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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.

Ȝard(e, Yard(e, n. Also: ȝhard(e, yharde, ȝaird, yaird(e, ȝayrd, yayrde, ȝerd(e, yerde, yeyrd, ȝea(i)rd, yeard(e, yeared. [ME and e.m.E. yard, yerd (Cursor M.), ȝerd (c1400), yerde (Caxton), yarde (1523), OE ᵹeard.]For many further examples see Barnȝarde n., Bernȝard n., Buriall n. 3, Cale n. 3, Corn-ȝard n., Dowcot n. 2, Fisch-ȝard n., Fore-yaird n., Gardin n. 2, Hay n. b, Kachepele n. c, Kaleȝard n., Kichin(g n. 3, Kirkȝard-dyk(e n., Kirk-ȝard(e n., Lio(u)n n. 1 a (3), Mur(e)land n. 3 b, Nut n. 1 d, Pakhous(e n. attrib., Pece n. 7 (2), Pedagog(e n.2 attrib., Rottin adj. 3 b.

1. An area of enclosed ground adjacent to a house or public building, planted with grass or trees or used for growing crops, vegetables, etc.; an orchard; a (kitchen) garden.Some examples may belong in 2 below.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xii 146.
As he was lukand forthyrwart, He saw fare appolis in a ȝarde
a1400 Leg. S. xl 406.
[He] in the ȝard sone has sene Caile & leikis … cummyne of nev sawine seide
c1400 Troy-bk. i 255.
Ȝardes for herbys and for virgerys That fruyt in grew of sere maneris
14.. Acts I 363/2.
Gyf ony burges haf closour or yharde closyt and ony bestis of his nychburis … entter tharin [etc.]
1433 Liber Coll. Glasg. 167.
Ane honest hall, chamir, and butler with a yard for to set cale in
1456 Montrose Baillie Ct. 6b.
Ilkman haiffand ȝarde in the tovn … to saw & plant his caill in sufficiency to serff his howshawld
1460 Montrose Baillie Ct. 13a.
1462 Peebles B. Rec. I 148.
The xij d. of the anwel that … Dic Bule was awand of his yard
1481 Douglas Bequest 17 May.
1490 Irland Mir. III 71/13.
Sene thou wauld nocht resaue … thi cruell and mortale innemy in thi ȝard … thi hous … thi chawmer
c1500 Rowll Cursing 21 (M).
Beteiche the dewill thair guttis thair gammis … That brak his ȝarde and staw his frute
1513 Doug. vi x 26.
The lusty orchardis and the hailsum ȝardis of happy sawlys and weil fortunat
1531 Bell. Boece I lvi.
Aqua vite … maid … of sic naturall herbis as grew in thair awin yardis
1536 Reg. Privy S. II 314/2.
Principall gardinar of oure soverane lordis ȝardis and gardingis for all the dais of his life
1542 Reg. Cupar A. II 208.
For the said Dene James ȝard [he] sall furnis … caill and herbis … and sall haif twa beddis of herbis sic as percell, betis and latows
1500-1699 Herbarius Latinus Annot. cxiii (Adv.).
Pastinaca domest, pasneip of the ȝard
1699 Belhaven Rudiments 31.
For your yard, I do not mean your barn yards, but a piece of ground set a part for cabbage and other roots
(b) 1502 Orkney Rentals i 4.
Tua faddome peitis fre to the yaird
1504–5 Treas. Acc. III 129.
To the maister cuke he gaif for seidis to the ȝaird of Strivelin
1520 Perth Hammermen 15.
Ressavit fra John Kynloch of this yeres excrestes of the yairds
1548 Prot. Bk. J. Crawford 24.
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 521.
Thay saw ane ȝoung man … With hir allone in ane ȝaird intermell
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3761.
I dreamit … That in my ȝaird of watter sprang vp richt A fresch spring wel
a1568 Bann. MS 134b/65.
Go with me to ȝone ȝairdis end Quhair we may pas away vnkend
1573 Edinb. Test. III 30b.
Thrie ȝairdis of kaill
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 269.
All the chepellis and collegis … with thair ȝairds wer … distroyit
1607 Inverurie B. Ct. 25 Aug.
Giff ony persone … beis challensit spoilȝeand ȝairdis athir be cutting of wandis … or pulling of roddingis quhairthrow the tymmer is brockin [etc.]
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 111/45.
God … sqaired a yayrde & als … did plant … a fertill orcharte
1667 Stitchill Baron Ct. 49.
Ilke tenant and coatter in Nether Stitchell shall plant in their severall yairds six guid ashe plants yeirly till their yairds be sufficiently planted
1670 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 20.
That the said Malcome … hade barganit with him for his tua westmost housses and a bed of his yaird for tua hondreth merkes … and that Malcome Playne hade not givine him none of the pryce of the said house and bed of yaird
1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 190.
[The] other buildings [of the priory] … are now all quite demolished, and the ground turned into a fine yaird
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 368.
Belonging to the yairds … 4 spaids … gairden sheirs … weiding irons … a wattering can [etc.]
1694 Stirling Ant. III 249.
(c) 1581–2 Crail B. Ct. 3 Feb.
1624 Brechin Test. IV 174b.
Certane inȝonis and keill within thair ȝeard
1641 Acts V (1817) 597/1.
1659 Misc. Hist. Soc. VII 33.
1693 Peebles B. Rec. II 144.
The … counsell … strictly prohibite … all persons quhatsumever … to goe in company or vage to yeards or fields on that day [Sabbath]
(d) 1471–2 Aberd. Acc. 1a.
Item fra Sande Rolland of his ȝerde
1501 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 13.
a1568 Bann. MS 261b/4.
At hame remanis the silly lairdis And sendis thair wyvis behind the ȝerdis Weill stuffit with mony … To forder thair eirandis
(e) 1553 Blackfriars Perth 233.
[They] hes bene in possessioun of ane pece ley land … callit the Gilt Herbar … thai were in possession of the said pece yeyrd

