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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BRAID, adj., adv. Also bredd (Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poems 101), †bread (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 122). Hence derivs. braiden, to broaden (Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 231, 240), braidness, breadth (Sc. 1837 Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 46). Also Compar. braidir. Sc. form of St.Eng. broad, used with all modern Eng. meanings. [bred, brɛd Sc.; brɪəd s.Sc.; breid Cai., e.Rs., e.Bch., Lth., Ant.]

Sc. forms:Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
We socht for bait on the bay sands, braid
ahint the far-oot sea, whiles at nicht-fa
and the mune up.
Dundee 1994 Matthew Fitt in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 175:
He micht hae byn aald an he micht hae byn grey bit he wus braidir an tallir nur the young lad an his nose wus aa duntit an squint lyk a boaxir's.

Sc. usages:

I. adj.

1. In phr.: in braid Scotland, in the whole (breadth) of Scotland. Gen.Sc.Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders xvi.:
“That's surely by-ordinar',” said I. “Aye,” he said, “there's no the like o' that in braid Scotland.”

2. Plain, unmitigated.Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) VI. 6:
“Ye are telling a braid downright lee, sir,” said Wat.

II. adv. (1) Unrestrainedly, indiscreetly, gen. with out. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate xviii.:
I ken nae use in blurting braid out with a man's name at every moment.
Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems, etc. 85:
Nor leave a hole, without a clout, At which the deil may glow'r braid out.
Lnk. 1820 J. Breckenridge in Songs and Ballads of Clydesd. (ed. A. Nimmo 1882) 194:
Oh! the sun frae the eastward was peeping, And braid through the winnocks did stare.

(2) Fully, frankly, in an open uninhibited manner, in phr. to look braid in the or one's face, to look one straight or squarely in the face (Per. 1898 E.D.D.). Cf. also Breed, n.1, 1.Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxxiv.:
He can now look others broad in the face.
Ags. 1826 A. Balfour Highland Mary I. 66:
Lookin' braid i' my face, she said - "Oh, Marion, be kind to your gudeman."
Ags. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xii.:
We never could hae ventured sae far as to glower the young queans braid i' the face.

(3) In an extended manner, laid or squeezed flat (ne.Sc. 1975).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
A chap or twa, naar grippit braid i' the crood.
Per. 1910 W. Blair Kildermoch 125:
Why do you minister folk no' pray for them that wait beside the bed o' languishin' as weel as for them that lie braid on it?

III. Phrases and combs.: 1. Braid-back, a throw on the back. 2. Braid-band, (1) alongside; (2) in phrs.: (a) to lie (lay) in braid-band, to leave broad-band (see quots.); (b) to faw braid-band, “used of a young woman who submits to dalliance without any opposition” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2). Given by Watson in Rxb. W.-B. as obs. (1923). 3. Braid bonnet, (1) a flat-topped cap of thick cloth of the tam o' shanter type, with or without two ribbons loose or tied behind. Gen. worn by men and boys in rural Scotland until mid 19th cent. Also called the Kilmarnock Bonnet; a much later variety is called Balmoral Bonnet; (2) extended to denote the wearer of such a bonnet. 4. Braid letter, “a letter on a broad sheet or a long letter” (Sc. 1904 Child Ballads, Gl.). 5. Braid-lippit, broad-brimmed. 6. Braid mooth, used adv., bluntly, without restraint or concealment, openly. Used ironically in quot. 7Broad plough, a plough yoked with the draught animals abreast.8. Bread-ware, any of the large broad-leaved seaweeds, e.g. Fucus and Laminaria, used in the making of kelp. See Ware, n.11.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 16:
He's got's braid-back o' the road.
2. (1) Ork. 1913 J. Firth in Old-Lore Misc., Ork., Sh., etc. VI. iv. 85:
One bride confidently told a friend that as she came near the church door she noticed the other bride braid-band (alongside) wi' her, but she teuk twa lang stramps an' a langer ane sae sheu might get a' the warl (wealth).
(2) (a) Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Corn laid out, in the harvest field, on the band, but not bound, is said to be lying in braid-band. It is often opened up in this way, to receive the benefit of the drought, when it is injured by rain. Metaph., to be fully exposed.
m.Lth. 1795 G. Robertson Agric. M. Lth. 100:
Particularly in damp weather, it is left broad-band for two or three days, to accelerate the winning.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 10:
Oot ilka day an' a' day, takin doun the stooks atween the shoo'rs, an' layin them in braid-band, an' syne bindin them up.
3. (1) Abd.(D) 1926 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 112:
A min' fine on his dressin' himsel' an' pittin' on his best braid bonnet 'at he gied tae the kirk wi' on ordinar' Sundays.
Ags.(D) 1890 Brechin Advertiser (8 April) 3/5:
For example, the auld braid bonnet wis juist as comfortable an' as decent-like as the nippit bits o' capies.
(2) wm.Sc. [1835–1837] Laird of Logan (1868) 167:
A wary braid-bonnet, anxious that his son should be preferred to a certain living in the Kirk.
4. Sc. 1904 Sir Patrick Spens in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 58A iii.:
The king has written a braid letter, And signd it wi his hand.
5. Rxb. 1868 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 12:
She never felt sae bricht at onything as when she saw Willie Wilson's braid-lippit hat coming by the window.
6.Bwk. 1869 J. Landreth Fastern's E'en 28:
Ye nickered at the sixpence I offered; but ye'll laugh braidmooth at the Shirra's sentence o' fine and imprisonment.
7.Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XX. 73:
What is termed the broad-plough is still used on the north side of Teith. In this plough 4 horses are yoked abreast, with a goadman or driver placed before the horses' heads.
8.Hebr. 1825 Seaforth Papers MSS. (S.R.O.) (20 May):
Regarding the kelp, I have succeeded in most places in getting the breadware given up.

[O.Sc. brade, braid, broad or wide, n.Mid.Eng. brade, O.E. brād. Braid-band might rather be referred to Breed, n.1]

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"Braid adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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