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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Rud(e, Ruid, adj.1 Also: rwde; ruide, ruyd(e, rwid, rwyd(e; rued; roud, rood(e; roid(e, royd(e. [ME and e.m.E. rude (Rolle), ruyde (c1386), e.m.E. also rewde (1533), OF rude (c1131 in Larousse), L. rudis unwrought, unformed, inexperienced, etc. Some instances, esp. in early verse may derive from ME and e.m.E. roide (a1400), royde (Caxton), OF reide, reit, roit, roide, raide (late 11th to 12th c. in Larousse) stiff, rigid, L. rigidus. It is not possible to be sure whether an -oi-, -oy- spelling indicates this derivation rather than a simple variant form.]There is possible overlapping between certain of the main senses, esp. senses 1–3.

1. Illiterate; unlearned; ignorant.(a) c1420 Wynt. vii 2355.
A rud carle in Ingland Heyly wes off the kyng karpand
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 368.
Quhill hely raise my renoune amang the rude peple
1533 Bell. Livy I 24/32.
The mor his lawis and constituciouns wald be dred and estemyit be rude and sympill pepill
1535 Stewart 29397.
He … culd baith reid and wryte, And all the langage, to his pepill rude, Of Adanus … he schew to thame agane In thair langage
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 130/29.
I traist there be nane of theme sa rude bot he beleuis hyme selff to haue ane immortall saul
a1578 Pitsc. I 349/18.
My parochinaris … was so rude and barbarus that they understud na Lattin
1596 Dalr. II 397/1.
Quha steirit vpe the rude peple, vnlearned pure, and blind, with thair gukit, vnwyse, and glaiket preichings
(b) a1578 Pitsc. II 283/8.
Quhilk exampill althocht it be sum thing sempill and barbarous ȝit … it … causis the ruid peopeill to … vnderstand the matter the mair easelie
1581 Burne Disput. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. 164/19.
Pilgramagis … var inioynit to the ruid and ignorant people
1596 Dalr. II 455/28. c1615 Chron. Kings 31.
The comwnis and rwid pepill of Brittane
(c) 1623 Melrose P. 536.
He wes ane roode, ignorant man
c1624 Soc. Ant. XXV 56.
Thair being dyveris cuntrie men [sc. of Shetland] rood and ignorant quha cannot wryte and reid [etc.]
(d) a1400 Leg. S. xviii 1470.
I haf translat The story, thocht it be nocht cunnandly In all, for royde man am I

b. Of the mind, intelligence or senses: Untutored; dull. c1420 Wynt. i Prol. 39 (E2).
Ruyde [R. rwde, W. rude] is my witt, And semple to put all in wryte
1513 Doug. i Prol. 20.
With rude [Sm. ruide] engyne and barrand emptyve brayn
1549 Compl. 16/3.
My dul rude brane
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2918. 1554 Misc. Bann. C. III 83.
The … capasite of oure sensis rude and onlernit
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 97.
Ane man … rude of ingyne
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 279.
As … ye may persave evin be the ruddest part of your entandement

2. Without skill, judgment or expertise (in, of a subject); unskilled, inexpert.(1) c1420 Ratis R. 869, 879.
Gyf thow be rud and nocht subtyll … Set neuir thi hart … To have gret thing in gouernynge … Fore rud men can nocht gouerne thare vice
c1420 Wynt. v 4736.
Oure Lady … reprowyd [him] … off hys rwyd [C. royde] wncownnandnes
1456 Hay II 157/23.
Sum man rude as ane as, and sum man bathe subtile and habile as a dyamant
1513 Doug. Direct. 52.
Every bural ruyd poet dywlgait
a1578 Pitsc. I 147/17.
Nicollas Perotas … sett haill studie to abolische … the rude maner of teichment
(2) 1562-3 Winȝet I 9/13.
Albeit we be ruid of letteris and iugement
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 376 (T).
Ȝit still be thow reivand, bot rude of thy rymes

