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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Red, Redd(e, v.2 P.t. and p.p. red, redd(e; also reddit, -yt. [Appar. only Sc., ? f. MLG and MDu. redden to tidy, put in order, settle a dispute, etc., cognate with OE hreddan, whence Red v.1; or f. Rede v.2, by shortening of the stem vowel before -d (as in, e.g., Kned v., Clud n., etc.), or by assimilation of the vowel of the infin. to that of the p.t. and p.p.Also in the mod. dial., and in later dials. of (chiefly, north.) England and in the dial. of Ulster.]In senses 4, 5 and 6, freq. coupled with Devoid(e v.Cf. Rid v.

1. tr. To clear (a space, or a passage) a. by removal of debris, undergrowth or other encumbrances, b. by striking down antagonists, or causing them to move out of the way.a. c1420 Wynt. v 5197.
Thare he begowth to red [C. rede] a grownd Quhare that he thowcht a kyrk to fownd
1610 Dundonald Par. Rec. 218.
The last day of publict fast the said John … red roum for his hors gers
b. c1475 Wall. x 404.
Feill folk he dang doun All hym about was reddyt a gret rowm
1513 Doug. ix vi 114.
Throw owt our fays a patent way is red [: sched]
Ib. xii vi 142.
The rowtis red hym plane rovm on the bent
Ib. x x 139.
Reddand [1553 ryddand]
1535 Stewart 48290.
His straikis … Reddand him rowme quhair euir he list to gang
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 327. a1578 Pitsc. I 314/16.
I sall … put ȝone theiffis of the ground, and red the gaitt into ȝour grace
c1610 Melville Mem. 171.
Bot the sattiers wer not content only to red rowm [ed. rown], bot [etc.]
a1689 Cleland 64.
I hope now I haue red the floor, And put confusion to the door

c. To yield space by standing back, as in respect or fear. 1513 Doug. vii xi 86.
Buskis withdrawys … To red [Sm. reyd] thar renk, and romys thame the way
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 170.
Quhen I come steppand ben the flure All rachis greit roume to me red
1633 Falkirk Par. Rec. I 83.
Carrying of ane drawen sword throw the toun threatening to stick and gor if they red not the way to him

2. To clear (a place, a piece of ground, a passage, waterway, etc.) (of encumbrances, as rubbish, debris, etc.). Also transf.Also, once, to do this for (in order to seek out) useful material.(1) 1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 107.
[The tenant ought] to red the dame as othiris that ar thirlit to the said myl
1450 Ayr B. Ct. 20 Dec.
The venele … be opinit & red
1497 Treas. Acc. I 335.
For ane cabil tow to stede the well of Dunbar quhen it was red
1511 Aberd. B. Rec. I 81 (see Devoid(e v. 3). 1534 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 115.
Thua quareouris and ten men with thame to red the quarell and mak the quareouris service
1556 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 29 April.
1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I 301.
To dam out the louche and red the fawsye
1561 Peebles B. Rec. I 272.
James Douchell to red his holis within certane dayis that the ledder … may be esy tane furth
1562 Edinb. B. Rec. III 135.
Ane place maist apt … for dowkeing of the saidis fornicatouris … being fund, … the thesaurar … to repare red and dres the said hole
1598–9 Ayr B. Acc. 198.
[To the men] that helpit to red the grund of the key
1618 Elgin Rec. II 155 n.
The sputtis of the battaling of the kirk hes not bein red
1620 Mylne Master Masons 110.
Demolische and doun cast the auld kirk of Falkland and red the ground thereof
1631 Linlithgow B. Rec. 12 Aug.
To red … the dameheid of the lochmylne
1641 Acts V 552/1.
[They] shall … red and dight the current of the said pow
1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II 263.
The Deane of Gild to see the plettfurme of the tolbooth clenged and red
1678 Edinb. B. Rec. X 336.
Robert Milne [etc.] … hes undertaken to red the said enterie and to remove the said stones and rubish
1693 Glasgow B. Rec. IV 99.
Ane sink … for draining the said quarrie which is now altogether stopt, and must of necessitie be redd
(2) 1541 Elgin Rec. I 66.
That all channellis and wennellis be red … of all stopis and guiddingis
1586–7 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 480.
To caus red the rowme of the awld gallows, baynes [etc.]
1608 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 50.
Chairging the nychtbours to red the calsies of turffs
1624 Stirling B. Rec. I 159.
To red and cleinge the said watter of the forsaidis stanes
1655 Glasgow B. Rec. II 313.
To red the passadge of the water thair foiranent themselfis
1656 Ib. 332. 1676 Edinb. B. Rec. X 256.
The Parliament Closs should be red of the rubish and stones lyeing there
(3) 1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 19.
To v werkmen this olk reddand the quarell Salisberry for walstane
transf. 1456 Hay II 141/15.
Syk wynis … reddis the rutis of the tong, and gerris a man speke clerely
b. 1456 Hay II 28/37.
To clear (land) by removing growing things from it. — As the hewing ax is ordanyt to cutt doune treis that hynderis labouragis of landis … sa is the suerd of knychthede ordanyt to kutt away … unworthy wedis [etc.] … that lettis … travalouris to travale throu the warld, quhilk is as a forest and wildernes quhen it is not wele redde

