Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WEDDER, n. Also wadder (Mry. 1747 Lord Elchies' Letters (MacWilliam 1927) 271; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 191), wadar, wader (Inv. 1745 Trans. Gael. Soc. Inv. XXVI. 179), wather (Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. i.; Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xvi., Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 81); weather (Sc. 1744 J. Cockburn Letters (S.H.S.) 100; m.Lth. 1811 H. MacNeill Bygane Times 41), wither (Sc. c.1800 Wife wrapt in Wether's Skin in Child Ballads No. 277 B.viii.; Per. 1898 C. Spence Poems 38). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. wether, a castrated male sheep (Bnff. 1700 S.C. Misc. (1846) III. 185; Sc. 1748 Caled. Mercury (21 April); e.Lth. 1794 G. Buchan-Hepburn Agric. E. Lth. 103; Sc. 1829 Scott Rob Roy Intro.; e.Lth. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 II. 369; Slg., Rxb. 1972 Scotsman (18 Nov.) 14). See D, letter, 4. [′wɛdər; ne.Sc. ′wɪdɪr; Fif. ′wɪdɪr; em.Sc. (b), wm.Sc., s.Sc. ′wɑdər]

1. As in Eng. Sc. combs.: (1) custom wadar, wethers paid by a tenant as rent in lieu of cash; (2) old wedder, see quot.; (3) wether bell, a bell tied round the neck of the leader of the flock (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). Cf. Eng. bell-wether; (4) wether-bleat, the snipe, Capella gallinago, prob. a mistaken or corrupted form of Heatherbleat, q.v.; (5) wether-gammond, a leg of mutton; (6) wether haggis, a haggis boiled in a wether's stomach; (7) wedder-hog, a young wether before its first shearing. See also Hog, n.1, 1. (13); (8) wedder lamb, a castrated male lamb (Bwk. 1814 Monthly Mag. I. 31; Cai. 1948 Abd. Press & Jnl. (27 Aug.)); (9) wedder-money, see quot.; (10) wedder-sheep, a full-grown wether sheep (see quot.); (11) wadder wool, wool from a wether. (1) Sc. 1702 Seafield Corresp. (S.H.S.) 353:
It is nou about the tym of taking up my custam wadars, so I hop you will be carfull in taking them up that both the oull and wadars may be good.
(2) Peb. 1802 C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 63:
The hogs bought in, are kept for two years; and, being then three years old, are sold off for farther feeding, under the name of old wedders.
(4) Mry. 1828 J. Ruddiman Tales 122:
The peculiar cry of the snipe, which . . . emit a sort of noise resembling the bleat of a sheep, from whence they are named by the peasantry, the wether-bleat.
(5) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 213:
Wi' skelps like this fock sit but seenil down To wether-gammond or how-towdy brown.
(6) Ayr. 1790 Burns On Capt. Grose ii.:
Is he slain by Hielan' bodies? And eaten like a wether haggis?
(7) Peb. 1772 Indictment of A. Murdison 1:
To shade out his hogs, or young sheep, from his other sheep, in order to separate his wedder-hogs intended for sale, from his ewe-hogs intended to be kept.
Sth. 1831 Brit. Husbandry (Burke 1840) III. i. 81:
When the month of June has brought its interminable day, the wedder hogs yield their first fleece. They are then called dimmants.
(8) Sc. 1801 Farmer's Mag. (Aug.) 360:
Wedder lambs are selling from 10s. to 12s.
Sth. 1831 Brit. Husbandry (Burke 1840) III. i. 79:
The first contains wedder lambs.
Dmf. 1958 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (22 Nov.):
Blackfaced Wedder Lamb Found on Birkbush Hill.
(9) Cai. 1772 J. E. Donaldson Cai. in 18th Cent. (1938) 107:
The tenants' rent consisted of the following payments and casualties, viz. —. . . “wedder money,” amounting to thirty shillings Scots for a wether or sheep which had at an earlier date been paid in kind.
(10) Nai. 1765 Session Papers, Gordon v. Brodie (3 Jan.) 5:
A full grown wedder sheep, which it never is till it has attained at least the full age of three years complete.
(11) Abd. 1751 Abd. Estate (S.C.) 71:
Three quarter weight of wadder wool.

[O.Sc. weddir, id., from 1375, waddir, 1582, wather, 1664.]

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"Wedder n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 May 2021 <>



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