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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Erd(e, Eird, Eard, n. Also: erid, eyrd, irde, aird, herd. [ME. (chiefly northern) erd(e, var. of erthe Erthe n., perh. by association with erd, OE. eard. Cf. also Ȝerd(e n.]

1. The earth as a whole: a. With the or this.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xlii. 259.
The erde steryt sa fellounly That al the cyte … schuke
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 551.
The erde tremblede full horribily
c1420 Wynt. ii. 503.
I can be na way trowe That othir modyre have we nowe Than the erde
1424 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 14.
The quhilk is til vs maste liking tithingez that may be in this erde
1456 Hay I. 15/8.
The third party of the erd was brynt
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 37.
Als far as lycht passis myrknes Or hevyne is na the erd mare hye
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyting 9.
The erd sould trymbill, the firmament sould schaik
1513 Doug. iv. xi. 1.
Be this Aurora … heth the erd ourspred With new days licht
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 162.
Rychtso … Saturne … Abufe the erd than maid he no sudgeourne
1583 Edinb. Test. XII. 157 b.
Hir body to be bureit in the bosum of the erd
(b) 1461 Liber Plusc. 383.
God of nature, Quhilk all this eird honouris With fruyt and fulye
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. iii. 62.
This brukill eird … Me thocht I saw birne in ane fyrie rage
1549 Compl. 51/15.
Ther is sa mony … rasons that preuis that the eird is round, and that the eird is the centir of the ix hauynis
1567 G. Ball. 26.
How saull and body ar at weir: Upone this eird
1590 Crim. Trials I. 210.
Fylit for the suffering of him selff to be careit to North-Berwik Kirk as gif he had bene souchand athoirt the eird
(c) 15.. Clar. iv. 2150.
All haill! the eard awcht ȝow to honoure
1585 Montg. in 1585 James VI Ess. 69.
Leauing all the Heauins aboue He lichted on the eard
1587-99 Hume vii. 62.
Quhill … The heauens resound, and trimbling take the eard

b. Without article. a1400 Leg. S. i. 686.
Sene he will I cum hym till Fra erde to hewin
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 581.
Als wele baith erde, ayer, & wynde
c1420 Wynt. v. 5266.
Quhare wes God, … Befor that hewyn and erd wes wroucht
1513 Doug. i. v. 89.
Juno, that … Now cummyrris erd, sey, and ayr
1549 Compl. 27/20.
The supreme plasmator of hauyn and eird hes permittit them to be boreaus
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xlvi. 32.
For they haif wroght my weird Vnhappiest on eird
1585 James VI Ess. 13.
Throwing Phaethon downe from heauen to eard

c. In (the or this) erde, on earth.(1) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 94.
Syne of ferlyis that war wrocht Be hir in erd, lefit I nocht
1456 Hay I. 104/16.
The pape, quhilk has all power generale in erde
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 366.
Quhat is it that was of before, bot it that is now in erde
c1475 Wall. vi. 86.
Thow sall los a gage Quhilk neuir in erd sall be redemyt agayne
c1500-c1512 Dunb. iv. 13.
No stait in erd heir standis sickir
1535 Stewart 15011.
Langar to leve I couet nocht in eird
a1568 Scott xiii.1.
To ȝow in erd that I lufe best I me commend
1570 Leslie 56.
His eldest sone, quha wes maist precious of onything in erd to him
(2) 1456 Hay I. 8/18.
Quhen the Apostolis was in the erde prechand
Ib. 19/11.
The said Emperour, the quhilk … next the pape is the grettest in the erde
c1460 Vert. Mess 3923.
Ony vthir oresone or sacrifice that may be said or maid in this erd
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 352.
I … laid all manly materis, and mensk in this eird
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. x.
Thair is na pleseir in this eird so great As quhen [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4160.
I can get na solace in this eird

d. The ground in a particular place. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 834.
Thane of the erde sprange a fyre
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1200.
Wythin the myddis off the towne All the erd than opnyd down
Ib. viii. 699.
Quhen in the erd was swnkyn than Choré, Datan, and Abyran
1456 Hay I. 46/6.
In myddis the citee of Rome the erde opnyt, and cum furth of the erde a stynkand ayre

2. The surface of the earth, the ground: a. With reference to persons thrown down, falling, or prostrate on the ground. 1375 Barb. iv. 284.
The Kyng … Wes laid at erd
Ib. v. 634.
He … him doun ded to the erd drafe
a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 132.
He fel of hors … Til erde for abasitnes
c1420 Wynt. viii. 6574.
Sum held on fute, sum at erd lay
?1438 Alex. i. 1961.
Caulus to erd was borne doun thair, And dyueris deid
1513 Doug. v. vi. 81.
He … fell at erd gruflyngis amyd the fen
1531 Bell. Boece II. 392.
Mony pepill wer drevin at erd, on all sidis
1542 Elgin Rec. I. 70.
Thomas Ayir wrangit in the … crewellie halding of him at erd
c1550 Rolland C. Venus ii. 648.
Skant was he up, quhen at the eird was he
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvii. 86 (B).
Baith hors and man he straik till eird
15.. Clar. iii. 365.
Ather man or hors ȝeid to the eard
?1438 Alex. i. 2464.
Mony ane to eard can gang

