Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

GIRD, n.1, v.1 Also gir(r); gjird (Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 102), ger (Ayr. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.), and corrupt garrard (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). [Sc. gɪrd, em., wm.Sc. + gɪr; Sh. gjɪrd]

I. n. 1. A hoop of wood (gen. hazel or osier) or of metal, esp. for a barrel or tub. Gen.Sc. Also fig. Also in n.Eng. dial. Bte. 1725  Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 681:
Item payed to John Lyon smith for makeing iron girds and handle to the towns furlet . . . 00. 15. 00.
Abd. 1735  Abd. Estate (S.C. 1946) 53:
To Sand 2d. from Do. and 2 Girds for Barrells. 2d.
Ork. 1757  Session Papers, Galloway v. Morton (12 Nov.) 100:
He has seen the Girds or Hoops burst of the Half-barrel.
Ayr. 1796  Burns Cooper o' Cuddy i.:
The Cooper o' Cuddy came here awa, He ca'd the girrs out o'er us a'. [cf. Phr. (4).]
Sc. 1819  Scott Bride of Lamm. xxv.:
Scarce a chield that had ever hammered gird upon tub but was applying for it.
Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize III. xviii.:
Because my resolution was girded as it were with a gir of brass and adamant.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) i.:
He followed out his lawful trade of a cooper, making girrs for the herring barrels and so on.
Ags. 1887  A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 36:
A borrowed washin'-tub aff which a gird had fa'en.
Gall. 1901  Trotter Gall. Gossip 16:
The toun at yae time had a verra auncient an curious Punch-Bowl. . . . It wus made o' oak stabs, wi bress girds on't.

Comb.: †girr-man, a man who makes girds, a cooper. Lnk. 1728  W. Grossart Shotts (1880) 66:
To the girr-man of the Shotts.

2. A child's hoop. Gen.Sc. Dim. girdie. Also in n.Eng. dial. w.Lth. 1750  W. Hamilton Poems 38:
Laughs, and toys, and gamesome fights; Jolly dance, and girds, and flights.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Ann. Parish xviii.:
Instead of their innocent plays with girs and shintys, and sicklike, they must go ranking like soldiers.
Abd. 1851  W. Anderson Rhymes 183:
Ye'll min' how, like birdies, we flew wi' our girdies.
Mry. 1883  F. Sutherland Memories 158:
Oor draigins, girds, an' ba's, langsyne, Are scatter'd tae the wun.
e.Dmf. 1912  J. & R. Hyslop Langholm 716:
Very often the missing student was found busy at the marbles or the paips, or was “rinnin his gird” down the Kirkwynd.
Slg. 1932  W. D. Cocker Poems 18:
An' fain would flee a kite, Or play at bools, or treel a girr.

3. One of the set of hoops formerly used to expand a lady's skirt or petticoat. Edb. 1850  J. Smith Hum. Sc. Stories 52:
Unmercifu' big girrs roun' their bits o' petticoaties.
Gsw. 1860  J. Young Poorhouse Lays 10:
Hoop'd roun' wi' girs till ye can hardly striddle.
Hdg. 1908  J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 246:
As wenches girrs, in twa-three years, They'll common be!

4. A hoop-shaped frame used when carrying two pails (Bwk.3 1954). See Frame, n., 1. Sc. 1824  S. E. Ferrier Inheritance I. iv.:
She was encompassed by a girr or hoop supporting two stoups, a piece of machinery altogether peculiar to Scotland.
Sc. 1841  Whistle-Binkie 69:
'Twas just i' the gloamin' as our kimmer Nell, Wi' her stoups and her girr, was gaun down to the well.
Ags. 1912  A. Reid Forfar Worthies 74:
A few people had a “neck bit” . . . others used a “gird”, or hoop, into which they stepped, with the cans taut on either side.
Sc. 1931  J. Lorimer Red Sergeant i.:
Oh, I just slippit past the wifie when she gaed wi' her gird tae the wall.

