Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
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.

BIELD, BEILD, BIEL', BEEL(D), BEIL, n., v. and adj. [bil, bild]

1. n.

(1) Protection, shelter.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 99:
Every Man bows to the Bush he gets beel of.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Sc. Proverbs 1:
There's beild beneath an auld man's beard.
Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Underwoods 88:
My lads, ye'll mind on the bield o' the law.
Bnff. 1933 M. Symon Deveron Days 30:
But oh! the couthie beil, A quinie's face aside the knock Made for the Cheery Chiel.
ne.Sc. 1979 Alastair Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 63:
Inside the win-break's linen bield
the soonds o the season dwine doun.
Ags. 1918 V. Jacob More Songs of Angus 26:
A roofless kirk i' the bield o' the cliff-fit bidin', And the deid laid near the wa'.
m.Sc. 1991 William Neill in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 48:
King Sillersecks rade his gray meare
aff til the birkenshaw;
but birk and buss an bourtree thare
gied him nae bield ava.
Fif. 1992 Simon Taylor Mortimer's Deep 248:
Come awaa, you an me, tae ma brither's hoose fur a drink an a bittie warm beild.

(2) A place affording shelter, as, a house to a man, a byre or a fold to cattle, a nest to a bird.Abd.(D) 1920 C. Murray In the Country Places 9:
I've kent him lift anither's birn When better men were laith, An' wi' a nicht-boun' beggar share Biel an' brose baith.
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 110:
In fower freemit leids, an ane o them yer ain:
Thon's oor new tenements, bield fer the fowk.
Per. c.1800 Songs of Lady Nairne (1869) 8:
Yon bonnie bield ayont the shaw.
Fif. 1998 Tom Hubbard Isolde's Luve-Daith 5:
O my beluvit Tristan,
We twa tuik oor blytheheid in that clintie bield,
Or whaur we clammered abune ti reenge fir meat.
Edb. c.1850 A. Smart in Edwards Mod. Sc. Poets XI. (1888) 80:
That bigs for its young a cozy biel', In the spring-time o' the year.
Hdg. 1896 J. Lumsden Battles of D. and P. 49:
The shadowy fields, and ourie bields, Whare lonesome flocks repose.
Ayr. 1796 Burns Winter of Life (Cent. ed.) ii.:
My trunk of eild, but buss or bield, Sinks in time's wintry rage.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 333:
Cauld poddering, and foddering, The nought [nowt] amang the biels.
s.Sc. 1979 Lavina Derwent A Border Bairn (1986) 16:
Pheasants and partridges were expert at camouflage, making simple bields on the ground amongst heather and bracken, carefully covering them with dead leaves or grass before flying off to forage for food.

(3) A protector.Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Beild. One who acts as a guardian or protector.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 7:
An' as the billy had the start of yeeld, To Norry he was ay a tenty beeld.

2. v.

(1) tr. (pa.t. bielded, biel't). Protect, shelter, cover. Also ppl.adj.Sc. 1775 Weekly Mag. (9 March) 329:
Some of the farmers, who have good lowlying ground, or beilded ground with plenty of grass.
Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth xii.:
That fed, clad, and bielded me as if I had been a sister.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 193:
'That's for me tae mind and you tae guess. I said I'd tell ye aboot Weir, no aboot folk that helped and bieldit me. But I didna stey lang in Edinburgh, I'll say that. It wasna safe. Ma face was ower weill-kent.'
Lnl. 1910 J. White Eppie Gray 5:
A bordered wauk leads tae the door, And ivy bields the waster wa'.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 47:
An' birds are singin' on the tree that beilds thy lanely grave.
wm.Sc. 1991 Carol Galbraith in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 72:
while statelie matrons
roon sets
o Scotia's bieldit bairns.
Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems and Sketches 103:
At lown dyke backs the cowrin' nowte Ha'e biel't them frae the sleety blast.
Slk. 1993:
Use that pitch - it's better bieldit. [of a rugby pitch behind a hedge]

(2) intr. To take shelter.Cai. 1872 M. McLennan Peasant Life II. 23:
He cam' fifteen mile tae see us aifter his hirsel bieldit.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 37:
There's joy within the birken bush When birdies bield thegither.

Ppl.adj. bielding, sheltering, cosy.Lnl. 1864 J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe, etc. 2:
That home behind its hillside lawn, Among its bielding woods.
Rxb. 1845 T. Aird Old Bachelor xvi.:
The village cow-herd boy . . . perks up his head out of his dirty-brown maud from beyond the bielding heap of divots.

Vbl.n. beilding, shelter, protection. Sc. 1725 Ramsay T.T. Misc. (1762) 181:
But yet her strength it fails at length, Nae beilding can she borrow. [Occurs in O.Sc. 15th and 16th centuries, see D.O.S.T. s.v. belding.]
Rxb. 1883 J. B. Webber Rambles 57:
Tae the cairn they ran for beildin'.

3. adj. Sheltered, cosy. This may be either an attrib. use of the noun or a reduced form of the pa.p. beilded used as adj.Edb. 1795 H. Macneill Poet. Works (1801) I. 13:
Near the road, whar trav'llers turn aye, Neat and bield a cot-house stood.
Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 99:
To Elgin-haugh sae bield an' gay.
Hdg. 1885 “S. Mucklebackit” Rural Rhymes, etc. 5:
Auld Sam Mucklebackit, rough an' grey, Retired from the world to a beil' sunny knowe.
Ayr. 1846 Lennox in Ballads and Songs of Ayrshire (ed. J. Paterson) 120:
I'll hae a lassie to my sel' To keep me beil, and wag about.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 51:
Far frae my cott sae bield.

Combs.: (1) †beeld penny, livelihood (Sc. 1807 R. Allan Dict. Ancient Lang. Scot. 28); (2) strait bields, “a shelter formed by a steep hill” (Peb. 1825 Jam.2).

[O.Sc. belde, beild, n., also beld, beyld(e), beil, protection, protector, anything serving as protection, etc., esp. a place affording protection. As a v. it means to succour, cover over, place securely in a state or on something. O.North. bældo, W.S. bieldu, byldu, boldness (from O.E. bald, beald), hence extended to what may result from boldness — i.e. protection.]

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

"Bield n., v., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: