:
The delighted Red Lichties manager reckons his side can go from strength to strength after their second win in a row.
Sc. 2000 Evening Times (16 Dec) 56:
The SFA are to investigate Arbroath after the club fielded two ineligible players in their Scottish Cup first-round tie against Montrose, a match The Red Lichties won 1-0.
Sc. 2003 Scotsman (26 May) 7:
Arbroath returned to winning ways to steal a march on their rivals with a comprehensive win over Drumpellier in the only first division match to go the distance on another rain-affected day. The Red Lichties, who let things slip against Watsonians ...
(52) Sc. 1860 W. G. Stewart Lectures on the Mountains II. 97:
A libel . . . to be laid out by Mr. McAlpin before the Red Lords at Edinburgh.
(53) Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 47:
It's like to gar me rin reed-mad.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 55:
He'll rin red roarin' mad, I ken him weel.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 111:
Lord preserve me! is da boy red mad?
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona vii.:
She's . . . red-mad about the Gregara and proscribed names, and King James.
Ork. 1904 Dennison Orcadian Sk. 5:
De whall wus t'reshan' wi' his tail like reed mad.
(54) Cai. 1887 Harvie-Brown and Buckley Fauna Cai. 274:
The red-coloured inshore cod . . . are called “Redman Coddies”.
(55) Ags. 1865 Arbroath Guide (28 Jan.) 3:
Red-nakit but the sark.
(56) (ii) Abd. 1960 Evening Express (8 March):
The oyster catchers, or as they are sometimes called inthe North-east, the “reid nibs”
(iii) Sc. 1784 A. Wight State of Husbandry III. 446:
Potatoes that have small red spots on the smallest end, and, therefore, called Redneb.
Rxb. 1798 R. Douglas Agric. Rxb. 97:
Various other potatoes, . . . of all which, next to the common white, the one in greatest esteem is the red-neb, which I suspect to be the same known in England by the pink-eye.
Bwk. 1809 R. Kerr Agric. Bwk. 291:
The long kidney shaped white potatoe, with a dash of red at one end, called red-nebs, or red-nosed kidneys.
(57) (i) Gsw. 1827 A. Rodger Peter Cornclips 83:
Just let us view this red-neck here. . . . A red collar generally forms part of the oficial dress in Scotland, of an Officer of Police.
(ii) wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 47:
No repetitions of that last fiasco, we got a right rid neck!
Valère and Marianne landed us right in it, ...
wm.Sc. 1991 Liz Lochhead Bagpipe Muzak 36:
Ended up the whole thing was nothing but a blur
and him shouting 'Perfect Working Order'
every two minutes mooning his mates
and flashing the photographer with his
Lion Rampant boxer shorts. A right rid neck.
(60) Bnff.12 1931:
The rotten ran up the rantle -tree Wi' a lump o' reid ra' leaven i' his teeth.
(62) Sc. 1889 J. Grant Romance of War xv.:
Ay, sir, the fallow is kicking up his shoon like a red-rae.
(63) Abd. 1813 D. Anderson Poems 122:
A piper loon set up his dron, . . . Did blaw them a' red rantin'.
(68) Rxb. 1798 R. Douglas Agric. Rxb. 120:
A species of willow, known by the name of red-sauch or sallow, is esteemed next in value to ash, oak and elm, and brings 1s. 6d. or 1s. 8d. [per foot].
Slg. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. H. 264:
In the Carse districts, especially in Stirling shire, a species of willow, provincially called red saugh, is much cultivated upon the banks of rivers and ditches.
(70) (i) Sc. 1706 Mariage betwixt Fergusia and Heptarchus 7:
That Yelping thing that's all lungs, which their Red Shanked Mountain-Men are so Dextrous at.
Sc. 1718 News from Bathgate 30:
When Mars, and Red-shanks keept the Town of Perth.
Sc. 1771 Smollett Humphrey Clinker (18 July) Let. i.:
The mountaineers of Wales, and the red-shanks of Ireland.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
To gang amang your wild hills, Robin, and your kilted red-shanks.
Sc. 1850 J. Grant Sc. Cavalier xxxvi.:
The miraculous shower of highland bannets whilk preceded the irruption of the ill-faured Redshanks into the west, in the December of [16]'84.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xvi.:
These red-shanks are unco grudgeful.
(ii) Lnk. 1807 Session Papers, Waddell v. Waddell (16 Feb. 1809) 28:
The red-shank weed is very like a young birch, being reddish in colour.
Kcd. 1810 G. Robertson Agric. Kcd. 376:
Should dock-weeds be allowed to remain till they begin to ripen (then called red-shanks) they are not so easily pulled.
Dmb. 1921 Trans. Highl. Soc. XXXIII. 276:
“Redshank” and “spurry” among turnips.
Arg. 1954 D. Mackenzie Farmer in W. Isles 54:
Creeping thistle and redshank (Polygonum persicaria).
(73) Sc. 1861 J. Brown Horae Subsecivae 197:
They [children] like the ground, and its flowers and stones, its “red sodgers” and lady-birds.
Edb. 1902 Trans. Edb. Nat. Club 344:
Listening to some children playing among themselves, I heard one being scolded for having killed a red spider, or “red sodger” for in their innocence they believed that its slaughter would be followed by a “sunny shower”.
(74) Abd. 1775 Fraserburgh Herald (24 Jan. 1939):
Three hundred and sixty pieces of Read stone out of the Milton Quarry of Achmeddon.
Abd. 1845 G. Murray Islaford 94:
Thy red-stane wa's and vaulted riggin'.
(75) Abd. 1956:
The Reid Stream is a big tide in the month of March. There is a reddish-brown colour in the sea and fish come down on it. It is thought to be caused by the melting of the polar ice. The fishermen used to hold a soiree about this time.
(76) Inv. 1775 L. Shaw Hist. Moray 97:
Delicious red-bellied trouts, called Red-wames.
(77) Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII. 233:
The tangle (Fucus Digitatus, Lin.), the top of which is here called red ware.
Ork. 1805 G. Barry Hist. Ork. 289, 292:
The Wrasse . . . is very often found in company with what we call the red-ware cod. . . . The Whistle Fish (Gadus mustela) or, as it is here named, the red-ware fishick, is a species very often found under the stones among the sea-weed.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 17:
Du lüte dy horse eat tangles an' redwir till he wis at da bons o' meesery.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 127:
Mistress Mertin fand a galace button in a red-waur codlin's guts last week.
Abd. 1896 Gregor MSS.:
Sea-weed, particularly “Red waar” or “roups” (Laminaria digitata).
Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Orcadian Sk. 12:
There's no' a drap o' sea tae be seen; I cinno see the taps o' the reed ware.
m.Lth. 1911 S.D.D.:
Red-waur. A name given by Newhaven fishermen to a species of fucus used by children for painting their faces.
Sh. 1932 J. M. E. Saxby Trad. Lore 202:
Young cod that lived among weed of reddish hue were known as red-waur codlins.
Sh. 1959 New Shetlander No. 51. 8:
Thomas aye dragged kishies a waar fae da ridwir-ebb an pat hit apo da rigs.
(78) Ayr. 1786 Burns To W. Simpson xi.:
Oft have our fearless fathers strode By Wallace' side, Still pressing onward red-wat shod.
Sc. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 384:
The hand of her kindred has been red-wat in the heart's blude o' my name.
Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 25:
Their chargers, red-wat-shod, gaed gallopin wi' their hoofs that never ance touched the grun' for men's faces bashed bluidy.
Gall. c.1870 Bards Gall. (Harper 1889) 84:
I saw her heart wad fail her, Her gown was a' red-wat.
Edb. 1892 J. W. McLaren Sc. Poems 26:
When the morning dawn'd wi' red-wat een.
(79) Slg. 1812 P. Graham Agric. Slg. 40:
The oaks [in the mosses] are almost entire; the white wood . . . or the outermost circles of the tree, only are decayed; whilst the red remains and is likely to remain, if not exposed, for ages.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
Red-Wood, the name given to the reddish, or dark-coloured, and more incorruptible, wood found in the heart of trees.
(80) Sc. 1719 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 125:
Gin ony higher up ye drive her, She'll rin red-wood.
Sc. 1727 P. Walker Six Saints (1901) I. 362:
Lord, tho' I should die red-wood, yet I know well I will die in Thee.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 35:
The merry begotten weans . . . is red wood, half wittet hillocket sort o' creatures.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Earnest Cry xvi.:
Now she's like to rin red-wud About her whisky.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxi.:
He's a red-wud deevil, man! — He's like Giles Heathertap's auld boar; ye need but shake a clout at him to make him turn and gore.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Siege Rxb. (1874) 672:
The copper-nosed Kers, the towzy Turnbulls, and the red-wudd Ridderfords.
Sc. 1870 A. Hislop Proverbs 263:
Some are only daft, but ye're red-wud raving.
Lth. 1890 M. Oliphant Kirsteen xiv.:
My father is just red-weed [sic], and will have it.
Kcb. 1901 R. D. Trotter Gall. Gossip 17:
The gentleman gat red-wud-mad at the delay.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxix.:
Ye've seerly gane wud, reed wud.

