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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Wed, Wod, Wad, n.1 Also: wede, weid, wedd, ved(e, vedde, wode, woid, wood, vod(e, wadd(e, wade, waid, vad(e, (wadge). Pl. also widdis. [ME and e.m.E. wedde (Layamon), wed (a1225), wedd (Cursor M.), wade (1665), OE wed(d, ON ved.]

1. A pledge or promise guaranteeing an outcome, as, salvation, marriage, etc.; the thing given as a guarantee. b. A token more generally. a1400 Leg. S. xviii 624.
That tre For oure sawete one quhi[l]k vas He Put, & His blud schede, & for ws put nane vthir wed
a1400 Leg. S. xli 400.
Remanis ay the forsad ryng One the fyngire Of that ymag of vad of weding
?1438 Alex. ii 6871.
‘All that I haue vtarly … Body and hart … To leif in ostage with ȝow' … 'I hald me payit' said that shene, ‘Quhare sic ane weid is left, I wene Men aucht to mak na mismaying … of courtes paying
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Ep. Ald Test. xv 42.
And thar salbe na mark nor na terme of his kingdom (and he sal mak it stabile) in the wed of beleue
a1582 Sir Colling 66.
Outher ane vad to bring away Or ellis my lyf to be forlorne
b. c1475 Wall. v 744.
In faith, with me a wed thar most abide … In to gret scorn … The taillis all off thai four hors thai schayr
1581-1623 James VI Poems II 84/88.
No token hade he left behinde As now this wedd it laye: Then counting it sume heauenlie gift [etc.]

2. A pledge, a thing (rarely, a person) deposited as security in a (legal) transaction or a guarantee of the fulfilment of an obligation. Also proverb.The proverb. example may include, in the second instance, a pun on Weg(g)e n. 3. 14.. Acts I 41/2.
Gif ony man … myssayis the aldirman … it behufis hym … to nyte it … sayand that he leyit … layande a wede [L. cum vadimonio] in his wyl
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 111.
Gif in the kepyng of him the wede be made wers
1490 Irland Mir. I 27/35.
The haly spreit … is the manere of a gage and wede, to mak ws sure and sekyre of oure heretage
1498 Edinb. Hammermen 24b.
To the pinour to bring the weddis fra the blak freris
1508 Misc. Spald. C. IV 193.
Reseruand to the said Erle the waddis of the said forest
1519 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 54.
Jonet Bryden to paye ix d. … and to rasayf hir wod als gud as it was deliverit
1524 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 200.
[To] keip still in his handis the silver weddis [pertaining to the Queen]
1551 Dundee B. Ct. II 50b (17 April).
Quhare of he hes ressauit fyve li. of money … in Willem Mylnis hand by the wad dependant vnprysit
1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 85.
My buke to borrow … scho did inquyre Ane wed thairfoir scho said scho wald doun lay Quhill scho it red
c1575 Balfour Pract. 194.
Gudis and landis ar sumtimes lent and borrowit under sickernes of ane wad: And it is to wit, that sum thingis ar laid in wad to ane certane day [etc.]
1582 Waus Corr. 252.
As tueiching your woddis, I deliuerit thame to the cadger except thrie pece of gold
c1590 Fraser Wigtown 392.
They … vald not geif hir to lous for vod nor cautioun
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 18.
Because he entered not his pledges, at the day assigned to him, … he him selfe was pledge; that therefore he sall giue wades to the King, vntill he be payed and satisfied. And gif he may not giue wades according to the Kings will; he sall remaine as wade: aye and quhill he enter the pledges, quhilkis he promised
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 104 (Table).
Wadde, vadium, in Latine pignus, consists in things moveable, or immoveable [etc.]
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1681) i 77.
Wedds and gadges Taken from widows
1454–5 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i 226 (18 March).
Fand Edmound Lowson law borch that [etc.] … for a certane of widdis that is for to sai ij siluer potis & j gold ryng quhilkis the said Alexander Chawmeris fader laid … in vede
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 179.
Ane fair wed naver shamed the maister
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 862.
I sall cal ane other wadge on your tales nor a wadge of grein cheise

