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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, n.3 Also gowdy.

1. A pet-name for a light yellow-coloured cow (Upp. Lnk. 1825 Jam.).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 288:
Gowdie, the cow, gives a junt of milk.

2. A pet-name for a child or any beloved object (Cai. 1825 Jam., gowdy). Cf. Gowds.

Phr.: to gae gowdie lane, of a child: to walk unassisted; hence gowdie-lane, n., an epithet applied to a child who has just learnt to walk, a toddler.Gall., Dmf. 1825 Jam.:
“He's gain hee (high) gowdie lane,” a phrase used . . . to signify that a child is going fairly out, or walking alone.
s.Sc. 1881 in Border Mag. (April 1938) 55:
Up spak our wee, wee gowdie-lane, The youngest of them a'.

[Either Gowd + -ie or Sc. forms of Eng. goldy, adj., quasi the golden(-haired) one.]

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"Gowdie n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



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