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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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.

CADDIS, Cadis, Caddiss, Keddis, Caddy, n. and v. [′kɑdɪs, ′kɛdɪs, ′kɑdɪ̢]

1. n.

(1) “Fluffy material which comes from yarns when being wound or woven, and which accumulates in a hand-loom weaving shop” (Fif.3 1930); “the fluff which sometimes collects under beds or on neglected carpets” (Ags. 1931 J. D. Simpson in Abd. Press and Jnl. (15 Jan.)); “fluffy dust from blankets, etc.” (Kcb.9 1938, caddy); in gen., ends of thread, etc., collecting into bunches or knots. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17, Fif.10, Lnl.1 1938. Obs. in St.Eng.; last quot. in N.E.D. 1769.Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xviii.:
Later a powdery sunlight filled the room irradiating the feathery caddis from the blankets that had drifted into corners.
Mearns a.1884 G. Duthie in A. Reid Bards of Angus and the Mearns (1897) 154:
[Wha] gar'd our deils a' flee afore him like caddis.
Ags. 1891 J. M. Barrie Little Minister (2nd ed.) iii.:
The town smells of caddis no longer, but whiffs of it may be got even now as one passes the houses of the old, where the lay still swings at little windows like a great ghost pendulum.

(2) (a) Shreds of material, rags, etc. (Bnff.2, Abd.22, Ags.1 1938); (b) “a small quantity of silk, or woollen material, or flax, stuffed into an ink-bottle, and then saturated with ink. The pen is supplied by coming in contact with the keffis, and if the bottle is overset the ink does not spill” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.); (c) extended to mean small pieces of straw or grain (Abd.2 1938).(a) Sc. 1898 E.D.D.:
Ye'll ca' yer claes to caddis climbin the trees.
(c) Bnff.2 1930:
The drum o' the mull's ower ticht; she caas the stray aa t' caddis.

†(3) Used in 18th cent. in Scot. for surgical lint.Sc. 1733–1744 Medical Essays and Observations (1747) IV. 267; Sc. 1769 W. Buchan Domestic Medicine 598:
Soft, half-worn Linen, which the French call Charpie, the English, Lint, and we Caddiss.
Sc. 1803 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 69: 
Having applied some caddis to the wound on the deceased's temple.

‡(4) “Applied to cotton grass found on moors” (Cai.7 1938).

2. v. To apply lint to (a wound).Dmb. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean 9:
To scrape auld sarks to cadis sic a sair.

[O.Sc. caddas, caddes, kaddes, cotton wool, flock, or similar material used for padding, earliest date 1473 (D.O.S.T.); E.M.E. caddas, caddis, 1536, Mid.Eng. cadace, cadas, O.Fr. cadaz, cadas, cadarce, “the tow, or coursest part of silke, whereof sleaue is made” (Cotgrave, s.v. cadarce).]

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"Caddis n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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