2. Derivs. (1) reiden, ridden, v., to redden (Sc. 1734 J. Spotiswoode Hope's Practicks 308, ridden; Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert iv.). Gen.Sc.; (2) reidichie, reddichie, reedichty, of a reddish colouring (Abd. 1968) (see -Och, 2.), in riddle in reduplic. form reddichie roodichie, reedichty roddichty, applied to a worm; (3) red(d)ie, -y, riddie, (i) a red clay marble (wm.Sc. 1968). Also Ruddy; (ii) a name for a red-coloured cow; (iii) riddy, a blushing face from embarrassment; the cause of such embarrassment; (4) reidness, rid-, redness (Sc. 1705 Seafield Corresp. (S.H.S.) 399). Gen.Sc.(1)ne.Sc. 1979 Alastair Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 64:
The sun reidens the bairns, the lovers, the elderly.
Unheard, the transistor birls its guitars.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 7:
Neil Rannoch, the gamie's loon, an Jimmy Higgins frae the paper shoppie, war keekin ower at Davie an snicherin nesty-like. Davie reidened an turned awa, kickin a teem crisp pyock ben the tarred playgrun.
(2) Abd. 1912 Rymour Club Misc. II. 19:
Reddichie, roodichie, that runs on the dyke, Haud awa' yer clockin' hen, and I carena for yer tyke?
(3) (i) Rnf. 1877 J. M. Neilson Poems 92:
Redies, jarries, marbles blue.
Arg. 1900 R. C. Maclagan Games 152:
The marbles used are generally “jaries” and “reddies” the former of brown earthen-ware glazed and burned, the others of red clay and rated as of the value of two to a “jarry”.
Lnk. 1947:
Reddies were the ordinary red softish marbles, the pawns in the game. In my boyhood days one got 20 reddies for his penny.
(ii) Sh. 1949 P. Jamieson Letters on Shet. 229:
Some Shetland names for kye are Sholmie, Riggie, Riddie.
(iii) Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 59:
riddy A red face caused by embarrassment. Also something that is a source of embarrassment: 'There Ah'm staunin no knowin the fly's open-what a riddy!'
Gsw. 1987 Peter Mason C'mon Geeze Yer Patter! 51:
Ah got a right riddy when ah wis fun oot. I was really blushing when I was caught.
Edb. 1992:
What a riddy A goat when the bairn started swearin on the bus.