3. Without, or deficient in, culture or refinement; uncivilized, barbarous.(1) c1420 Wynt. vii 937.
Hys land … That Rwyd [C. royde] and sympill all tyme wes
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 181/4 (Asl.).
And deligence … makis of ane rude & vnnurist man ane man cuning perte & weile manerit
1513 Doug. viii viii 40.
On ȝonder syde ar the Rutylianys rude
1531 Bell. Boece I 99.
The rude and unarmit pepill of Orknay
1533 Boece 116.
Barbare rude pepill nakit almaist of wapynnys and armoure
1535 Stewart 19120.
Thir fals Scottis quhilk ar baith vyle and rude [: dude = do it]
a1538 Abell 40b.
He send Sanct Seruayn to Orknay to tech the rude pepill
1549 Lamb Resonyng 57/25.
For the bettir administratioun of justice amangis ruid peopill
1567 Sat. P. vii 136.
Considder How fyrst began all dominatiounis Quhen ruid pepill assemblit thame togidder, And maid thair kingis be creatiounis
1596 Dalr. I 75/16. a1586 Kamington in Maitland Geneal. Setoun 44.
Or he wald ȝeild wnto that tyrant roode He sufferit them far rather be put doun
1609 Grant Chart. 299.
Ane wyld and barbarous pairt … about the quhilk thair duellis … ruid people
c1610 Melville Mem. 333.
His Yreland interpretour was … sa instructed … to wse sic landward and rud fassions
Ib. 338.
The said ambassadour … infourmed his maieste of … ther rud maners, doildnes and dronkeness
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 457.
That his stay there is to give the greater latitud to his rude clan to sally out … and pillage their nighboures
(2) c1420 Wynt. ii 1026.
The folk were Rude off condityoune [C. Roide of condicionys, W. Off roid condicioun] and off fere
15.. Clar. iii 747.
This woman was bot rud of conditioun

b. absol. A ‘barbarian’. a1568 Wedderburn Bann. MS 240a/30.
Hir sone was slane be Cirus that rud [: blud, gud]

4. Blunt; uncivil; unmannerly; discourteous; offensive. a. Of words or actions. b. Of persons.a. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 1047.
He that … Mad rud answere to Sancte Machor
1494 Loutfut MS 46b.
And gif thai be rud & malgracieus wordis thai may say thaim
1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 111.
Apardoun my rude dytyng bot fors constraines me swa to dw
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1785.
Manassyng thame with wordis rude
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 528 (H).
Syne ryplie to his reauing rood [T. his rude raving] reply
1604-31 Craig ii 5.
Megabysus … began to censure of Apelles works; of whom he receiued this rude & nipping checke
c1610 Melville Mem. 5.
I left not aff … till oppon … the false fetchis of sic mingnons vntill … therby rather following the rud extremyte then the richt midis, I lost my credit with the prince
1660 Fugitive Poetry I xv 4.
Whom they so by their rude louse tongue … did wrong
b. a1500 Rauf C. 935.
I rek nocht of thy riches … Said the rude Sarazine in ryall array
1535 Stewart 436.
Nychtbour men … wer so rude for malice and invie
1562-3 Winȝet I 12/20.
For saying only to our ruid reformearis, My maisteris, ȝour doctryne plesis vs
a1568 Wedderburn Bann. MS 279b/92.
Quhairfoir I mervell that men ar sa rud For to detract gud wemen evin and morne
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. vii 647.
Asper Mezentius, rude
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. 51/76.
Ȝit man I leir to flatter [etc.] … Or ellis … I salbe raknit ruid or negligent
1573 Tyrie in Cath. Tr. 29/9.
Fals accusars, palliards, rude and onmeik

5. Of persons: Harsh; violent in action. Also transf. c1420 Wynt. viii 1651.
For he [sc. Henry, Abbot of Arbroath] wes rwyd, off gret lowrdnes, Wyth mony men he lathyd wes
Ib. 2738.
Inglis natyoun … worthyd so rwyde and so fellown, That [etc.]
1623 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 243.
A verie greate … violence committed … be a number of rude rascall and mischeant people
transf. c1420 Wynt. ix 27.
Thus efftere a royd harsk [C. royde harsk, W. rude] begynnyng Happynnyt a sofft and gud endyng

