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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BUDE, v. Behoved. Still gen. used as a past, sometimes also as a present, but not so exclusively as in the case of ought and must. Bude is likewise used as a pa.p. and a pres.inf. (see quots.). The word denotes logical, moral or physical necessity. Like Behove, q.v., it is employed very often with a personal subject. It is gen. followed by the preps. to, tae, till, or 'a, but may be used without any. Variant forms. These are classified according to (1) the vowel sound, (2) the final consonant.

1. (1) (a) Bude, buid; bade (Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 65). [byd m.Sc. + bɪd, s.Sc.; bød sn.Sc., I.Sc.]Sc. 1995 David Purves Hert's Bluid 23:
... the airnin sklef o ilka lirk that kens itsell,
the fell progress that buids ti mell the human race
intil a waesum brie o sachlessness foraye.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 15:
I like an owl in desert was, When to the coorts I buid to pass, Amang the crood to hear the Cause.
w.Dmf. 1921 J. L. Waugh Heroes in Homespun ii.:
The authorities said she bude gang to the poorshouse.

(b) Bid. See P.L.D. §§ 35, 86, 93.1.Fif. 1896 “G. Setoun” R. Urquhart iv.:
These were part of Nature's law, and “bid to be tholed.”

(2) (a) Buit, bute, büt; bent (Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken 146-8). [byt m.Sc. + bɪt, s.Sc.; bøt (Ags.1).]Sc. 1818 S. E. Ferrier Marriage II. xi.:
I wunder what cam o' the lasses i' my time, that bute to bide at hame?
Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Merry Men 143:
We aye thocht it büt to thun'er on the morn.
Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 48:
Some buit to hae then — richt or no — “Bab at the Bowster” ere they'd go.

(b) Bit, be't. Already found in O.Sc., in Lauder's Jnl. (1665) 19 (D.O.S.T.). See P.L.D. §§ 35, 86, 93.1. [bɪt]Sc. 1898 L. B. Walford Leddy Marget viii.:
I bit to say somethin'.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 57, 152:
He bit sell a young stirk for to mak up his rent. . . . Oh Death! thou be't to grasp at Jamie Cross.
Dwn. 1931 “Gawney Katey” in North. Whig (5 Dec.):
Why bit ye do it!

2. (1) (a) Bood, boude, m. and s.Sc. [bud]m.Sc. 1995 William Neill in Sheena Blackhall Lament for the Raj 26:
Thay bood tae pit him doun for yon brave ettle,
the sleikit gentrie that just cudna thole
an upstairt peasant pyntin oot the truith,
haudin the aidle o Scotland ablo their nebs.
wm.Sc. 1835–1837 Laird of Logan II. 134:
I roared out to them not to get intil grips, but if they bood to come hurtling ower me, to tak time and do it, ane after the ither.
s.Sc. publ. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks.:
And ilka ane boude hae her joe.

(b) Bode. [bod]m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood i.:
I saw ye tak' the hill and I bode to follow, for I was wantin' to bid ye welcome to Woodilee.
Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days ix.:
From the first Miss Ailie had been dubious of the seminary, but Bell was terribly dommeering; in fact, was neither to hold nor bind, and the doo-cot it bode to be.

(2) Boot. [but Sc.]Mry.(D) 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 100:
Sae she boot try to find repose, Amang my Buiks.
Hdg. 1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 27:
Na, but a joke, she's aft been seen To clap her neives afore his een, While he, poor sumph! boot silence keep.

3. (1) Bud. [bʌd]Fif. [1826] R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes (1870) 66:
Her father said she bud tak him; and she didna ken what to do.
Hdg. 1885 “S. Mucklebackit” Rural Rhymes, etc. 92:
A mairacle could save us not! The dyvor's coort we bud gae throo!
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 336:
Whutever else wus wantin, the whuskey bud be there.
Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Rem. Nithsd. and Gall. Song 208:
And to the green-wood I bud gae.