b. The process of underwriting a debt in this way. 1559–60 Soc. Ant. XI 522.
[She] hes actionem pignoratitiam for repetitioun of the said wod as scho may of the law efter payment of the det
c1575 Balfour Pract. 196.
Gif … the rentis of the landis, or ony uther thing laid in wad, sall not acquyte the principal debt, the said … appointment is unjust and unhonest, and is callit died wad. And … it is repute and haldin as ane kind of ocker
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. (Latin) ii 114b.
Drowned wadd

c. To lay, tak, have, etc. in (to) wed, to give or accept such a pledge. Also fig.Also, once, laid wed.(1) 1396 Bk. Carlaverock II 418.
Me, John Stewart … tie hafe wedset, and laide in wed al my landis
1422 Stirlings of Keir 208.
Tyl haf wede set and in mouabil wede tyl haf latyng … al my landis
?1423 (1430) Reg. Great S. 38/2.
Me … til haf put in wede til my lowyt … frend … al the landis of [etc.]
14.. Acts I 356/2.
Thingis … lent or laid in wed
1454 Coll. St. Salvator 161.
Twa chandleris off siluer … layd in wed
1454 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 2 Aug.
The balȝeis … sal buy or get in wed, als meikle annuale als thai may get … with the said soume of twenty punds
1454–6 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i 226 (18 March) (see 2 (b) above). 1460 Aberd. B. Rec. I 405.
That na induellande of this burgh … tak in wed ony gudis that Wat Cutlaris wife bryngis
1467 Acta Aud. 6/2.
Wilȝam sall … joysse the said landis … quhill he pay him the soume that thai ly in wed for
1478 Reg. Morton II 243.
We grant ws to haue resawit in wed for the sowme of fyfty pundis … ane chene of gold
1488 Treas. Acc. I 98.
Til Andro Wod, quhilk he had gevin away at the kingis command, and had the thesauraris signet in wed tharof, xv halfe rois nobillis
1503 Prestwick B. Rec. 37.
Quhilk he gafe her in wed of a quart of aile
1515 Fam. Rose 186.
He resavand … the mone it lyis in wed of now
1530 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 28.
1601 Mackie Denmilne MSS 36.
Gif ever the necessitie … sall sa requyre ye sall offer to lay youreself in uedde thaire
(b) 1522 Dumfries B. Ct. 42a.
Four punds for the quhilk it was laid in wod be the said John Welch
1527 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 85.
Jhone Freir … hes lait ane caldreon in wod to James Braidfut for tua bollis of beir
1535 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 158.
I had this blak hors in vod of xx s.
1538 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 200.
He tuk ane plaid of voll in vode of etting corne
1541–2 Elgin Rec. I 67.
For the quhilk the said Janet hes ane pot in vod
1549 Prot. Bk. J. Crawford 28b.
The sayd merkland … in vod & pyngneratioun of xl merkis of mone
1561 Stirling B. Rec. I 78.
For the quhilk the said Sanct Peteris challeis lay to him in wod
1592 Edinb. Test. XXIV 124a.
(c) 1540 Linlithgow B. Ct. 15 Oct.
1549–50 Stirling B. Rec. I 59.
Quhilk chenyie [he] … laid in wad to Sir James Cosour
1568–9 Lanark B. Rec. 43.
Quhilk rig lyis in wad of ane soum of monie
c1575 Balfour Pract. 194.
Sum thingis ar laid in deid, or drownit wad
1601 Crim. Trials II 355.
He delyuerit ane to Jeane Reid … in wad of ane saiddill
1611 Dunblane Test. III 119a.
Scho hes ane pair blak cloukis in vade
1622-6 Bisset II 236/14.
Næ hostillare … may tak of men of wearis vapynnis … in gadge or wad
(2) 1531 Bell. Boece I lvii.
He that sald his swerd, or laid it to wed, was degradit of auctorite
1573 Inv. Q. Mary cliii.
All that was lefte of the juelles unlayde to wed
(3) 1483 Acta Conc. II cxxx.
The some of viij Henre nobles quhilk … was wissilit and changit be the said Johne and nocht laid wed
fig. c1475 Wall. iv 633.
Ȝit felle Sothron left the lyff to wed
a1500 Seven S. 1201.
He his lyf suld lay in wed To mak him hele
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10656.
Seuin times furth I was led To the gallous to leif my life in wed
1571 Bann. Memor. 139.
I doubt not but faith and love is left in Machling, in wode of hardheidis, whair mony of your merchandis leivis thaire faith
1627 Mar & Kellie MSS Suppl. 244.
As to my soone Jaems … altho itt is treu his affaers heir requyres his presens, yitt ye may lay him in vad of your denner, as the auld proverb is

