Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BARD, Baird, n.1 [bɑrd, berd]

1. A singer, a strolling minstrel, until the 18th cent. gen. in a derogatory sense. Sc. 1805  Scott Last Minstrel, Intro.:
The last of all the bards was he, Who sung of Border chivalry.
Lnk. 1827  W. Motherwell Minstrelsy xxxviii.:
A vagabond, thief, counterfeit, limmer and bard were synonymous.
Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 68:
Our precepts shall be, those have hallowed thee, Fair Land of the Patriot and Bard!

2. A scold, a noisy woman. Sc. 1887  Jam.6:
Baird, a noisy, turbulent person; generally applied to a scold.
Sh. 1914  Angus Gl.:
Bard, a scolding woman. [Also known to Sh.4]
Cai. 1907  D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 64:
She's a wild bard.

3. Comb.: bard's croft, the piece of land on the property of a chief hereditarily appropriated to the family bard. Sc. 1814  Scott Waverley I. xxi.:
He received, in donatives from the individuals of the clan, more seed-barley than would have sowed his Highland Parnassus, the Bard's croft, as it was called, ten times over.

[Gael. bàrd, a minstrel. Borrowed into Lat. and Gr. Appears in O.Sc. in the 14th cent., and later used in derogatory sense = a vagabond minstrel, a scurrilous person, hence sense 2 above, but idealized by the end of the 18th cent., because, perhaps, of itts more dignified use in Lat. and Eng. from end of 16th cent. (See N.E.D.)]

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"Bard n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2019 <>



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