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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

Scald, Skald, Scold, n.1 Also: scauld; skaul; scall; skold. [Midl. and north. ME and e.m.E. scald (Orm), skalde (c1400), skawde (c1460), appar. obs. after 1483, south. and e. midl. ME and e.m.E. scold (c1275), scolle (1569), skol (1572), scowld (1611), ON skáld a poet, also ?a lampooner.] One given to the use of vituperation or abusive language; one who by the use of such language causes public disturbance; a foul-mouthed quarreller.Applied to both men and women, but in the 17th century perh. increasingly to women.(a) a1500 Colk. Sow i 98.
Scho callit to hir cheir … A skeg a scornar a skald
Ib. ii 152.
So suld thay [sc. women] nocht be nemit Skaldis baldis and thairthrow … schamit
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 322.
And knaw, kene scald, I hald of Alathya
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 329/18.
I will not for none offence Flyt lyke ane skald
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 795 (T).
Scaid scald, our bald, soone fauld, or I melt thé
1604 Paisley B. Rec. 269.
As also of all skalds and flyettars within this burgh being tryit
1614 Elgin Rec. II 140.
Margrat Tailyour to be … banesit the toun as ane notorious skald
1618 Orkney Rentals App. 51.
That all scaldis, bairdis … and persons offensive to their neighbours be speiche, pay 40 s. and sit in the cockstuillis the space of four houris
1619 Perth Kirk S. MS 24 May.
Beatrix Wichtane … and Margaret Neisch … are found bauld schameles skaldis
1629 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 3 June.
That scho was a gryt scald ane banner & sweirar & blasphemer of the name of God
1632 Edinb. B. Rec. VII 108.
Childrein dissobedient to parents, lewd leivers, common scaldis and incorrigibill harlottes
1633 Strathbogie Presb. 6.
Declarit to be a perjured woman and a wyld scald quho resett all sort of infamous persones in her hous
1643 Orkney Rentals App. 56.
The old act made against skalds, bards and slanderers, to be intimate the nixt Sunday out of the pulpit
1647 Elgin Rec. II 258.
Marjorie Layng to be banisched scho being … ane theif and a scald
1656 Lasswade Session Rec. in Lee Hist. Church (1860) App. i 405.
Common flyters and skalds
(b) 1559 Peebles B. Rec. I 256.
That na flitaris nor scauldis be hard on the gait … vnder the pane of puttin of thame in the cuke stulis
(c) 1584 Ayrsh. Coll. 2 Ser. II 43.
[The town council ordained that] all skaulis and commoun flyteris be put in the clespis thairin to remane thrie houris
(d) 1611 Glasgow B. Rec. I 317.
That all sik scallis and bardis quha heireftir hapins to abuse honest wemen with thair blasphemous langage … be pwnist [pr. pwinst] in prissoun
(e) 1562 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 9.
All common skoldis, flyttaris and bardis to be baneist the toun
1655 Ellon Par. 117.
Isobel Gray ane professed scold and curser

b. An act of scolding. 1668 Kingarth Par. Rec. 52.
Delated Robert Milline and his wife for scold, flyting and striking one another most unchristianly

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"Scald n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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