b. With qualifier describing the nature, appearance, ownership, etc. of the yard or the use to which it is put. Also as a place-name or quasi-place-name. a1306 Liber Melros 319.
1545 Reg. Episc. Morav. App. 410.
Alexandro Urquhard de Burrowyardis
1466 Reg. Great S. 185/2.
Reservatis dicto Alano quodam orto le Girse Yarde nuncupato
1473–4 Treas. Acc. I 3.
For the grene ȝardis besyde Striueline
1477 Ayr B. Ct. 13 April.
Annuell rent … to be tane & payit of the leik ȝarde on the foresyde
1487 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II 453.
Octo decem solidi de terris subscriptis viz. de le Laydy's Ȝarde
1493 Acta Conc. I 311/2.
The orchardis and treyis of the braid ȝardis
1536 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 168.
Ane lynt yaird
1541 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 418.
De vna crofta iacente ibidem [sc. in Inverurie] sub ly castell ȝardis
1548 Banff Ann. I 23.
The ȝaird callet the Constabillis ȝard
1560 Edinb. B. Rec. III 67.
To caus big the wall langis the college yairdis
1566–7 Reg. Privy S. V ii 267/2.
The Gray Freir Yairdis of the toun of Air
1578–9 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I 121-2.
Pretendit possessouris of the Greit Orchart Yarde and of the wther small yardis callit the Parradise Yardis … the Colhous and Cloister Knot Yardis
1584 Melrose Reg. Rec. III 317.
The yard callit the baikhous yeard lyand within the mantill wall of the said abbay
1621 Retours II Inq. Spec. Renfrew (57).
Cum horto nuncupato The Mustert Yeard nunc pomario
1654 Lamont Diary 78.
A pairt of the palace of Falkland niarest the garden yearde was brunt
1668 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 227.
The halff of the sauch yeard and ridge of the lint yeard adjacent therto
1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 229 (24 Oct.).
The said Charles intrometted with the halfe of the lay yeard being plewed … and intrometted with the halfe of the thrid cropt yeard being plewed

c. specif.The garden of Gethsemane, the place of Christ's Agony. a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1031.
Quhen in the ȝard He enterit for to pray
1551 Hamilton Cat. 152.
He said Him self quhen He was in the yaird afore He was takin [etc.]
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. (1590) Sig. T 2b.
That they may feele … quhat Christ suffered for thame in the ȝarde

d. transf.The enclosure around a yard, a fence or hedge. 1457 Acts II 51/2.
That na man mak ȝardis nor heggis of dry staikis na rys or stykis … bot allanerly of lyffand wode

2. An enclosed and uncultivated area adjacent to or enclosed by a building; a courtyard.Some examples may rather belong in 1 above. a1400 Leg. S. xviii 571.
To the tempil men cane draw & of it til in the ȝarde I wes cummyne
1558 Treas. Acc. X 345, 353.
For expensis … in … making of ane pair of buttis in the south ȝarde of Halierude hous … for thair laubouris done in castene of the stank in the south ȝarde of Halierudehous
1560 Cal. Sc. P. I 480.
[The hagbutters came to Castle Sympill and they within came forth to the] yeardis … and thai mair vilfull nor wys come … upoun thame and dang thame out of the yearde in to the castell
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 539.
The kingis persoun wes left liand in the ȝaird
1657 Balfour Ann. II 71.
He was brought vpone a scaffold in the parliament yaird