(2) But. [bʌt]Sc. 1820 Anon. Dialogue between Maggy and Janet 5:
There was a great sort o' them they ca'd cardonels, that aye whan two young bodies was married, they but to hae the first night o' the bride.
Edb. 1915 J. Fergus The Sodger, etc. (1916) 6:
He but to be a sodger, and Guid kens the laddie's richt.

4. (1) Beed. [bid mn.Sc., nn.Sc.]Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxviii.:
“He beed 'a be thocht unco saucy gin he didna ca on's freens at Clinkstyle i' the byegaein,” said Meg.

(2) Beet; be(i)ght (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 53, 135); beat, beit (Ags. 1834 G. R. Gleig Allan Breck II. xv.).(a) Bnff. 1872 W. M. Philip It'll a' Come Richt 74:
And they couldna sen' doun a' the way to fetch you, and be'et to gar you tak' the coach to Turftown — five mile aff.
Abd.(D) 1909 C. Murray Hamewith 25:
They beet to mak' him Agent to hae ony chance ava'.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 19:
This hoose is yours, the gear, the folk
Ootside an in, baith but an ben.
Aa wir concerns ye beet to ken.
Uls. 1931 “Portglenone” in North. Whig (5 Dec.) 13/2:
I “beet tae be” there — had to be there.

(b) With shortened vowel, bit [bɪt]. [Cf. speak, shortened in Abd. to spik.]Abd. 1898 P. Giles in E.D.D.:
He bit till ha' broken the window.

5. Be tae, — to, — te. This form is open to several explanations. In the ne. the two t's of beet to be have been run together in pronunciation and written be to be by writers unacquainted with the orig. form. In other districts, where the form is bid or bit, the t's have again been run together and the vowel understood as being that found in the verb be in unstressed position [bɪ]. The Ant. quot. illustrates this view of the change; bitibi is changed by the speaker into be to be as an explanation of a mysterious form. There is, however, another factor. The verb to be, followed by to and v.inf. was used in Eng. to make “a future of appointment or arrangement; hence of necessity, obligation or duty, in which sense have is now commonly used” (N.E.D.). Quots. of this use are given in the N.E.D. from 1200 onwards. In 1742 Richardson, Pamela III. 264, writes: “I am to thank you, my dear Miss, for your kind letter.” In O.Sc. be was used as an indicative form as well as subj. and that usage survived in some Sc. dials. until very recent times; so that “I be to thank you” may have subsisted along with “I beet to thank you” or “I bit to thank you” in some of our dialects.L.Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 40:
But de'il tak' the reaper, it's aye comin' roon'; So ye jist be tae tire an' fa' tee again.
Abd. 1932 J.W. in Abd. Press and Jnl. (13 April):
Hame afore Wastie he be te be, an' hame he wis.
Arg.1 1936:
I be tae get oot the night, for I'm gaan tae the swarry.
Ant. 1931 “Another Bangorian” in North. Whig (9 Dec.) 11/1:
Doubt cast as to a person's guilt will be met with, “Oh, it be-to-be (must have been) him.” This was pronounced very sharp — almost “Bitibi.”

6. n.phr., beet-tae-be, byd(-tui)-bey, bude-be, “an act which it behoved one in duty to perform” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2, bude-be; Ayr.4 1928, beet-tae-be; Rxb. 1873 J. A. H. Murray D.S.C.S. 218, byd (-tui)-bey).

[O.Sc. behuvid, behuvit, behovit, c.1420, pa.t. of behufe, behove, to be necessary for, or incumbent on (a person), later contracted to behude (a.1500), behuid, behuit, and later still to buit, bwit (1533), bit (1665) (D.O.S.T.). The d of pa.t. and pa.p. began in the early 15th cent. to be replaced by t. Mid.Eng. bid, bud; O.North. behōfiga, W.S. behōfian. See also etym. note to Behove.]

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"Bude v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Sep 2023 <>



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