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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BA', BAA, BAW, v.1 To lull, to hush a child to sleep. Gen.Sc. [Phon. as Ba',n.1]Sc. 1711 J. Watson (ed.) Choice Coll. (1869) III. 21:
They grap it, they grip it, it greets and they grain; They bed it, they baw it, they bind it, they brace it.
Ork. 1922 H. Marwick Antiq. Notes on Sanday, Ork. Antiq. Soc. 29:
Baa the bairns o' Bae-tun, For minno's awa tae Sae-tun.

Combs.: baw-baw and beddie ba', -baa, used in childish language.Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 127:
Ay, it's time for baw-baw noo When they've lit the leerie.
Ags. 1880 A. M. Soutar Hearth Rhymes 81:
Weary little Clara . . . Comes hame to get to beddie baa.
Ags. 1990s Walter Gray Glossary :
Beddie-baa: n., bed, to a child.
w.Lth. 1930 R. Morrison in West Lth. Courier (3 Jan.):
Oh cuddle in, ma bairnie, Cuddle in your beddie ba'.

[Ba' is prob. an imitative word from the action of the lips in kissing. Given as obs. in N.E.D. = to kiss, with quots. from Chaucer and Skelton.]

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"Ba' v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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