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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GIRD, v.2, n.2 Also in Eng. dial. [gɪ̢rd]

I. v. 1. tr. To strike, push (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis); to drive, force. Also fig. = to force (someone to do something). Phr. to let gird, to let fly.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 83:
An' shoops so hard, yon heartless lad to gird, That just he looks as he'd fa' through the yerd.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 175:
That mament he a straik let gird That throu' the faeman's breeches birr'd.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 63:
He girdit the loon oot our fae 'im.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 93:
Fat does he mean girdin' the beasts into the barest neuk o' the faul'ies that wye!
Cai. 1891 M. McLennan Muckle Jock 209:
You'll gird them to carry and build, and grind their young lives out of them.

2. intr. To do anything with great force or energy (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); to break wind loudly (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 63). Often followed by preps. aff and at; with up = “to beat severely” (Gregor).Abd. 1746 W. Forbes Dominie Deposed (1767) lxvii.:
They hunt about from house to house . . . Still girding at the barley-juice, And oft get drunk.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 63:
He sat an' girdit aff the lees like an aul' wife spinnin'.

II. n. 1. A knock, a blow, a sudden stroke (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 230; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd.7 1925; ‡Ags. 1954). Used adv. in phr. to cry gird, to thud, to go smack.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 124:
For wi' a Gird, Upon my Bum I fairly cloited On the cald Eard.
Abd. 1790 Sc. Musical Museum III. 223:
She took a quarter and a third, On the bride's head she gae't a gird, Till farles flew athort the yird.
Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 85:
Wi' a' my heart, quo' I, sin wi' a gird, I gar'd my bannet spin upon the yird.
Kcd. 1856 W. Jamie Jacobite's Son 102:
He has been killing them richt and left, ca'in' them aff their feet at ilka gird he gied them.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 63:
He gart his hehd cry gird t' the wa'.

2. Of wind: a gust, a blast (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 230); a noisy breaking of wind (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 63); fig. a lie (Ib.), a “whopper”.Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 92:
When winter snell, in awfu' girds, Shall owre ilk forest rove.
Per. a.1869 C. Spence Poems (1898) 27:
He passed such a gird, when he fell on the yird.

3. A short period of time, a “turn”, a “go”; a bout, a spasm of pain. Hence phr. in a gird, in a moment.Edb. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 122:
The carlin at first gird Drew mony an unco score upo' the yird.
Ayr. 1821 C. Lockhart Poems 63:
He cam through mony a gird o' want.
Lth. 1825 Jam.:
I'll be wi' you in a gird.
Lnk. 1877 W. Watson Poems 203:
Yet, girn as he may wi' the girds o' the colic, He winna let on whaur he's been.

[Of obscure origin. O.Sc. has gird, gyrd, to ride rapidly, to rush, from 1375, to strike, from 1438, a blow, from 1375, early Mid.Eng. girden, gyrden, to strike (Mod.Eng. gird, to rail, sneer). For senses 2. and 3. of the n. above, cf. similar developments of crack, a blow, in Sc. (see Crack, n.1).]

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"Gird v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <>



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