5. A landing net used in angling (Abd.21 1916).

6. A saddle-girth (Per. 1825 Jam.; Fif. 1867 Ib.). Cf. Girdin, n., 1. Sc. 1701  Foulis Acc. Bk. (S.H.S.):
Oct. 14. to Jamie Gray to give tonie to get a duzn buckles for girds. . 0. 8. 0.
Abd. 1705  Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VI. 268:
26 March — For a neu cover to my saidle 1½ libs; and for taggs, girds, etc. to it, 12s.

7. Phrs.: (1) gird-an-girns, see Girn, n.2, 1.; †(2) to break Yeel's gird, see quot.; (3) to ca' one's (the) gird (girr), see Ca', v.1; (4) to cast a gird, lit. = to lose one of the hoops (of a barrel); fig. = to give birth to an illegitimate child (more usu. to cast a lagengird, see Laggen) (Sh.10 1954); cf. end-hooping s.v. En, n., 7; (5) to cut (someone's) girds, see Cut, v., II. Phrs.; (6) to slip the girr, = (4) fig., see Slip. (2) ne.Sc. 1881  W. Gregor Folk -Lore 157:
Children were warned against crying on Christmas Day. If a child did cry, it was said “to break Yeel's gird,” and that there would be much crying during the year with the child.
(4) Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 55:
. . . where not a ray Of ardent heat may spoil my whissle-pipe, Or cause my singing-keg to cast a gird.
Sc. 1802  Scott Minstrelsy II. 109:
Has your wine barrels cast the girds?
Mry. 1824  J. Cock Hamespun Lays 137:
She'll ablins cast anither gird, Gin ye creep near her.

II. v. 1. To put hoops on a barrel, etc. (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh.10, ne. Sc., Ags.18 rare, Fif.14, Rxb.4 1954): to “shoe” a wheel. Hence girder, a cooper (Lth. 1825 Jam.). Also in Yks. dial. Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet vii.:
The girded cask of brandy that ye drank and ne'er thought of paying for it.
Abd. 1827  J. Imlah May Flowers 121:
O! never drouth — my boozin' bowl! Thy girded ribs shall gizzen.
Slk. 1829  Hogg Shepherd's Cal. I. 229:
One evening in June, John Jardine, the cooper, chanced to come to Knowe-back, in the course of his girding and hooping peregrinations.
Sc. 1847  R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 179:
“Donald Cooper, carle,” quo' she, “Can ye gird my coggie?”
Bwk. 1856  G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 88:
He's faither's better, cooper o' Fogo, At girding a barrel or making a coggie.
Gsw. 1873  A. G. Murdoch Doric Lyre 24:
Let Rab, the Smith, e'en girr the wheel.
Ags. 1892  Brechin Advertiser (22 Nov.) 3:
We'll fa' in wi' quiet denty auld cooper Mathew, girdin' auld washin' tubs an' chawin' tobacco.

Phrs.: †(1) gird the cogie, n., see quot. and Yird; †(2) hoopers and girders, the name of a tune. (1) Abd. 1890  Sc. N. & Q. IV. 26:
Another game, similar in form [to Jingoring], used to be acted out by boys, and was known as “Gird the Cogie.”
(2) Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet, Letter xi.:
He . . . could play weel on the pipes; he was famous at “Hoopers and Girders.”

2. To strap the saddle-girth on a horse (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), gird). Cf. Girdin, n., 1. Obs. in Eng. since 17th c. Sc. a.1740  Tinclarian Dr Mitchel's Letter to the King of France (Broadsheet):
A Fycking Meir should be well girded.

3. To encircle with some form of band, to fasten, tie, link. Also with tee and up. Also fig. Abd. c.1790  G. Smith Poems (1813) 53:
The door was slightly girded tee, Wi' an auld tow an' conter-tree.
Mry. 1806  in J. Cock Simple Strains 93:
Fu' mony a canty wordy is ther', there, A' rank and file, and girdet till a hare.
Ayr. 1868  J. K. Hunter Artist's Life 89:
I looted down, girded up the first sheaf o' corn.

[O.Sc. has gird, v., in sense 1. above, from 1375, n., from 1513, girr, girth or hoop, from 1538, variants of girth, O.N. gjrð, girdle, saddle-girth. The final aspirate has been either dropped or unaspirated to d: see under D, section 4.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: