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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.

RID, v., n. Also ridd. Sc. usages:

I. v. 1. To remove rubbish or silt from (a ditch or channel). Cf. Redd, v. 4. (3).Abd. 1719 Third S.C. Misc. I. 37:
George Reid, . . . shall contribute their assistance for ridding the Syr and ditch.

2. To vacate (property). Ppl.adj. rid, in Sc. Law, of property: cleared and ready for occupation by the next tenant; vbl.n. ridden ( < -ing), in comb. ridden meal, rent paid by an incoming tenant to an outgoing tenant who allows him to have occupation of the holding before the statutory date (Ayr. 1825 Jam.). See Mail.(1) Sc. 1713 Morison Decisions 13891:
Unless he had left the possession rid and void.
Ork. 1734 P. Ork. A.S. I. 66:
To leave the same [lands, etc.] void and rid at that term [Martinmas].
Ayr. 1825 Jam.:
Your mother's spence it pleases me But its moichness hurts me sairly: Therefore I'll pay a ridden meal, — Although I dine but sparely.

3. Of a plough: to shape or curve (the beam) so as to prevent it from being choked or obstructed by stones or weeds in its progress. Hence ppl.adj. rid, in comb. rid-plough, a plough so constructed, and deriv. ridder, a kind of scuffler fixed to the plough-beam in front of the coulter for this purpose. Cf. Redd, v.1, 3. (2).Sc. 1822 Farmer's Mag. (Nov.) 441:
The Rid-plough, made by Mr. Finlayson of Muirkirk in Ayrshire (so called from the facility with which it gets rid of any substances that are apt to accumulate, and impede the progress of other ploughs).
Sc. 1831 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Agric. 392, 1188:
The heath or self-cleaning plough, or rid plough, is formed with the beam so curved vertically, or divided and curved horizontally, as to leave no resting place for stubble, heath or other vegetable matter, at the top of the coulter. . . . An addition to the plough, called a ridder, . . . to clear away the stubble from the coulter.

4. To carry out, dispatch.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 210:
If we are on the way to rid an errand.

5. To disentangle, unravel: (1) of thread, yarn, etc., freq. in fig. contexts. Cf. Redd, v.1, 6. (1).Ayr. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 86:
Ye gae him gay ill purns to rid.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 202:
A bundle of cordage, so confusedly warped, that there is no ridding it out.
Gall. a.1897 Rab Ringan's Plewman Cracks 38:
Just a ravelled hesp; and it's clean ayont me to mak it rid again.

(2) of the hair: to comb. Cf. Redd, v.1, 6. (3).Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 36:
Rid your heid, comb your hair.

(3) fig.: to settle, sort out, clear up, to determine (land boundaries, lit. and fig.), esp. in phr. to rid the marches. See also Redd, v.1, 6. (4), March, n.1, and Ride.Sc. 1721 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 562:
To rid marches in the powers of the different officers of Christ's institution.
Sc. 1755 R. Shirra Remains (1850) 131:
It is very necessary we rid marches between these two and observe what the law is, and faith.
Abd. 1782 F. Douglas E. Coast Scot. 161:
By antient custom, a particular mark of respect was put upon novices, or those who rid the marches for the first time.
Sc. 1847 W. Hanna Mem. T. Chalmers (1852) IV. 515:
He rids the marches between the election of God on the one hand, and the freeness of the Gospel on the other.
Gall. a.1897 Rab Ringan's Plewman Cracks 50:
I'm no ga'in' to rid oot the richts or the wrangs o' that sayin'.

(4) to intervene in a quarrel by separating (combatants), to put an end to (fighting). Derivs. riddance, intervention in a quarrel, ridder, one who intervenes to stop a quarrel.Rxb. 1716 J. J. Vernon Par. Hawick (1900) 126:
When he heard ane crying murther he straight way went up to make riddance and to allay tumult. . . . He was the Ridder who went from his house to make peace betwixt the said Wm. Olifer and Thomas Hugan.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 85:
Dogs will rid Swine. A third Opposite will make two contending Parties agree.
Sc. 1730 W. Forbes Institutes II. 246:
To rid Frays, and call the Assistance of Neighbours for that End.

6. Of a room or building: to tidy up, to set in order. Ppl.adj. rid, in phr. ill rid-up, untidy.Sc. 1728 Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 89:
To-morrow morning the enemy will be here, and ye'll have an ill rid-up house.

II. n. 1. A comb for the hair, freq. for horses' hair (Kcb., Dmf. 1958).

2. Comb. rid-up, a tidying up, a sorting out.Gall. a.1897 Rab Ringan's Plewman Cracks 38:
It's wonderfu' what a happy rid-up it sune gets.

[O.Sc. rid, to free from rubbish, c.1400, O.N. ryðja, to clear. Cf. Redd, v.1, n.1, with which it has been almost entirely confused.]

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"Rid v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2023 <>



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