3. In various fig. usages: (1) violent to the shedding of blood, bloody, resulting in bloodshed. For red hand see 1. (29); (2) fullblooded, vigorous, vital; (3) mad, furious, frantic. Prob. a back formation from reid-wud, see 1. (80), and cf. also reid-rantin (s.v. 1. (63)).(1) Slg. 1806 G. Galloway Poems 23:
Adieu to New Year's din and quarrel, Base chat, red blows.
Sc. 1888 C. Mackay Dict. Lowl. Sc. 165:
Red vengeance is a vengeance that demands blood.
(2) Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Bits o' young things, wi' the reid life dinnling and stending in their members.
(3) Kcb. 1828 W. Nicholson Poems (1897) 79:
“And the wildest fillie that ever ran rede I'se tame't” quoth Aiken Drum.
Per. 1898 C. Spence Poems 78:
Lease me on Robin, our rantin' rede carl.

II. n. Sc. forms of Eng. red:em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 11:
His ragin wrath lunts shuits o flame
That frae his cheriot wheels ootspreid
An flude the warld an wap it roun
Wi seas o burnin reid.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 39:
As if the stobs o a sick rose
War plottin in secret
Tae draw a tinchel roon me -
Their reids, their blaiks,
In the mids o a deep glen.
Edb. 2003:
When Ah wis paintin ma hall Ah couldnae believe hoo monie reids there wir.

Sc. usage: short for reid cheese.Kcb. 1899 Gallovidian I. 15:
An auld ‘rid' an' a shive or twa o' broon Geordie.

III. v. To redden, to make or grow red; to process a red herring. Obs. in Eng.Edb. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 77:
Far likewise the morning red'ing Over hill or horizon.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 258:
Nor deer, nor sheep, nor ony beast that bites the gerse will ever gang frae Eglinton to reid their well again!
Sc. 1954 Scotsman (24 Mar.) 7:
Herring for canning, quick freezing, curing, redding.

[O.Sc. rede, red, 1375; reid halk, c.1500; read-eattin, a savage monster, 1528; red fish, male salmon, 1457; red hand, red-handed, 1432; red-shank, a highlander, 1542; reidwod, mad, 1535.]

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"Reid adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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