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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TIDE, n., v. Also tyde; tidd-; tythe. Sc. forms and usages:

I. n. 1. As in Eng. obsol. Or poet., = time (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Comb. tide-serving, time-serving, obsequiousness. Phr. ¶tyde betyde, time about, alternately.Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 331:
I wiss that tide had been a lang lang year.
Sc. 1818 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxv.:
The office shall just cost him as much time-serving and tide-serving, as if he were to get it in gude earnest.
Abd. 1882 W. Forsyth Selections 23:
Aye they tumilt tyde betyde.
Uls. 1953 Traynor:
The doctor's no good this tide.

2. A good opportunity, a profitable occasion, specif. in fishing, a good catch (Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; Ork. 1929 Marw., a good tide o' fish; Cai. 1934; Sh. 1972).

3. As in Eng., the motion of the sea. Sc. combs.: (1) tide-gate, a patch of smooth water surrounded by mud (Mry. 1925); (2) tidehead, a tidal bore, a high wave where two tides meet (Dmf. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IV. 356); (3) tide-line, the last section of a fishing-line to be shot (Abd., Kcd., Ags. 1972); (4) tide-net, a fixed fishing-net which is filled by the flowing of the tide, leaving the fish stranded as it ebbs; (5) tide-tick, a sea-louse.(4) Dmf. 1824 Obs. Salmon Fishery Scot. 7:
At these lakes, the fishers erected what was at first called a tide or floating-net, in consequence of the net being so constructed, that it was the operation of the tide itself which secured the fish.
(5) Sc. 1823 Scott St Ronan's Well iv.:
We saw him pull out the salmon — clean fish — the tide-ticks on his gills.

4. The sea or ocean without reference to ebb or flow. Obs. or poet. in Eng.Abd. 1845 P. Still Cottar's Sunday 134:
Some burnie side That wimplin' wanders to the tide.
Wgt. 1878 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 15:
The haillwur cowpit aff his shouther into the tide.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 428:
Yince it wus in the water it wusna lang or it wun tae the tide.

5. The fore-shore, the land between high and low water-marks (Ags., Fif. 1972).Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 150:
The burnie is a' fu' o' mud, an' it stinks like the tide.

6. Liquid of any kind, in quot. specif. liquor.Slg. 1802 G. Galloway Admirable Crichton 74:
A smile o' love, an' gills o' tide, They'll soften your forehammer.

II. v. 1. (1) To befall, betide, happen. Obs. in Eng. Only in concessive expressions tide what may, tide what tide.Sc. 1808 Scott Marmion iii. xxii.:
Tide what tide, The demon shall a buffet bide.
Sc. 1875 J. Grant One of the 600 ii.:
Tide what may, you are not forgotten.

(2) To fare, to experience. See Betyde, v.Lnk. 1909 Rymour Club Misc. I. 130:
They that bide weel, tide weel.

2. Fishing: intr. To wait for a period between the laying and hauling of fishing-lines to give the fish time to take the bait (Sh., Ayr. (tid) 1972); tr. to leave (fishing-lines) for this purpose. .Bwk. 1839 Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club 224:
When the weather is hazy, and the buoy cannot be seen, they do not leave the last line at all, but tide their lines, as it is called, that is, they wait till the lines last shot have been so long in the water as to have time to pick up the fish on the ground, and then the lines are drawn in the reverse order to what they were put out.
Sh. 1953 C. G. D. Sandison Sixareen iv.:
At the grounds it would take a couple of hours to set the line, and after ‘tiding' it for a couple of hours they would commence to ‘haul'.

Hence vbl.n. tidin, tey-, tythin, the period during which the lines are left down (ne.Sc. 1925; Ayr. 1957, tiddin), the last section of line to be shot from a boat, usually with a stone or other large weight to anchor it (ne.Sc. 1925). Combs. tidin-bow, the buoy marking the position of the tidin (Bnff. 1930), tidin-time, the period of tiding (Mry. 1925) [′təidɪn, ′tɑeðɪn].

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"Tide n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2023 <>



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