3. To clear away or remove (debris, rubbish, etc.). Also fig. 1517 Treas. Acc. V 120.
To … werkmen reddand and berand the fallin grunmale and erd
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 71.
To thre werkman reddand and berand away red of the auld une
1615 Aberd. B. Rec. II 322.
Quhilk stane wes ordanit to be … thairfra red in the said gett
1636 Dundonald Par. Rec. 407.
Whosoever … did not cleanse and red the fuilȝ of the calsey … to pay 29 s.
1638 Banff Ann. I 82.
The haill inhabitantis … to red and remowe thair haill guiding and muck clein out of the peathe
1652 Elgin Rec. I 293. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 68.
fig. Thairto my hand I hecht, To red thy rebald rymyng with a rowt

4. a. To clear (a piece of land) from (of, out of the hands of an occupier, occupants, livestock, etc.) (in favour of (to) a person). 1460 Peebles B. Rec. I 137.
The balyeis to gar red the landis of the said Katryn
1479 Acta Conc. I 40/1.
The said landis salbe devoide and red to the said reuerend fader of all personis being in the samyn that has na tak of him
1501 Ib. III 39.
[He] sal caus the sadis landis to be frelye red of the sade Jhone his servandis and gudis at … Witsounday
1521 Liber Melros 631.
To red or dewoid ony … stedingis of the said landis out of the handis of quhatsumeuer persone or personis [etc.]

b. To quit (a piece of land, a holding, etc.) (in favour of (to) a person); to make available by giving up possession. 1469 Acta Aud. 9/1.
That the said Alexander … sall in continent devoide & red to the said Johne Stewart … the said akris
1471 Ib. 14/2.
Lettres … charging him to devoid & red the said landis in continent to the said Alexander, and to kepe thaim devoide & red
1507 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 77.
The said Alexander … aw to devoyd and red the said tak to the said George
1507 Edinb. B. Ct. Bk. 5.
At the buthe be red to him as efferis
1483 Acta Conc. II ci.
The Lordis … ordanis thame to devoid and red the samyn [lands] to be broikit and joisit be the sade Johne

5. To remove or evict (an occupier) from (of, out of a piece of land or a house); to remove from possession or occupation. Also fig. 1479 Acta Conc. I 40/1.
To devoyde and red William Turnebull out of the peyle of Belsyis
1497 Ib. II 76.
Letters … to devod and red the sade Adam of the saidis landis
1611 Crim. Trials III 165.
fig. That he saw no remeid bot to red Dalrumpill furth of this lyfe