b. Of buildings completely demolished. c1420 Wynt. viii. 5008.
Schyre Andrewe … Wan the castelle off Andristoun, And to the erd syne dange it doun
1518 Acta Conc. MS. XXXI. 178.
[To rebuild the castle] distroyit and at the erde
1533 Boece xv. ix. 591.
Edward … chargit beld of new all castellis falȝeit or at erde
1535 Stewart 19333.
The starkest [town or tower] … Law to the erd tha kest thame doun
1553–4 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 20.
The westmost … chope, giffand x s. yeir, because it is at the erd and nocht bet
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 258.
Thair wes ane lugeing … pertenyng to … Nicoll Wdwart, … daschit to eird for his contemptioun
a1578 Pitsc. I. 124/6.
Quhen he had gottin the castell … he maid it equall with the eard
fig. 1622-6 Bisset I. 285/30.
All the haill procese past thereupoun of befoir is quyte at eird

c. With the prepositions under or abone.(a) 1386 Bk. Carlaverock II. 418.
Alswele vndir erde as abone
14.. Acts I. 361/2.
Gif he lay his custum in the statut place vnder the erde or vnder a stane
1456 Hay I. 64/25.
The pillare Julien, the quhilk is of vi score of fut of hicht abune the erde
a1500 Seven S. 1703.
Hid thingis that the erd ar wndere
1510 Crim. Trials I. 66.
Gif thair be ony hurdis fundyn wndir the erde
1531 Reg. Dunfermline 362.
That the watter may haue anis passage to the sey vnder erd
1596 Dalr. II. 247/31.
In Clidisdale war funde … vndir the erd sum vanes ful of golde
(b) 1490 Foulis Chart. (Reg. H.) 4 Dec.
The saide lande to be haldyn … alsaveyle onder eyrde as abovne ȝeyrde
1538 Soc. Ant. XVI. 194.
Howses, toftis, asweyll … under the eyrd as abeyne
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 253.
To erd the samyn [filth] vnder the eird
1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 196.
vj daillis to be fluring under the clarkis feit, above the cauld eird
(c) 1596 Dalr. I. 21/29.
Gif … he [a slueth-hound] can nocht entir vndir the eard
1623 Crim. Trials III. 548.
Quhair he lay aboue the eard the space of aucht dayis

d. In various contexts.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 360.
He saw hyr raysit a cowte & mare Fra erde in ayre
c1420 Wynt. i. 716.
Quhen thai ly on erde to slepe
Ib. v. 2566.
Wngrawyn outht the erde he lay
Ib. vi. 257.
At the erd apon hys hand Ane armyd knycht he wald gere stand
?1438 Alex. i. 2965.
The erd dintit, he raid sa fast
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 181/2.
The wyne graip rottis … gif it ly at the erd under the leif
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 234.
Scho suld not stert for his straik a stray breid of erd
1549 Compl. 68/24.
It vas lyik to fal doune fra hyr hede to the cald eird
Ib. 102/20.
Betuix the tua speyris that stude vp fra the eyrd
15.. Clar. v. 278.
Rich talbart sleves, … Upon the eard behind hir trailling syde
1625 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 347.
They sall haue … libertie … laiche on the eard to put out oyes ane or ma
(2) 1402 Reg. Panmure II. 184.
Frae the corne be lede of the erde
c1420 Wynt. ii. 103.
All tyme scho had copy gret Off froyte that grew on erd and tre
1456 Reg. Aberbr. 89.
Nane othir thing that mai reide the erde or skaith the pasture
1487 Prestwick B. Rec. 51.
Alex. George, ballie … , gaf heretable state … apoun the erd of the said twa rodis
1535 Stewart 16759.
Ȝit fra the rute small wandis will vpspring … And heild mair erd nor the tre quhen it stude
1590 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 68.
Kepand the aird and schriff thairof [sc. the links] ondelvit or cassin vp

