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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BODE, BOD, n. Not found in Mod.Eng. [bod, bɔd]

1. A bid, an offer, esp. at an auction. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 368:
You may get ware Bode e'er [sic] Beltan. [Found also in Fergusson Proverbs a.1598, 15.]
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxxi.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
It is time he were gaen, if he doubles his bode that gate.
Sh.7 1935; Ork. 1929 Marw.:
I took da coo back fae da roop, fir I niver got a bod for her.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 111:
The first bode o' marriage is laden wi' luck, An' the lassie was gyte for a man.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 37:
And what a voice! it rings ower a' the closs “Bring oot the filly,” an' he asks for bodes.
Ayr. 1799 Burns To W. Nicol in Letters (ed. Mackenna) 116:
I refused fifty-five shillings for her, which was the highest bode I could squeeze for her.

2. “The term is used, though with less propriety, to denote the price asked by a vender, or the offer of goods at a certain rate” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Bnff.2, Abd.19, Fif.1 1935).Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary (1818) xxxix.:
Ye should never tak a fishwife's first bode.

3. “An omen” (Mry.1 1925).Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish iii.:
Expounding dreams, and bodes of every sort.
Kcb. 1891 M.A.M. Halloween Guest 15:
I wad like to ken if I am to be a married woman. I'll hae a'e mair bode at ony rate.

4. A greeting; hence a visit.Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) III. 177:
If ye miss a kind reception up stairs, ye may come down again, and gie a poor body a fleein' bode.

5. “An invitation” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); esp. to a marriage.Sh.7 1935:
Did du get a bod ta da weddin?
Upp.Cld. 1825 Jam.2:
Bod. A personal invitation; distinguished from Bodeword, which denotes an invitation by means of a letter or a messenger.
Twd. 1903 Abd. Wkly. Free Press (24 Oct.) (E.D.D. Suppl.):
I'll be lookin' for a bode tae the weddin' or lang.

Comb.: bod penny, the sum fixed as increase in bid at an auction. Still in use in ne.Sc. (1936). See also Penny.Ayr. 1732 Muniments Royal Burgh Irvine (Ayr. and Gall. Arch. Assoc. 1891) II. 135:
The Bod Penny to be fourty shilling Scots for each [increase].

[O.Sc. bode, bod, an offer, first date 1456 (D.O.S.T.). O.E. bod, idem, from pa.p. stem of bēodan, to offer.]

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"Bode n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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