b. To remove (oneself (as occupier), also one's dependents, livestock and possessions) (from (fra, furth of, furth and fra (fre) a place). Also absol. 1546 Reg. Privy C. I 50.
xv dayis warnyng that scho may red hir geir furth of the samin [house]
1556 Digest Justiciary Proc. B 133.
The said justice depute … ordainis the said James … to remwife devoid and red him self … and gudis furtht of the samyn [lands]
1578 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I 122.
The said Johne … is decernit to red and remowe him self serwandis and guddis furtht of the tenement and hous … occupeit be him
1581 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 143.
To flit remove deuoid and red thameselfis thair servands guds and geir fra the said tenement … and leif the samin void and red
1584 Perth B. Ct. 24 April.
And forder therwith sall woid and red thame selffis ther serrvandis guidis and geir furth of the said vmquhill Johne lugeing housis and sellaris
1588 Old Ross-shire I 26.
[To] ceis from furder occupeing … of the said chaptor and scuilhous and red thameselfis guids [etc.]
1590 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 24 March.
To red & ramowe hymself his wyffe [etc.] … furtht & fre the half towne & landis of Castelfeld
1535 Aberd. B. Rec. MS XV (J).
absol. To remoif, red & flit out of the said inland [etc.]
1581–2 Waus Corr. 238.
Gif he knawis that he man flit, he vill … leff the hows bare … as John Waus did quhen he red fra the same
1680 Echt-Forbes Chart. 148.

6. reflex. To red (oneself) from (out of, furtht of, of) a place (to (in) another), to depart from, leave, remove. 1499 Halyb. 252.
Paid to John … to red hym out of Brugis and to pay his costis in Zelland
1502 Treas. Acc. II 148.
To Thom Bosuell … to red him of the toun, xlij s.
1504 Ib. 432.
[To] mak hir expens and red hir hame agane in France
1560 Digest Justiciary Proc. C 12 (see Devoid(e v. 2 b). 1567 Reg. Privy C. I 521.
That thai … void and red thame selffis furth of this burgh
b. 1497 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 71.
tr. To leave (a place); to depart from. — That … personis … infectit … devoyd red and pas furth of this toun
1521 (c1580) Ib. 204.
Devoyde and red this towne

7. To fix exactly, or verify the boundaries, or boundary marks, of a piece of land; to establish the extent of a piece of land. Also fig.(1) 1698 Donaldson Postscript Husbandry 18.
pres. And factors accompts running on in confusion, so that its very hard to redd marches with them
c1420 Wynt. viii 4020.
p.t. The thryd castelle … Dame Crystyane the Brws stowtly Held wyth knychtis … That reddyt abowt thame welle thare merys
1519 Rec. Earld. Orkney 93.
When thay red all the mairchis of the parochin
1615 Aberd. B. Rec. II 322.
The baillies and counsall …, for obedience to the act … anent the yearlie ryding of the commoun landis of … the said burgh in all tyme bygane, passit, visiet, red, and perambulat the vtter borderis and marches of the commoun landis
1478 Acta Conc. I 6/1.
p.p. One to the tyme that the marchis be red be perambulacion gife ony … partij clamys … wrang marchis to be now made
1528 Cal. Charters Suppl.
We … be our wnderstanding … hes red and ordanis the marchte stanys to be set betuix the forsaydis landis
1696 Cramond Kirk S. IV 3 Aug.
To see the ministers marches redd betwixt the glybe & the lands possest by Wm. Hardy
1630 Rutherford Christ & Doves 13.
transf. and fig. In this life marches are not redd betwixt God and the Devil
c1630 Scot Narr. 70.
There could be no good agreement betwixt him and the ministers till the marches of their jurisdiction were redd
1683 Faithful Contendings 70.
Mr. Gillespie and many others have redd marches so well that they have left nothing for us to do
1693 Fountainhall Decis. I 581.
They inclined to cause him grant his own personal bond for the said sum, that it might redd marches between his children of the second marriage
(2) 1532 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 124.
All men … to be reddy one fut and hors one Mydsymer day to red and vesy our common
1536 Ib. 174.
Our bailye … to red be cord and raip the half tenement of Villiam Flecher
1559 Prestwick B. Rec. 10.
The town & fredom to be red betuix, and Beltane next to cum, followand the dayt of this wryt

8. To clear up, set in order, or tidy (a room or building, also the walls, etc. of one of these).(1) 1513 Treas. Acc. IV 523.
To red the uvir lardner and setting of burdis in it to be ane chalmer
1537 Exch. R. XVII 741.
That ye gar red the foir loft of our werk of Leith
1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 81.
To thrie wemen that helpit to red the hall
1627 Edinb. B. Rec. VII 20.
The counsall hes caused red and repair ane plaice within thair hallis … for ressaitt of the said beir
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 261.
On till the bride … be busked … and the great hall be redd
1673 Edinb. B. Rec. X 160.
That the same [supra the meilmercat] be red with all possibell dilligence that the said mercat may be rouped
(2) 1555–6 Edinb. B. Rec. II 367.
To ane warkman to red the kepill feit
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 236.
The regent … causit masonis to begin to redd the bruisit wallis and to repaire the foirwark

