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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

RANDIE, adj., n., v. Also randy, randi (Angus); raundie; rawny.

I. adj. 1. Rough and belligerent in manner, riotous, ruffianly, aggressive, esp. of a beggar who uses intimidation to extort alms (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Sh., m.Sc. 1967). Freq. in comb. randie beggar.Sc. 1710 H. G. Graham Social Life (1899) I. 237:
To randie beggars, 7s. in dyotts.
Bwk. 1714 A. Thomson Coldingham (1908) App. xxvi. (5):
A vagabond harlot who went in company with one Margaret Bell, a known randie vagabond beggar.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Jolly Beggars Recit. i.:
Ae nicht at e'en a merry core O' randie, gangrel bodies, In Poosie-Nancie's held the splore.
Rnf. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 II. 124:
The place is oppressed with gangs of gypsies, commonly called tinkers, or randy beggars.
Sc. 1834 G. R. Gleig Allan Breck II. ix.:
Allan went forth, no inappropriate personification of the very worst species of what is called a randy beggar.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 118:
Ye vild impidint randy villan.
Sc. 1892 Stevenson and Henley Deacon Brodie III. vi. i.:
An honest man's an honest man, and a randy thief's a randy thief, and neither mair nor less.
Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne Flooer o' Ling 1:
A randie chiel Doxie at heel Gaed stavin throu the thrang.

2. Of a woman: loud-voiced, coarse and aggressive, violent, termagant (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Bnff., Ags., m.Lth. 1967). Hence randie-like, -looking, -tongued, etc. Deriv. randified, of speech: shrewish, waspish, termagant.Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxvii.:
It was him and his randie mother began a' the mischief in this house.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Wool-Gatherer (1874) 68:
Wae — wae be to the — the auld randy-witch!
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xxviii.:
She's a perfect drum-major — the randy cutty — deevil do me good o' her.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 199:
Now randie Tibbie takes the road, Wi' a' her neebour wretches.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xviii.:
Stoot, idle fallows, an' able-bodied, randy-tongued hizzies.
Edb. 1894 J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 109, 124:
The usual mummlin's and irresistible randified remarks reverberated through the room. . . . Andro Elshin after this randified speech, tried to expostulate wi' the enraged wifie.
Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin' 22:
A middle-aged, randy-like wife, black as a peat, sat i' the front driving.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 57:
His randy wife an' brats o' weans Follow ahint.
Bwk. 1943 W. L. Ferguson Vignettes 65:
Randy wives frae the tenements lean, Sunnin' themsels like cats on a green.

3. (1) Boisterous, wild, unruly, dissipated (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Mry.1 1925; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., m.Sc. 1967). Also in Eng. dial. Superl. randiest.Sc. 1723 W. Meston The Knight (1767) 6:
A rambling, randy, errant Knight.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 140:
He's a randie loon; he'll gaither wit yet.
Mry. 1899 C. A. Elf Hill Birnie 16:
From giddy, “glaiket”, and “randy”, he became “douce”, sober, and demure.
Slg. 1935 W. D. Cocker Further Poems 55:
He was richt in tid for a randy splore.

(2) in a more pejorative sense: lewd, lecherous. Gen.Sc. and Eng. dial.

4. Of language: coarse, rough, uncouth; obscene (Uls. 1953 Traynor; Ags., Per., Ayr., s.Sc. 1967).Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 6:
Minny a randy word said he tae the laird, takin' him a' the time for a wife: bit the laird niver leeted a word o' his heid.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 68:
There wer dauds and clinks and a fouth of flyting and randy talk gaun.
Rxb. 1961 W. Landles Penny Numbers 10:
The inn was thrang wi' singin', The randie clash rang high.

