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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

CHALDER, Chaulder, Chauder, n.1 A Sc. measure which varies with different commodities and even in different districts. The forms with l are literary survivals of the original pronunciation. [′tʃɑ:dər Sc., but m.Sc. + ′tʃǫ:dər]

1. Of corn or grain: sixteen bolls. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10 1939.Sc. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIV. 48:
The stipend amounts to nearly 39l. in money, and 4 chalders of victual, three parts of which are oats.
Sc. 1823 J. G. Lockhart Reg. Dalton I. 195:
“Hoo mony chaulders may't run?” “I beg your pardon, sir, I really don't — ” “Hoot, man! I was asking what the steepend might come to.”
Inv. 1718 Letter-Bk. Bailie J. Steuart (S.H.S. 1915) 69:
You hade given orders to buy up 200 bolls Meall for our Joynt accts., and that you hoped to gett it at the Conversion price, which I take to be a hundred merks pr. chalder or 4£ 40 ds. pr. boll.
Ags. 1855 Arbroath Guide (11 Aug.) 3/3:
A chauder at least, or twa at the maist, To keep ilka callant in brose.
Kcb. 1893 S. R. Crockett Stickit Minister iv.:
He knew to what the year's crops of each had amounted, to a single chalder.

2. Of coal or lime: from 20 to 64 imperial bushels (N.E.D.); but see also last quot.Sc. 1707 Records Conv. Burghs (1880) 437:
Some of them not exceeding a chalder or tuo of coalls.
Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 16:
Chalder, a measure of weight. The Perth chalder was 5 tons, the River Forth chalder 30 cwts.; the Hurlet chalder, 2 tons.

[O.Sc. chalder, chaldir, etc., from 1388, cha(w)der, from 1488, a measure of capacity for grain, malt, lime, coal, etc. (D.O.S.T.). Prob. ad. O.Fr. caldier, a kind of measure, chaldre, a measure of coal (Godefroy).]

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"Chalder n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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