9. To settle, decide, regulate or calm down (a quarrel or affray). Also, once, to red in rest. c1420 Ratis R. 393.
Ȝhit can scho … Vnrewlyt ryot red in rest
1535 Stewart 40694.
The Erle of Fyffe send wes to red that pley
c1578 Reid Swire 81.
Up rose the laird to red the cumber
1603 Philotus 1225.
Heir I am cum to red the stryfe
1611-57 Mure True Crucifixe 140.
God … Sent in the flesh his Christ the plea to redde
1634 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 96.
The Lord shall come and redd all pleas betwixt us and our enemies
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1751) 55.
They the fray intend to redd

b. To manage (affairs); to carry through successfully. See also Reddin(g vbl. n.2 1 g. — c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 132/44.
His erandis for to ryne and red [: cled]
1545 Douglas Corr. 159.
Quhat plesour I may do for ȝow sal be red one the awld maner
c1564 Glasgow Test. II 20 (see 10 b below). 1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 41.
And how … hir paramouris enemie, the brydiller of hir licentiousnes, and hir awin haitit husband, scho hopis to red all at anis

c. Red out, to resolve (a problem or difficulty; to sort out. (Cf. later Sc. dial. red out kin, to trace lineage.) — 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. vi 29.
Resolvit, esplicavit, red out

10. a. To pay (? in full) an amount of money due. 1489 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 16.
Krystiane Bar sal haff haf xs and viijd yerly … ay and qwhill xxvijs be red of the self
1491 Fam. Rose 154.
Ande quhat tyme that we … happinis to redde and pay the sowm [etc.]
1543 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 18 Oct.
The counsall ordainis the fermarars to red ane hundreth pounds to my Lord Bothwile

b. To settle (an account) by payment; to clear (a debt). 1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 53.
Gif ony of the ayris … wald … red the annuellis of the termys by gane
1496 Treas. Acc. I 277.
To red the Inglismennis costis in Air
1503 Sc. Hist. Rev. XL 97.
[The latter were charged to] red and end [their accounts and the former to] … enter the said comptis and mak finaly red and payment of the sammyn
c1564 Glasgow Test. II 20.
My spous … to red my dettis & specially the saidis landis

c. To pay, or reimburse, (a person) (of an amount due or for a thing); to satisfy by payment.(1) 1491 Fam. Rose 154.
Ay and quhyll the penny maill of the saide … land red and pay the same Huchion of the sowmmis contenit in our obligatioun
1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 34.
And Woll Turnbyll wald red him of his mony, he suld shaw him quhar the schep gais
1547 Misc. Spald. C. V 313.(2) 1505 Treas. Acc. III 84.
To red the wrichtis …, xii li.
1515 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 45.
Writ to Jerom … that he salbe … payit … Tharfor mak sum deligence and finance in the hast your lordschip may and be reddand him
1518 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 48. 1524 Wigtown B. Ct. 152b.
[He] vill pay as fer as the hors be prisit to pleg to red the curt
1529 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 100.
Bere … to red the said Jhone
1571 Lanark B. Rec. 63.
David Brentoun offeret for the said myln to red the Lard of Dalȝell thairfor

d. To pay for (a thing). 1450 Ayr B. Ct. 14 April.
That na fisch red be brolkine to sel agay
1502 Treas. Acc. II 133.
To Maister Johne … to red his hors met, lvj s.
1673 Dunferm. Coal Acc. 17b.
Item Mr. Georg Walker chalmerlane rests of coills red be him betwixt Ja. Dauidsons entrie griue & this 6 April 64 loads

e. intr. To red out, ? to make provision by payment; ? to put up money. 1583 Mining Rec. 21.
Gif onie gentleman … pleissis to furneis or red out … for thair pairt in this werk in furneisement of money … he [is] to ressave thame as pertiners

