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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GOWDEN, adj., n., v. Also ‡gouden, †gauden. Gen.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. golden. See P.L.D. § 78.1. Now only liter. [′gʌudən]

I. adj. 1. As in Eng.Sc. c.1685 in J. Watson Choice Coll. (1706) I. 8:
For Jockie's to be married to Maggie, The Lass wi' the Gauden hair.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 19:
Todling burns that smoothly play O'er gowden bed.
Ayr. a.1796 Burns My Lord a-hunting, Chorus:
My lady's gown, there's gairs upon 't, And gowden flowers sae rare upon 't.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xviii.:
The bits o' bonny waves that are poppling and plashing against the rocks in the gowden glimmer o' the moon.
Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 236:
Your gowden hair hangs ta your middle sae jimp, An' bright is the glisk o' your ee.
Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin' 79:
A regular wee witch she was wi' her rosy cheeks an' gouden hair.
Ags. 1927 L. Spence Weirds & Vanities 1:
O gouden was the Whinnie Brae I wandered as a bairn.
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 55:
The dark fir-wids, the gowden funs, The birks that bend tae kiss the burn.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 45:
I kent her in youthheid,
sae gowden-bobbed (nou sae lyart)
Edb. 1991 J. K. Annand in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 19:
In a gowden bowl I gethert
What flourish I could hain
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 22:
'Christ then ye're for't. I'v dune wi you.'
Hoo mony gang their weys tae the gowden city?
m.Sc. 1991 William Neill in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 48:
An nou the Regent rules himsel
an weirs a gowden croun;
he cares for nocht but his nainsel
an dings aa ithers doon.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 7:
A thae gowden lyrics liggin aside ye, Chris
Yirdit there i the moul wi yer best-loo'ed thochts

2. Sc. usages in Combs.: (1) golden calfie, the ladybird (Bnff., Abd. 1955 Scotsman (24 Dec.) 6); (2) golden crest(ie), the golden-crested wren, Regulus regulus (Rxb. 1915 G. Watson Nat. Hist. Lists i., -crestie; m. Lth.1 1955); †(3) golden fish, prob. = Gowdie, n.2, q.v. (Ags. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XI. 256); †(4) golden grass, see quot.; †(5) gouden (k)nap, a species of early pear; also gowdnap; cf. n.Eng. dial. goldnep; †(6) golden maw, the glaucous gull, Larus hyperboreus (Sc. 1878 Zoologist II. 329; Slg. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 207); ¶(7) golden-pride, prob. the golden saxifrage, Chrysosplenium americanum; (8) golden wren, = (1) (Slg. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 25).(2) Per. a.1869 C. Spence Poems (1898) 174:
The wren and the woodlark and shy golden crest.
(4) Lnk. 1831 W. Patrick Plants 83–84:
The seed [of the crested dog's-tail, Cynosurus cristatus], which is of a reddish yellow, in some instances passes under the name of golden grass.
(5) Slg. 1812 P. Graham Agric. Slg. 202:
The golden knap, or gouden knap, as it is here called, seems peculiar to this part of Scotland. It is equal in beauty to any fruit tree whatever.
Slg. 1829 G. Wyse Poems 42:
Here's Carnock pears, and ripe gowdnaps.
Slg. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VIII. 203:
The soil is particularly adapted to pear trees. . . . The golden-nap, which appears to be indigenous, with all the luxuriance of a forest tree, and never cankers.
(7) Per. a.1869 C. Spence Poems (1898) 174:
Mosses and golden-prides mingle and spread, Like silk-tasseled drapery on queen's bridal bed.

II. n. A gold coin, a sovereign.Ags. 1934 G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 23:
[I'd] laid the gowdens up in store, To help this time o' need.

III. v. To tinge with gold. Rare and poet.Abd. 1927 T. McWilliam The Fireside 70:
The sun was slippin' doon . . . It gowden'd a', fae auld Knock Ha' Tae Ythan an' the sea.

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"Gowden adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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