3. In various specialised uses: a. A storeyard. b. A timberyard or boatbuilding yard. c. A bowling yard or alley.a. 1535 Stewart 19336.
Hall and chalmer, stabill, barne and byre, Thair ȝairdis all wer full of corne and hay
b. 1494 Treas. Acc. I 248.
For drawyng of the lang treis fra the bate to the ȝard … for sorten of the tymmyr in the ȝard
1494 Treas. Acc. I 249.
His ȝard that the barge was maid in
c. 1610 Glasgow B. Rec. I 312.
Vpone complante … vpone the … abuse done be scolleris and printiciss … haunting the yardis quhair the alie bowlis, Frenche kylis and glaikis ar usit … the grit skaith … done be thame to the nychtbouris yardis lyand nixt … to the yardis quhair the pastymes foirsaid ar hauntit … in breking thair treis and distroying of thair herbis and seidis sawin in the saidis yardis; for remeid quhairof it is statute … that all sik personis quha hes the saidis aleis and yardis, and quhairintill the saidis pastymes ar vsit that they nor nane of thame resaif in the saidis yardis to play at the saidis pastymes ony scoller … in tyme cuming

4. attrib. Ȝard cars, garden cress. 1604 Elgin Rec. II 126.
Ȝeard [pr. yeard] brekeris— … in my Lord Huntleis ȝeard [pr. yeard] Isbell Cokburne [etc.]
1500-1699 Herbarius Latinus Annot. xcv (Adv.).
Ȝard cars
1529 Dundee B. Laws 546.
Fra the north ȝard dur of the said Schir Finlos land
a1650 Row 434.
He went over the street to his yaird … he locked the yaird doore behinde him [etc.]
1496 Treas. Acc. I 276.
Giffin to the frere to pay the werkmen for casting of the ȝard dykis of Striuelin
1566 Mill Mediæv. Plays 343.
Payit to ane man in recompance of his ȝaird dyk cassin doun at the horsmarcat
1597 Reg. Great S. 195/2.
Ascendand … to the yaird-dyk of Murtoun … south and southuest to the lone-dyk of the landis Muretoun
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 56.
He … clamit the yaird dykis … to vin to the bak dor of thair hous
1634 Kirkcaldy Presb. 77.
He being comeing over his yaird dyk lapp betwein hir shoulders and she fell over on the hadder stack
1588 Glasgow B. Rec. I 120.
That euerie persone repair and hauld clois thair yaird endis and bak sydis, swa that nane may repair thairthrow to the toun bot be the commoun portis
1604 Paisley B. Rec. 268.
The baillies and counsale … understanding … contagious seiknes of the pest daylie to increis and draw nere [decree] … that na persone … quhatsumever enter within this burgh at yairdfuits, yairdheids or throw backsyds
1646 Gunn Cross Kirk, Peebles 250.
Teind also of … apples, pears, … plants, kaill, and other yaird fruites in Mailingsland
1510 Reg. Great S. 755/2.
Tria tenementa … in le Lochmabanegait juxta viam de le Yard-hedis, 5 sol. de orto suo in le Yard-hedis
1513 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 25.
That ilk persone within the toun cast thair yard [MS ȝard] hedis as was ordanit of befor
1600 Elgin Rec. II 84.
That the ȝaird [pr. yaird] headis be biggit on the expensis of the awneris
1687 Lauder Notices Affairs II 792.
The Privy Counsell finds the toune of Edinburgh … have right to exact … 2 pennies upon the pint of ale not only within the toune … but also in the yeardheads of Leith
1626–7 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 196.
For his yaird maill and chairges in keiping xim gray sklait
1671 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 25 Oct.
Agnes McCrobert to flitt and remove from ane ȝeard … and … decernes hir in xlviij s. restand of the ȝeard rent
1465 Ayr B. Ct. 9 Oct.
The landis of the said Trinyte with fundyn laychtsyd & ȝardsyd
1551 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 9b.
All and haill his baklandis … with the ȝarde taill thairof and thair pertinentes
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I 189.
He sal put bath husband tak and ȝard tak til al possibil polyci
1589 Glasgow B. Rec. I 148.
With the yaird yett sufficient and lokfast
1615 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 360.
For tua lockis to the yaird yettis
1641 Kirkcaldy Presb. 205.
For staples, bands, and lock to the yaird gate

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"Ȝard n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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