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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MAUD, n. Also maude, mawd; ma(a)d; madd. [mǫd]

1. A checked plaid or wrap, the traditional garb of shepherds, esp. in the South of Scotland. Also attrib. Now mainly liter.Sc. 1771 Caled. Mercury (4 Feb.):
A tall middle aged man, with a bonnet, and a shepherd's madd or blanket.
Sc. 1779 Aberdeen Jnl. (1 Feb.):
A round Hat or a large old Bonnet, and a blue and white Maad.
Sc. 1803 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) XII. 379:
The minstrel should wear over his dress what we call a Maud or Low Country plaid. It is a long piece of cloth about a yard wide wrapd loosely round the waist like a scarf and from thence brought across the breast and the end thrown over the left shoulder where it hangs loose something like a Spanish Cloak. It is not of Tartan but of the natural colour of the wool with a very small black check which gives it a greyish look.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck iii.:
Lying sleeping at ither's sides, baith happit wi' the same maud.
Lnk. 1827 J. Watt Poems 60:
Blankets an' sheets, tikes and braw mads.
Rxb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 III. 292:
The plaid or maud of the borders consisting of black and white or blue and white checks, is almost universal among the men.
Sc. 1877 W. Ross Past. Work in Covenant Times 93:
Shepherds with their maud plaids.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Peden wi' his lang chafts an' luntin' een, the maud happed about his kist.
Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 70:
He himself wore a maud, fixed on his shoulder with a buckle.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 21:
There was . . . an auld herd wui a maud on.

2. Combs.: (1) maud neuk, -nuik, the corner of a plaid folded over to form a pocket (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (2) Moffat maud, a plaid of the traditional shepherd pattern, Moffat being one of the chief centres of the southern sheep farming; (3) Paisley maud, a plaid of the traditional Paisley pattern. See Paisley.(1) Rxb. 1861 J. Murray in Hawick Advertiser (May):
A maud-neuk fu' o' fairns — an' muckle cleishers tae!
(2) Sc. 1777 Caled. Mercury (4 June):
Breeches-Piecer, Hats, Moffat Mauds, Handkerchiefs, Gloves.
(3) Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-Head 269:
To coax or wheedle from me my beautiful and valuable Paisley maud.

3. A woollen material such as is used in making mauds or plaids.Sc. 1777 Caled. Mercury (16 Aug.):
Moffat Plaids, and green and black Mawd for hunting suits, etc.

4. A stake-net used in Clydesdale for catching salmon or trout, being “fixed in a square form by four stakes and allowed to stand some time in the river before it be drawn” (Cld. 1825 Jam., ma(u)d).

[Orig. obscure. Phs. a back formation, with vocalisation of l, from O.Sc. maldy, a thick woollen material of grey or mixed colour, from 1588, which may be a metathetic form of medley(-cloth), a variegated cloth, in Eng. from 1438, but complete evidence is wanting.]

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"Maud n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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