11. tr. To part, or separate, combatants or brawlers. a1500 Peblis to Play 149.
Micht na man se ane styme To red thame
a1538 Abell 25a.
Thare hapnit strife in his host & he reddand thame wes slane
1536 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 201.
He … wald a red [pr. rod] hym & the curat of Carnwyth
1538 Lynd. Justing 60.
At the last, Johne cryit fy red the men
1555 Peebles B. Rec. I 214. a1578 Pitsc. I 348/3.
The king gart cray to the heraldis and men of armes to red them and so they war stanchit and faught no more
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Dirimo, to red thame that are fighting, to sunder
1672 Alford Rec. 183.
The said Alexander endeavouring to redd them, they did flee in his hair also
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i xii 8 (1678) 145.
If many who might hinder, do tamly look on, without offering to redd or separat the parties
Id. Observ. 282.
[They] us'd … to fight together upon the street … and us'd to beat the magistrates … when they came to red them
1700 Cramond Kirk S. IV 15 March.
They went throw the floore wrestleing, and then Edward did goe between them & redd thaim

b. To separate one combatant, or party, from (fra) his (their) opponent(s. 1579 Inverness Rec. I 272.
He quha com to red thame fra vtheris
1604 Ellon Presb. 48.
[He] wes red fra hir be the said Alexander
1609 Crim. Trials III 73.
[He] had nocht faillit to haif slane him, gif the said Mr. Johnne had nocht bene stayit and red be sum gentilmen being present

c. absol. To intervene between, or to separate, combatants. 1533–4 Melville Chart. 72.
[They] crewaly set vpoun thaim for thair sclauchter … quhill thai red and put fra thame
1535 Stewart 40741.
Cum on! God schaw the richt! Now is moir tyme quhen no man is to red [: bed]
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 74.
I had wirreit blak Makesoun Wer nocht that rebaldis come and red
15.. Christis Kirk 152 (M).
Heich Huchoun with ane hissill rys To red can throw thame rummill
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 803.
Than baith the capitanes ran and red
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xli 75.
Giue God sa handills the best, … what sall cum of the rest Except repentance rin and red [: dred, bred, fred]?
1603 Philotus 712. c1615 Chron. Kings 108.
Thay laying handis on thair dagouris, Bothuell … wes desyrit to red
d. 1609 Crim. Trials III 48.
intr. (imper.) Stop fighting! Separate! — The tua serwandis fallis in wordis, and also in schottis of pistolattis … the quhilk, quhen the nobill menne seis, Johnestoun cryis, ‘Fy! Red!’

12. a. To bring (persons or animals) under control; to collect together or separate out into orderly groupings. Also with non-material object. Also proverb. Also absol. b. To collect together, arrange or organise (things).a. (1) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 51.
Quhen thay [sc. the ladies on the assise] war red … And sworne also for to gif sentence clene
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 113.
The haill oxin ran altogidder in ane clew, culd nocht be gottin red
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 238.
proverb. Dogs will red swine
15.. Wyf Awcht. 58.
absol. The calvis and ky being met in the lone, The man ran with ane rung to red
(2) 15.. Sym & Bruder 28.
Thus quhen thai had reddit thair ragis, To Rome thay war inspyrit
a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 17.
If it be difficult to keep our own imaginations stayed …, it will be more difficult to redd other mens imaginations
b. 1513 Doug. v i 28.
Commandis he euery feir Do red [L. Colligere] thar takillis, and stand hard by thar geir
1535 Stewart 287.
Syne laid thair schipis reddie in the raid, Bayth tow and takill all wes red and clair With mansaill [etc.]

13. a. To undo or untie (ropes). 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. iii 266.
Tum litore funem deripere, louse & red the cordis that haldis the schip on land

b. proverb. To disentangle (a skein). a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 73.
Ane evil reavild hesp is ill to red
Ib. No. 1866.

c. To red (a person's) feet (of a difficulty), to set (oneself, or another) free from a perplexity, hindrance to action, or the like. Also in the mod. dial. 1638 Johnston Diary I 321.
Ane earnest prayer to the Lord to red my feet quhilk was so intangled in the ordoring of my confused thoughts
1692 Pitcairne Assembly (1722) 66.
Say Sir, and redd our feet of this difficulty
1697 Marchmont P. III 122.
If the course of ingenuity, truth and honour, be sufficient for it, then I may red my feet and stand

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