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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HOWD, v., n.1 Also houd; ¶haud. Cf. Howder, Howdle, v.1, n. [hʌud]

I. v. 1. tr. and intr. To sway, rock from side to side, bump up and down, wriggle about (Sc. 1808 Jam., houd; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 81; Cai. 1902 E.D.D., howd; Abd., Kcd. 1957); to walk with a rolling gait (†Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Sc. 1765 Trial K. Nairne (Roughead 1926) 103:
Like an old ferry boat houden.
Ags. 1794 W. Anderson Piper of Peebles 20:
Auld horny thought to gar him howd Upo' the gallows, for the gowd.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 281:
They howded her, and they showded her, Till the auld wife gat a fa', fa'.
Kcd. 1925 J. J. Kerr W.-L.:
I saw'r howdin' doon the street at a' she cud leg.

Comb. †houdin-tow, a rope for a swing (Mearns 1877 Jam.).

2. To move along while in a sitting position (Lth. 1808 Jam., houd). Cf. Hotch.

3. Ofa vessel afloat: to pitch or toss about, bob up and down (Bwk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 107; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Kcd. 1957).Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 69:
Then houding owre gaed mony a tub, To cowe the lown.
Slk. 1817 Hogg Tales (1874) 150:
They were aye gaun out o' sight an' comin howdin up again.
Dmf. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 106:
The bridal company were met . . . by the coffin, which . . . “came houdin down the water in great haste.”
Abd. 1887 Bon-Accord (11 June) 12:
The wye that they chielies got on wis something awfu' — makin' the yawlie showd here an' howd there.

II. n. 1. A lurching, rocking movement from side to side, a wriggle, jerk (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.), esp. of the motion of a ship or a rolling gait. Also fig. an unsettling jolt.Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd MS. III. 57:
Ilk ither howd they took to be their last, An' that wou'd them to the sea-bottom cast.
Kcd. 1819 J. Burness Plays 292:
Sic shougs an' howds I never got, My life I thought nae worth a groat.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 56:
Although she travels wi' a sidelins houd, She'll court wi' onie ane for love or goud.
Bwk. 1901 Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club XVIII. 131:
“Having a ‘howd' round St Abb's”; that is, a sail or row.

2. A sudden gale of wind, a squall (Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 458, haud). Cf. Howder, v.1, 4., n., 3.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 81:
“A howd o' ween raise, an' shook the corn.” “The ween got up wee a howd.”

[Imit. in orig., a variant of Hod. Cf. Cowd, Showd.]

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"Howd v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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