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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Bed, Bede, n. Also: bedd, bedde; beid, bead; bad, baid. [ME. bed, bedd(e, OE. bed, bedd. The long vowel indicated in the Sc. spellings bede, beid, also appears in ME. bede, e.m.E. beed.]

1. A bed. Also in phrases, as ga to bed, tak bed.(a) 1375 Barb. ix. 428 (thair fayis, that in beddis war); xix. 654 (thar-within a bed he had). 14.. Acts I. 41/2 (na man lyande in bedde of dede). c1420 Wynt. iv. 2356 (as he lay in tyll his bed); vii. 300 (schyre Willame yhed till his bed). 1456 Hay I. 266/11 (that thou has defoulit my bed); II. 133/28 (to slepe apon a soft bed). a1500 Rauf C. 268 (till he was in bed brocht). 1499 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. II. 26 (thre ruche beddis, ij fedder beddis). a1500 Doug. K. Hart 751 (scho gan to ryse out of the bed). c1500-c1512 Dunb. vi. 32 (in iny lordis bed of stait). 1513 Doug. i. xi. 13 (apon rvch beddis sydis); iv. xii. 13 (scho fell in the bed). 1559 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 267 (quhen I wes passand to my bed). 1560 Rolland Seven S. 3/16 (scho behuid for to tak bed). 1566 Fleming Q. Mary 499 (the trees of ane bedde; ane cuvering of ane bed). 1596 Misc. Spald. C. I. 87 (he tuik bed with ane hevie seiknes).(b) a1400 Leg. S. i. 487 (lat Symon on fer stand fra the bede). c1420 Wynt. ii. 318 (dremys that men seys slepand in thare bede); vi. 1639 (in to bede wyth hyr he lay). 1497 Treas. Acc. I. 336 (to pay his bede in Striuelin). 1503 Ib. II. 392 (for carying of bedis, clathes, and hingingis). c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 237 (and I wer in a beid broght). 15.. Clar. i. 1159 (into his bede he gart him ly); iii. 1561 (whairto suld I to bedis go). a1578 Pitsc. I. 47/2 (albeit he had never ryssin out of his bede). 1600-1610 Melvill 495 (I cal'd for chamber, fyre, and bead). 1601 Reg. Privy C. VI. 280 (tua stand bedis of fire). 1633 Stirlings of Keir 448 (bedis, bousteris, codis). 1649 Wemyss Chart. 231 (my shoud [= sewed] beid I boir my shildrein in).(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxv. 314 (trewand that scho in hyre bad had bene). c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxxi. 20 (me thocht Distres in baid lay me abone). 1633 Stirlings of Keir 448 (ane greine dames bad).

b. Bed and burd(e, lodging and food. Bak and bed: see Bak n.1 1 c.1554 Montgomery Mem. 150 (to be diuorcit fra bed and burd). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 109 marg. (fra bed and buird only). 1577 Edinb. Test. V. 100 b (his sone in Sewhuik at bed & burde). 1596 Conv. Burghs I. 487 (remayneing in hous at bed and buird). 1665 Ib. III. 579 (keeping bed and buird).

c. Of full, or lauchful, bed, legitimate. Of the first bed, of the first marriage.1461 Douglas Chart. 90 (a douchtir of lauchfule bede gottyn). c1515 Asl. MS. I. 201/3 (his twa sonnis that war of full bed). 1563 Rec. Earld. Orkney 115 (of the quhilk the fyrst thre, beand eldest and of the fyrst beid, ar layit togyddyr in arff).

2. A flat base or foundation; a level structure. 1510 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 103.
The said Johnne … sal mak gret and squar beddis … up of the said stepile
1575 Edinb. Test. III. 372 b.
Sex peces of beddis of sockis of Irne weyand thrie stane wecht
1616 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 340.
The kirnellis, corballis, and reckis to be all aboue the rigging, … and the nether beddis thairof to be with the rigging
1633 M. Works Acc. XXVIII. 5 b.
Ane aught foot meinȝeow of xviij inches breid in the bed and xiij inchis thick
1645 Tulliallan Coal Wks. 146 b.
For ane bead to the new mill, 7. 13. 04

3. A garden-bed.1542 Reg. Cupar A. II. 208 (twa beddis of herbis; four beddis of vnȝeonis; twa beddis of eschis).

4. A bank in the sea. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 3/8.
Betuix maist daingerus sanddy beddis … and terrible rolkis
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxvii. 29.
Chanellis, craggis, beddis & bankis blind
1612 Reg. Privy C. IX. 340.
The harborie [being] filled with beddis of sand

5. Attrib. with cod, coffer, end, erand, foly, pand, room, staf, seit, stock, ȝairne, etc.Also Bed-chalmer, -claith, -feit, -plaid, etc. 1604 Elgin Rec. II. 119.
Having a bedcod on his heid
1539 Treas. Acc. VII. 165.
Twa bed cofferis with ane great bawhoy
1582 Edinb. Test. XI. 239.
The kist at the bed end
c1550 Rolland C. Venus Prol. 248.
Nichtbouris … ryding in bed erandis thairout
1567 Sat. P. vii. 216.
As bedfoly to sic mischeif hir led
1642 Edinb. Test. LX. 164 b.
Tuentie sex peice worsett and silk bed laice
1562 Edinb. B. Deeds 62 b.
Ane sait langsadill, ane bed langsadill
1511 Treas. Acc. IV. 300.
xxj pece takkill to the gret schip, iij tros and v bedlinis
1582 Edinb. Test. XI. 14 b.
Ane new bed mantill
1590 Ib. XXII. 257 b.
xxvij dosone of bed neidillis
1694 Inchmahome Pr. 160.
Ane shewed cutt holland table cloath and bedpand
1595 Edinb. Test. XXVIII. 296 b.
Tua bed pannis
1596 Ib. XXIX. 235.
Ane bedrowme or the chalmer
1591 Crim. Trials I. 253.
All the tyme of your drowis, your guidmannis sark to be ... laid woumplit vnder your bedseit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 70/22.
He … had slokinnit of bedsolace the sweit
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1345.
With my bedstaf that dastard beirs ane dint
1635 Haddington Corr. 303.
Ane grene bedsteid of woode
1671 Stirling Comm. Good MS. 70 b.
For puting vp his bed and a daill to the bedstock
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xviii. 32.
The burning of bedstray of the defunct
1621 Edinb. Test. LI. 126.
Thrie bedstules
1606 Edinb. Test. XLI. 225.
Certane woll and bedȝairne

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"Bed n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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