3. The soil of the earth. a1400 Leg. S. xxviii. 70.
A man [that] had gud inuch, Sic as men wynnis of erd & pleuch
Ib. xxxiv. 354.
The body syne in erde thai lade
c1420 Wynt. i. 130.
Out of that welle cummys fludis foure Till moyst the erde
14.. Acts I. 67/2.
Thai sal wyth thar handis and thar feit delf the erde
Ib. 323/2.
He aw till mak a cors in till the erde … quhar the bestis ar fundyn
1456 Hay I. 240/12.
The labourage of the erde is sa privilegit for the wynnyng of mannis sustenaunce
a1500 Henr. Fab. 8 (Makc.).
As throw a bustewous erd … Spryngys the flowris and the corne
1533 Bell. Livy I. 284/35.
This ȝoik wes made of thre speris, of quhilkis twa war dentit in the erde
1549 Compl. 24/21.
The oncoutht … pepil sal eyt the frute of the eyrd that thou hes lauborit
1600-1610 Melvill 366.
Even as in the tries and plantes … growing ather within or without the erde
1622-6 Bisset I. 314/17.
Wranguslie … mawand his medowes, and delfand his eard of the foirnemmed landis
1647 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 78.
The said buriall siluer to be payit … befoir any … licience be grantit to raise or opin the eard

b. Earth or soil as a substance. a1400 Leg. S. v. 564.
He … gert be mad A pyte, … and but hone The erde gerte of the kirk be don
c1450 Craft of Deyng 175.
For bestis knawis na thing bot erde and warldly thingis, by the resone of the erde at thai ar maid off
1494 Treas. Acc. I. 249.
Gyffyne for castyne of the erd fra the schip
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xi. 2.
Think, man, thow art bot erd and as
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 133.
To four barrowmen … baring of lous erd and stane furtht of the samin [clos]
1558 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 21.
The said James to caus mak tua hundreth creillis for bering of eird
1576 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 19 b.
That ewerie tenent … big teth fawldis of feall and erd
1622 Black Bk. Taymouth 373.
Persewis McVane … for a pock of eird that scho tuik

c. Erd and stane as a symbol of the transference of landed property.In common use throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. Also rarely erd, tre, and stane.(1) 1432 Soc. Ant. II. 388.
I … gafe heritabil state, possessione, and sesing … be erde and stane
1443 Reg. Great S. (1450) 86/2.
We … gert present to the foure hede courtis … irde and stane and profferit that landis to sell
1454 Mun. Univ. Glasg. I. 14.
It salbe leful … to tak vp the said tenement and the acris with erd and stane in thar awin hande
1478 Reg. Episc. Glasg. 459.
He besoch the juge and court … til deliuer hym erd and stane in falt of payment of the grund annuell
1505 Lanark B. Rec. 14.
The saed balye … gaef heritabyll stat, sesing and possessione, be the self eyrd and stane, to Alexander Williamsone
1506 Thanes of Cawdor 119.
Be the deliuerance of erd and stane, heisp and stapill, as the maner of burrowis is
1517 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 44.
Quharfor he inbroucht incontinent herd and stane of the said grond in ane lynnyn clath and present to the said ballyeis
1544 Misc. Bann. C. III. 423.
[He] resignit and upgaif, be eird and stane, all and haill his tenement of land
1576 Prot. Bk. G. Fyiff 10 b.
That … ȝe pas and gif reall seasing and possessoun … be traditioun of eard and stane to the said Johne
1586 Prot. Bk. T. Lindsay 212.
Be deliuerance of erd and stane of the ground … in the handes of the said Johnn
1615 Lanark B. Rec. 125.
Thairefter the said William Levistoun, be eird, stain, and ane penne, as usse is, resignit the said land
(2) 1456 Douglas Chart. 85.
Tyl hafe giffyn … the landis of Ewisdale … be the deliuerans oferde, tre, and stane, as the maner is at the cheife chemes
1483 15th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. ix. 13.
John Durand … gaif and deliverit be the gift of erd, tre, and stane, as maner is, heritable stait, possessioun and seising till … Jonet Adamsone

d. Earth as one of the four elements. 1549 Compl. 33/18.
This material varld that is maid of the four elementis, of the eird, the vattir, the ayr, ande the fyir
c1550 Rolland C. Venus Prol. 48.
The elementis … Quhilks ar thir four, eird, fyre, water, and air

4. A portion of the earth's surface; a piece of ground. 1375 Barb. vi. 128.
Quhen he sa stoutly hym allane, For litill strynth of erd has tane To ficht with twa hundredth & ma
c1475 Wall. v. 101.
To the next woode twa myil thai had to gang, Off upwith erde
1513 Doug. ii. ii. 20.
Wald God sum erd, or sand, Or sum salt see did swelly me alife
1533 Boece i. vii. 49.
King Fergus … chargit that all … wemen and barnis suld pas to craggis and strate erdis
1535 Stewart 1193.
Quhair it wes brocht in ony land or erd, … Of verrie det the Scottis thair suld ring
1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 165.
For careing away of ane hill and erd lyand befor the freir yeard
1578 Aberd. Chart. 337.
Ascendand vp linealie to the merche stane vnder the eird of the medow of Rubislaw
1590 Digest Justiciary Proc. M. 30.
[They] tuik with thame spedis and past to ane peice of earde … and mead ane graiff
1622-6 Bisset I. 314/15.
Sayand that wranguslie … he had manured and laboured his erd and land of the Cathyre of Drumdas
1636 Misc. Spald. C. V. 225.
Anent the gryt abus and skaith doune be fyr, burning firr stoks, and greine eird

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



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