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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCUD, v., n. Also scudd, skud. Sc. usages:

I. v. 1. To slide, glide, skate on ice (Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 264; Per. 1969).

2. To throw (a flat stone) so as to make it skip over the surface of water, to play ducks and drakes (Cld., Rxb. 1880 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ork., Cai., Dmb., Ayr. 1969). Hence scuddin' stane, a stone suitable for this; in pl. the game itself, ducks and drakes (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.).s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xv.:
Her great bobble of a lad's aye flinging scuddin'-stanes in Keeldar's Pool.

3. To drink copiously or in large gulps, to imbibe freely, toss over.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 222:
You wha laughing scud brown ale.

4. To beat, strike, (1) in gen. Vbl.n. scudding, a kind of hockey. See scuddie s.v. II. 1.Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 123:
Farmers, keen to cut the crap, Lest win's should scud it.
Edb. 1902 C. B. Gunn G. Heriot's Hospital 65, 85:
Here were played marbles, tops, tig, athletics and scudding. . . . The Auld Callants who came up on June Day to perform their annual rite of “scudding”.

(2) specif. to beat with the open hand or a strap, to slap, smack, cane, to spank the bottom (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 693; Cai., Uls. 1904 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc., in 1960 quot. used with cogn. object; to punish, chastise. Vbl.n. scudding, a beating (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Comb. scuddin seat, the school-desk on which punishment was inflicted. Deriv. scudder, a school-strap (Abd. 1969).Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 147:
There's need at times to skelp an' scud.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 23:
Lassie, when I get ye, I'll scud ye till I'm sair.
Ags. 1892 A. Reid Howetoon 46:
Another small table-desk, . . . alternately, the guid laddie's place, and the scuddin' seat.
Ork. 1924 P. Ork. A.S. II. 81:
One of the last times I got a severe “scudding”.
Abd., w.Lth. 1928 Rymour Club Misc. III. 182:
Mr. Rhind is very kind He goes to kirk on Sunday He prays to God to give him strength To skud the bairns on Monday.
Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 38:
I have been weel scudded for my uncharitable thochts an' ill-wishes!
Per.4 1960:
Scud him ane on the lug.

5. To do odd jobs here and there. Cf. n., 2. There is phs. also some influence from Scuddle, v.1, 2.Ags. (Dundee) 1965:
Him and another lad's awa scuddin — doing odd jobs, free-lancing, of a vaguely building nature.

II. n. 1. A blow, usu. with the open hand, a slap, smack, a stroke with a tawse or cane, in pl. a thrashing, belting, spanking (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 423; Cai., Uls. 1904 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. Also fig. For comb. doup-scud see Doup, n.1, 2. (1). Phr. to gie (somebody) his scuds, to thrash, trounce (Abd. 1904 E.D.D.).Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xxviii.:
It was na a pat, but a scud like a clap o' a fir deal.
Rnf. 1850 A. McGilvray Poems 166:
Ye deserve a bit scud.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xxxviii.:
Giving them a sound scud on the hip as they went past.
Ags. 1894 A. Reid Songs 87:
Juist watch guid Mither Nature noo, Despair afore her scuds maun boo.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle vi.:
We gied them their scuds at the ‘Forty-five.'
Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine Provost 26:
After ten skuds at the ba' I landed it at the end o' the burn.
Uls. 1911 F. E. Crichton Soundless Tide ii.:
A couple o' scuds is soon over, an' leaves no bittherness.
Ags. 1921 A. S. Neill Carroty Broon xx.:
The dominie gave Peter a lecture before the assembled school, and on general principles gave him four scuds.
Lth. 1953 Edb. Ev. Dispatch (31 March):
He had “gien her a scudd on the lug tae quieten her”.
Abd. 1957 Press and Jnl. (13 Nov.):
Administering a good scud where it was likely to hurt most.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 27:
Tae be or no tae be,
wad that I kent the gait that's richt.
Whither it taks mair smeddum
tae thole ilk skud an scart
o a fashious fate,
or gang tae war agin a wecht o waes
an bear the gree.

Hence scuddie, -y, a game like shinty or hockey (Bnff. 1925); the curved club or the ¶ball used in the game (Id.). Cf. I. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 166:
The game might be either by throwing the ball, or kicking it with the foot — football — or by striking it with “the club” or “scuddie.”
Abd. 1888 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1.) I. 200:
When the ball or scuddie, as it used to be named, got into a ditch or other place where a free stroke could not be given.
Rs. c.1890 in M. M. Banks Cal. Customs Scot. II. 115:
The game of ball was played at New Year's Day. It was driven by a ‘club' or ‘scuddie'.
Abd. 1914 J. Cranna Fraserburgh 181:
Other forms of amusement were “Playing at the tangill ba',” which may be identified with the modern “scuddy.”
Bnff. 1930:
A cuttit a richt gweed skuddie in the fun brae on Seterday.
Abd. 1949 W. R. Melvin Poems 71:
Built on the fields whaur we as loons Gaed rompin' wi' oor scuddies.

2. A turn at doing something, a “shot”, chance; a trip, ride or the like (Inv. 1969); a sail in a small boat for pleasure (Crm. 1919 T.S.D.C., scuddy).Inv. c.1910 Football Times (28 Aug. 1948):
A “scud” at the back of a horse-drawn cab was one of the delights, often adventurous, in those davs.
Rnf. 1935 L. Kerr Woman of Glenshiels xv.:
“Hi', Maw, whaur's ye'r bundle. Hi, father, gie's a scud o' it.” He was off, descending on the pack and heaving it to his shoulders.
Ayr. 1948:
To gie a boy a scud at drivin a horse.

3. In phr. on the scud, on the batter or spree, esp. on cheap wine, methylated spirits, etc., not on the usual liquors (Edb. 1969).

4. Fig. an amount or quantity, a bit here and there, a patch. Hence scuddock, a chunk.The 1956 usage is somewhat doubtful.Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 124:
Curlin' pieces, an' scuds o' rhyme.
ne.Sc. 1956 J. Wood Seine Fishers v.:
Through heather and scuds of marram grass.
Rxb. 1993:
I'll hae anither scuddock o cheese.
Edb. 2004:
She likit great scuddocks o cheese on her piece.

5. In pl.: brisk or foaming ale, beer with a head. Cf. v., 3.Sc. 1711 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 11:
Aften in Maggy's at Hy-jinks, We guzl'd Scuds.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 30:
They sent in a pint of their scuds, as sowr as ony bladoch.
Mry. 1810 J. Cock Simple Strains 119:
I sall avow, guid scuds she maks, At three bawbees the chappin.
Peb. 1832 R. Brown Comic Poems 42:
Tae dance after the play, And swill scuds, garravadge, and sing.

[Eng. scud is of doubtful orig. It is also uncertain whether all the above usages, esp. I. 3. and II. 5. belong to the same word.]

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"Scud v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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