II. n. 1. A sturdy beggar, a vagrant of domineering and hectoring character, a ruffian (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Cai., em.Sc., Wgt. 1967); any wild, unruly, good-for-nothing man or animal.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 21:
I'm sure the chief of a' his kin Was Rob the beggar randy.
Ags. 1736 Arbirlot Kirk Session Rec. (18 Sept.):
He entertained Tinklers and Randies in his House on the Sabbath day giving them drink till they were drunk.
wm.Sc. 1784 Caled. Mercury (3 Nov.):
Then sheath your sword, my Souple Sawny, An' fash nae mair wi' sic a rawny.
Ags. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 II. 515:
Many Randies (sturdy vagrants) infest this country, from the neighbouring towns, and the Highlands.
wm.Sc. 1842 Whistle-Binkie II. 70:
Next, the hale clanjamfrey o' Vagrants . . . Randies, Thieves, Big-beggars and Wee-beggars.
Dmf. 1875 P. Ponder Kirkcumdoon 58:
Sic a set o' raundies! I'm glad I got aff wi hale banes.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet ix.:
He rade Birsie this mornin' too, after the kickin' randie had cuist me aff his back like a draff sack.
Gall. 1928 Gallovidian Annual 88:
An' think ye I've naething better to dae but clean up aifter yon muckle randy o' a man?
Inv. 1933 I. Macpherson Land of our Fathers 369:
The damn randy, that's what he is . . . off on the randan again.
sm.Sc. 1979 Alan Temperley Tales of Galloway (1986) 16:
Billy Marshall - tinkler, gipsy chief, the Caird of Barullion, king of the randies, claimed by some as the last of the Pictish kings - was commonly accepted to be 120 years old when he died on 28th November, 1792.

2. The fem. of 1., a beggar woman; any foul-mouthed, brawling, bad-tempered woman, a termagant, a virago (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., 1942 Zai.); a woman of loose, dissolute character (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 148; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). Gen.Sc.Dmf. 1762 Session Papers, Petition J. Maxwell (30 July) 12:
Helen Stranger has the Character of a Randy or Scold in the Country.
Rxb. 1798 R. Douglas Agric. Rxb. 218:
At the time of sheep-shearing, too, sturdy women, chiefly from Edinburgh and Dalkeith, provincially called Randies, traverse the pasture district, under pretence of gathering or asking locks of wool, and are suspected of taking more than is given them.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.:
A daft auld whig randie, that ne'er was in the house (foul fa' her!) till yesterday afternoon.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Entail lxxiii.:
An' ye were my dochter as ye're but my grand-dochter, I would spare you, ye Israelitish handmaid, and randy o' Babylon.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xiii.:
Poor Alick Bowsie married to a drucken randie, that wore the breeks.
Sc. 1836 J. Baillie Witchcraft ii. i.:
She's but a rinagate rawny frae far awa' parts.
Abd. 1845 T. Denham Poems 100:
A really sharp, clever, bullying sort of woman, of that class denominated “randies” — one whose tongue the more quietly disposed neighbours stand in awe of.
Gsw. 1884 H. Johnston Martha Spreull 35:
She wis aye a brazen-faced randy.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xvii.:
“The fause randy,” quoth I, exceedingly angry; “I'll hae her indicate as a witch.”
Slk. 1912 Southern Reporter (21 Nov.):
It wad in oor opeenion tak' mair randies than cood be supplied frae the ranks o' the militant suffragettes tae emulate the scene recently enacted by the breekit auld wives on the opposeetion benches o' the British Hoose o' Commons.
Sc. 1935 D. Rorie Lum Hat 25:
O' woman's love I niver kent An' weel it was for her — An' me, for some gey randies Sticks closer nor a burr.

3. In a less opprobrious sense, sometimes playfully: a romping, mischievous person (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Abd., Kcb. 1967).

4. A romp, a frolic (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 140); a noisy merrymaking (Uls. 1953 Traynor).ne.Sc. 1894 A. Gordon Northward Ho 155:
Ye'll be layin' aside a' yer randies noo' Lewie, seein' ye'll be at the diveenity sune.

III. v. 1. To behave in an abusive, belligerent manner, to scold (Sc. 1818 Sawers). Vbl.n. randying.Lnk. 1827 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 48:
She had gained a gran' victory ower puir Mrs Todd, who was a douce, quiet woman, and nae match for the like of her in randying.
Edb. 1839 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxvii.:
Out went the woman . . . randying like a tinkler from Yetholm.
Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan III. 578:
The twa got up upon me, and randied like gude.
Wgt. 1877 “Saxon” Galt. Gossip 157:
The way she rampag't and randy't was ower onything.

2. To indulge in rough, boisterous fun or horseplay, to romp (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 140); to behave in a loose, indelicate manner (Ib.). Vbl.n. randyin, wild romping, frolicking (Ib.).Gregor 140:
They randiet aboot, a' the forenicht, i' the corn-laft.

[Cf. Eng. rand, to rave, rant, obs. Flem. randen, randten, id., + -Ie. O.Sc. randie beggar, 1682.]

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"Randie adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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