6. Of actions, esp. of blows, etc.: Violent, rough. Also transf.(a) 1375 Barb. ii 359.
The best … Plungyt in the stalwart stour, And rowtis ruyd about thaim dang
?1438 Alex. ii 2608.
The strakes that he ȝude, That Cassamus him gaif full rude
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 850.
Rude reknyng raise thair renkis betuene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 9/60.
The clayth that claif to his cleir hyd Thay raif away with ruggis rude
1513 Doug. xi iii 81.
The heich eschis soundis … For dyntis rude of the scharp stelyt ax
1535 Stewart 27867.
Tha rappit on with mony rout full rude
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 238/689.
A rude recounter then they made Together galleis clipt
(b) ?1438 Alex. (c1580) ii 10125.
And smait him … Sa roud ane rout that [etc.]
(c) ?1438 Alex. ii 10062.
Quhare he on fute was in the thrang And routis royd about him dang
c1475 Wall. xi 1362.
Than Wallace said; ‘For all thi roid rahres Thow has na charge
transf. c1578 Reid Swire 71.
He rose & raxd him where he stood … Then Tindaill had these reasons rude And they loot off a flight of arrows

b. Carried out with harshness; oppressive. c1420 Wynt. v 5025.
That he excedyt all mesoure Off ill and rwyd extorsyownys
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4 (Ch.).
Our Sauiour … That bocht ȝow from baillis ranson rude

7. Powerful, forceful; robust; hearty.Of persons or animals, also transf. of things (cf. 13 below, with which there may be ambiguity). 1456 Hay II 137/9.
Rude men and hate of complexioun, travailand, quhilkis eftir grete travailis playis thame and slepis eftir nonis
a1500 Rauf C. 791.
Vpon ane rude runsy he ruschit out of toun
1614 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 268.
I am now na chikkin, drawing to three score; was neiuer werye ruide nor strong
transf. a1450 Fifteen Ois 43.
Scurgit at ane pillar, With rude knoppis
c1475 Wall. ii 407.
With a rud step Wallace coud … glide
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 10/90.
They rane ane rude speir in his syde

8. Of natural forces: Harsh; turbulent; violent.(1) c1420 Wynt. i 1027.
A wattyre … Depe and reche [E.2 ruyd] bot noucht full wyde
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 918.
The bernys bowit abak, Sa woundir rude wes the rak
a1500 Lanc. 2472.
The which … Awodith Saturn with his stormys rude
1513 Doug. viii xii 95.
Nylus … Within hys watry bosum, large and rude
1590 Burel Pilgr. i 456.
The wildbeists crap doun quietly, The wadder wes so rud [: fud]
(2) c1475 Wall. viii 1054.
The rude low rais full heych abown that hauld
Ib. ix 1451.
For thai wyst nocht quhill that the rud low rais

9. Of sounds: Loud, harsh. b. Of a horn: Harsh-sounding.(a) c1450-2 Howlat 45 (A).
Ane pure mane … Rolpit reuthfully roth in a rude rane
1535 Stewart 21813.
So rude ane reird Wes neuir hard with no man in this erd
(b) c1420 Wynt. v 1902 (E2, Au.).
[Bot ay withe roris] royde [E. roith, R. reche, C. reythe, W. rudly] [he rerde]
b. c1475 Wall. v 180.
So hard thai blaw rude hornys wpon hycht

10. Of language, composition or style: Devoid of literary merit; unpolished; inelegant. Also transf.(a) a1500 Henr. Fab. 36.
In hamelie language and in termes rude Me neidis wryte, for quhy of eloquence Nor rethorike I neuer vnderstude
Ib. 119. a1500 Quare Jel. 185.
Of my termes and my rude endite Excusith me
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 126.
I sall discryue … Myne visioun in rurall termis rude
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 266.
Your angel mouthis most mellifluate Oure rude langage has clere illumynate
1533 Bell. Livy II 226/30.
Certane rude sangis war made … calland him the … fundatour of Rome
1535 Stewart 148.
For thocht thi langage be bayth rouche and rude, Ȝit neuirtheles the sentence is richt gude
1565 Knox VI 229. c1570 Buch. Wr. 57.
I most neidis præfer the rude Scottis wyt of capitane Cocburne to your Inglis solomonical sapience
(b) 1555 Corr. M. Lorraine 404.
Biseking your grace … to exswis this my rwid wretteng qwhilk I haf wrettin
1562-3 Winȝet I 57/17.
Quhattin a papist I am in this samin ruid Buik of Questionis … , I tak on hand to preue … the maist haly martyris … to hef bene the samin papistis
1570 Leslie 301.
To … conclude this my ruid and onlearnit wark
1586–7 Cal. Sc. P. IX 248.
Praying you hairtlie to excuse my to ruide and longsum lettir
(c) 1596 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 11.
Bisiking your hines to pardon my baldness and roid form in vretting sva langsomly
transf. 1554 Knox III 165.
Purpois I to communicat suche counsell … now be my rude pen

b. Of an example or figure: Imperfect; imprecise. 1513 Doug. x Prol. 83.
Thus rude exemplys and figuris may we geif Thocht God by hys awin creaturis to preif War mair onliknes than liknes to discern

