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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.

GOWDIE, Goudie, n.1 The treasurer of a trade corporation, “an office-bearer of an incorporation who keeps one of the keys of the Box; also, the name of the office. . . . The incorporation of Cordiners is perhaps the only one which still retains this old term” (Sc. 1887 Jam., Add.). Hist.Sc. 1857 A. Wallace Gloaming of Life iii.:
The still more important honours of a “gowdie” were conferred, in the permission which was then granted to “snuff the candles and to keep the keys.”
Gsw. ?1887 Rules & Reg. Incorp. Cordiners Gsw. 3:
One Master, to hold office for one year, shall be nominated and appointed by the Deacon, and be called the Deacon's Goudie, or keeper of a key of the Box . . . A Trade's Goudie . . . from among the nine masters to hold office for one year.
Gsw. 1924 D. Murray Early Burgh Organiz. I. 359:
Every craft had a keymaster, boxmaster, or goudie, who acted as treasurer. . . . Goudie is the Glasgow term.

[A dim. abbrev. form of *gowd maister (see Gowd). Found in O.Sc. c.1500.]

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"Gowdie n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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