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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HERTSCAUD, n. Also -scad, -skad, hairt-scad; heart-sca(u)d(d), -scud; -scald (Uls.); †hart scaud, -scald; and I.Sc. forms herskit, -et, harskit, -et; hesked, hasket. [Sc. ′hɛrtskǫ:d, -skɑ:d, Ork. ′hɛ(r)skət]

1. Heartburn, cardialgy (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 255; Ork. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.; Mry., Ayr. c.1911; Ork. 1929 Marw.).Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (1925) 53:
For here, wae's me! there's nouther lord nor laird Come to get heartscad frae their stamack skair'd.
Per. 1811 J. Sim Poems 67:
Some breedin' women gaunts and fidges, The heart scad, and the toothick rages.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 15:
Shü wappit twartree flooer baps apo da butt table wi' a hjimsness 'at wis aneugh to gee a body da herskit!

2. Fig. A feeling of disgust or repulsion (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 198, 1808 Jam.; Abd. 1923 H. Beaton Benachie 232; wm.Sc.1, Uls. 1957); aversion.Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xiv.:
I put on a look . . . that suld give her a heart-scald of walking on such errands.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 548:
Sir, you needna be surprised if I took a heart scad at the harp.

3. A (source of) bitter grief, trouble, disappointment or aversion (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per.1 1922; Uls. 1924 W. Lutton Montiaghisms; ne.Sc., Ags., Uls. 1957).Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 109:
[It] wad a heap o' heart-scads heal, Were yon Free Kirks laid on the plain.
Ags. 1853 Montrose Standard (2 Sept.) 8:
We hae gotten the hairt-scad wi' interferin' amang ither nations.
Rnf. 1876 D. Gilmour Paisley Weavers 93:
Grief such as only young mothers can feel at their first heart-scud.
Irel. 1902 E.D.D.:
A drunken husband is a great heart-scald.
Abd.1 1929:
Their laddie daein' sae ill wis a sair hertscad.
Ags. 1934 D. L. Duncan Hamespun 33:
Jean's a lazy, thowless jaud, Saep-an'-watter her hairt-scaud.

Hence hert-scalded, vexed, sorely grieved (Uls. 1956); hert-scaudin, ppl.adj., heart-searing, arousing deep emotion; vbl.n., grief, distress, vexation.Uls. 1843 W. Carleton Traits Peasantry (1854) I. 5:
Wurrah! wurrah! but it's me that's the heart-scalded crathur with that man's four quarters.
Ib. I. 351:
The heart-scaldin' you're givin' both your mother and me!
Uls. 1904 Victoria College Mag. 12:
A mother when harassed with a child who is constantly crying says she is “heart-scalded.”
Sc. 1922 P. Macgillivray Bog Myrtle 62:
Is there no left ae scathin' muse In Scotland yet, to raise the cruse And keen, hert-scaudin' verse to use For Peace and Truth?

[Hert, n. + Scaud. O.Sc. heart scald, id., from 1629.]

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"Hertscaud n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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