11. Of food, cloth, etc.: Coarse; rough.(a) 1456 Hay I 301/25.
The knychtis … delytit thame nocht … in delicious metis na drinkis bot in rude bef and bacoun
a1500 Henr. Fab. 219, 222 (Asl.).
This rude diet and I can nocht accord … Thir rude nuittis and pes … Will brek my teith
a1500 Bernardus 83.
Geffe thame enwcht of drynk and metis rude Quhilk may suffice to seruandis and ther fude
Ib. 68. 1543 Reg. Morton II 289.
Change … the natural fudis … with rude and unganand metis
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 166/7.
Use maiste to eate of reasonable rude & commoune meatis
(b) 1456 Hay II 137/9.
Of metis thare is sum that is sutile and othir that is rude … The sutil metis engenderis [etc.]. … The royde metis ar gevyn to rude men and hate of complexioun
Id. Alex. 7464.
His gowun was of a grete roid cameta

b. Of the blood or digestion: ? Sluggish in movement or action. 1456 Hay II 118/26.
Grete metis of rude digestioun suld be his dede
Ib. 141/35.
Wyne in our mekle habundance … makis the blude our rude and grete and hevy

12. In a natural or unimproved condition; uncultivated, wild. a1500 Rauf C. 14.
As that ryall raid ouir the rude mure
1510 Rentale Dunkeld. (SHS) 218.
[Patrick Masone, for working at a] rude astleir
1513 Doug. xi vii 50.
Ane ald feld onprofitabill and rude
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 821.
Of the rude rute springis the flour delice
1611 Reg. Panmure I xcv.
The draught of ane floure, weil done, wpone sa rud ane stone
c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 542.
Fyn green ground with rued soyl

b. Of animals: Untamed; wild. 1590 Burel Pilgr. i 84.
The he fox … Quhiles wandring, quhiles dandring, Like royd and wilȝart rais

13. Strong and ruggedly made; roughly or coarsely made, not fine or elegant; not (well) finished or formed. Passing into b. Large; capacious.Also of non-material things.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iv 194.
Thai a rud rape thru ire can ta
?1438 Alex. i 1994.
Ane grete rude spere and schairp to schere
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 508 (C).
That they … shold ger maid be … A brassyng hors, mekile and rud
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1518.
Of hempyn cordis strang nettis couth thay mak And in ane rod quhair he wes wont to ryn, With raipis rude fra tre to tre it band
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 85.
Than dynnyt the duergh … With raris, quhil the rude hall reirdit agane
c1475 Wall. ii 115.
Speris rud and lang
a1500 Bk. Chess 1395.
The masonnis suld mak housis stark & rude
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 278.
Rude is thy wede, disteynit, bare, and rent
Ib. (OUP) 162/37.
In leichecraft he was homecyd … His yrnis was rude as ony rawchtir
1513 Doug. v vii 21.
Butes, … of statur huge rude
Ib. xii v 85.
Of his clukis rude The egill leit hys pray fall
Ib. 184.
This schaft, that was als rude and squar As it had beyn a cabyr or a spar
1531 Bell. Boece I xlix.
Ane multitude of wormis … Sum of thaim war rude, as thay war bot new schapin
a1568 Bann. MS 31b/53.
Throw feite and handis rud nalis thay threw
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xv 188.
A royd rape thai cane ma
c1420 Wynt. viii 5701.
[They had] royd [W. roid] frogis on thare armyng To covyre thame for persaywyng
c1475 Wall. v 77.
A full royd slope was maid
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 120/42.
Kirkmen so halie ar and gude That on thair conscience rowme and rude May turne aucht oxin and ane wane
1513 Doug. x vii 81.
Bot … Pallas … Markyt ȝou swa with sic rud differens That by hys keill ȝe may be knaw fra thens

14. Of cost or expenses: Large in amount. c1475 Wall. ix 1506.
At rud costis to spend thai wald nocht spar
a1568 Bann. MS 263b/19.
Ane stane of woll thay mak with coistis ruid

15. comb. in rude-like, ? rough-looking. 1632 Lithgow Trav. v 226.
The carauan presented his rude like maiesty with water, bread, [and] hearbes
16.. Sel. Biog. I 308.
A man rude-like in his clothing, and some of his behaviour and expressions

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"Rud adj.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Jan 2023 <>



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