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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CAIRD, Cyard, Kyard, Kaerd, n.2, v.2 [ke:rd Sc., but ne.Sc. + kjɑ:rd]

1. n.

(1) “An [toothed] instrument for carding wool” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl. s.v. kaerd), a card. Known to Cai.7 (obsol.), Bnff.2, Abd.22, Ags.2 1938).Bch.(D) 1932 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 105:
The flichts an' the cyards an' the reel are a' ta stew lang seen an' flung furth.
Ags. 1875 J. Watson Samples of Common Sense in Verse 98:
She took her cairds an' cairdin' skin, Her walgie fu' o' creeshie woo.

(2) “A curry-comb for cattle” (Arg.1 1937).

2. v. To card wool. Also fig. Ppl.adj. cairdin'.ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays and Leg. of the North (1908) 8:
The Cairdin' Mill at Haugh o' Stra'an, The eelie pigs an' woo', Were ruint, smasht, or sweelt awa'.
Abd.4 Old Fret 1929:
Atween Eel an' Can'lemas Aul' wives sid naedir kyard nir spin.
Ags.(D) 1891 Brechin Advertiser (4 Aug.) 3/5:
For a' that, there's a fell hair o' the carlin' hemp o' truth, weel heckled an' cairded up wi' the mair pliant towe o' imagination.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc. 83:
O, Willy! I can caird an' spin, Se ne'er can want for cleedin.

Hence cairder, a wool 1884 D. Grant Lays and Leg. of the North (1908) 8:
Fat wye the Cairder an' the wife, Wi' little'ns twa or three, Got aff w' life, I dinna ken.

Vbl.n. caiedin', kaerdin, “a party of young women convened by invitation at a neighbour's house for the purpose of carding wool” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kaerdin).Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 158:
“Niver kent doo 'at dey wir haddin' a cairdin', Sibbie,” I said, efter I wis taen a spüne or twa oot o' da kettle.

[O.Sc. card, caird, kard, kaird, n., a card for wool, hemp, etc., 1478; v., to dress (wool) with cards, 1530 (D.O.S.T.); Mid.Eng. carde, 1401, Fr. carde, n., teasel-head, wool-card, carder, v.]

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"Caird n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2023 <>



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