3. In asseverations: I (dar) lay wede, my hed to wed, I wager, I bet, let my head (life) be in pledge.(1) a1400 Leg. S. i 488.
Lat Symon [etc.]; … And ȝe sal se, I lay wede, The fendis craft son onhyde
?1438 Alex. ii 7230.
Ane mychty man … Durst nocht derene, I dar la wed
1535 Stewart 16770.
I dar la wode, Within schort quhile that [etc.]
(2) c1475 Wall. ix 1209.
My hed to wed, Lochlewyn he past to se
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1937.
‘Get vp,’ scho said ‘for schame be na cowart. My heid in wed, thow hes ane wyifes hart’

4. a. attrib. 1511–12 Treas. Acc. IV 321.
Money in wed silvir … three skoire tene unce
1513 Wigtown B. Ct. 24a.
Johne McNacht the pece of waid land in the balȝeis hand

b. comb.Wedfe, a wager; a prize in a competition. Wad-keeper, one who keeps or renders a pledge. Only fig. Wedmen, = next. Wedwyf, a (female) pawnbroker, esp. one who takes in pledge or deals in clothing and household linen. 1504–5 Treas. Acc. III 128.
To Dande Doule, that the king tynt on ane wedfee, xiiij s.
c1563 Reg. Panmure I xxxii.
He exerciset the gowf, and oftymes past to Barry lynkes, quhan the wadfie vos for drink
1570 Leslie 238.
Thair was gret bonespellis, matches and wedfeis betuix the Scottismen and the Inglismen in sindre gammes
1593 Logie Par. Hist. I 39.
The caus was onelie for winning of ane wodfie maid betwix him and Thomas Rannald
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xlvi 7.
Shute on; lat sie vho first my wedfie w[ins]; For I will wed ane apple and a nute
a1605 Montg. Devot. P. iii 7.
Sleep na mair in sleuth and sin, Bot … richtly rin That hevinly wedfie for to win Vhilk He prepairs for His
1620 Old Dundee I 408.
1646 Rec. Old Aberd. II 21.
For … preisung to tack ane kis frome ane maried woman perforce vpon ane wadfye
c1615 Chron. Kings 86.
Johne Scott for ane wodfie fastit fourtie dayis
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 175.
Conscience … is a faithfull wad-keeper; the gages that it receiveth it renders
1697 Edinb. B. Rec. XII 215 (see Wedwyf below).
1505 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 106.
It is forbidden that ony wed wyffis … tak or lay ony maner of weddis belangand to ony maner of clayth kind
1536 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 23 Jan.
The wedewif to be deschargit her office, and all that hes ony veds of hyr to cum to the bailȝes and schaw quhat thai haif and quairon it lies
1539 Soc. Ant. II 392.
1553 Dundee B. Ct. II 235 (3 July).
Fyve ellis of chammelot acclamit be Gelis Lin vpon Mege Air vedvyf
1573 Crail B. Ct. 16 Oct.
Christein Hay … is elactit and chosin wodwyffe quha hes gewin and maid hir ayth off fidelitie, And the foirsaidis bailȝeis ordanis that na vther persone within this burgh vse ony sic vocatioun
1574 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 29.
Proclamatioun … discharging all maner of wed wyffis, and vther personis vsing that kynd of trafique, of vsing thairof
1585 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 445.
That na wedwyffes, husseis, or any kynd of persouns, men or wemen be fund … cumand to ony nichtbouris howssis to offer … any clayth paytlets, slevis, gownis, clething, bedding, naiprie [etc.] … to be exchayngeit, gevin sawld or layet in wed
1596 Edinb. Test. I 181.
Elspeth Macnair, wadwife in Edinburgh
1647 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 83.
That nane of the wedvywes sell throw the toune any clothes, old or new
1697 Edinb. B. Rec. XII 215.
That all wedmen and wedwives be discharged … for the encouradgment of the said office to fie or hyre any servants whatsomever for money

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"Wed n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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