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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Laird \Laird\ (l[^a]rd), n. [See Lord.] A lord; a landholder, esp. one who holds land directly of the crown. [Scot.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-15c. (mid-13c. as a surname), Scottish and northern England dialectal variant of lord, from Middle English laverd (see lord). Related: Lairdship.


n. The owner of a Scottish estate; a landlord


n. a landowner


Laird is a generic name for the owner of a Scottish estate, roughly equivalent to an esquire in England, yet ranking above the same in Scotland. In the Scottish order of precedence, a laird ranks below a baron and above a gentleman. This rank is only held by those lairds holding official recognition in a territorial designation by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. They are usually styled [name] [surname] of [lairdship], and are traditionally entitled to place The Much Honoured before their name.

The Lord Lyon, Scotland's authority on titles, has produced the following guidance regarding the current use of the term Laird as a courtesy title: Historically, the term bonnet laird was applied to rural, petty landowners, as they wore a bonnet like the non-landowning classes. Bonnet lairds filled a position in society below lairds and above husbandmen (farmers), similar to the yeomen of England.

Laird (surname)

Laird is a surname and a Scottish title. Notable persons with that surname include:

  • Alexander Laird (1797–1873), Scottish-Canadian farmer and politician
  • Anne Laird (born 1970), Scottish curler
  • Bruce Laird (American football) (born 1950), American football player
  • Bruce Laird (born 1950), Australian cricketer
  • Carobeth Laird (1895–1983), American anthropologist
  • Charlton Laird (1901–1984), American linguist and lexicographer
  • Chris Laird (born 1893), Australian rules footballer
  • David Laird (1833–1914), Canadian politician; Lieutenant Governor of Northwest Territories
  • Davie Laird (born 1936), Scottish footballer
  • Elizabeth Laird (author) (born 1943), British writer of children's books
  • Elizabeth Laird (physicist) (1874–1969), Canadian physicist
  • Emil Matthew Laird (1896–1982), American aircraft builder and pilot
  • Flake Laird (1902–1992), American college sports coach
  • Gerald Laird (born 1979), American baseball player
  • Henry Laird (1868–1940), Canadian journalist, merchant and politician
  • Jack Laird (potter) (1920–2009), New Zealand potter
  • Jack Laird (1923–1991), American television producer, writer, director and actor
  • James Laird (politician) (1849–1889), American politician; U.S. representative from Nebraska
  • James Laird (journalist) (contemporary), named on the master list of Nixon political opponents
  • Jenny Laird (1912–2001), British film and television actress
  • John Laird (disambiguation)
  • Luke Laird (born c.1978), American songwriter
  • Macgregor Laird (1808–1861), Scottish merchant pioneer on the Niger River
  • Marc Laird (born 1986), Scottish football player
  • Margaret B. Laird (1871–1968), American women's suffrage leader
  • Margaret Nicholl Laird (1897–1983), American Baptist missionary
  • Martin Laird (born 1982), Scottish professional golfer
  • Matthew Laird (born 1977), Canadian politician from British Columbia and author
  • Melvin R. Laird, Sr. (1877–1946), American politician, businessman and clergyman
  • Melvin R. Laird (born 1922), American congressman and Secretary of Defense
  • Mike Laird (born 1974), American BMX rider
  • Nan Laird, American professor of biostatistics
  • Nick Laird (born 1975), Northern Ireland novelist and poet
  • Nick Laird-Clowes (born 1957), British musician and songwriter
  • Norman Laird (1906–1970), Northern Ireland doctor and politician
  • Paul Laird (born 1958), American musicologist
  • Peter Laird (born 1954), American comic book artist
  • Philip Johnson-Laird (born 1936), American psychologist and author
  • Ralph H Laird (born 1938), Inventor, Structural Design
  • Ray A. Laird (1907-1986), American educator
  • Rick Laird (born 1941), Irish jazz musician
  • Robbin Laird (born 1946), American military and defense analyst
  • Ron Laird (born 1938), American race walker
  • Rory Laird (born 1993), Australian rules football player
  • Ryan Laird (born 1984), Canadian country music singer-songwriter
  • Sally Laird (1956–2010), British editor and translator of Russian literature
  • Scott Laird (born 1988), English football player
  • Stephen Laird ( fl. 20th century), American journalist; alleged to be a Soviet spy in the 1930s
  • Susan Laird (1908–1933), American competition swimmer
  • Trevor Laird (born 1957), English actor
  • Walter Laird (1920–2002), British Latin-American dancer
  • William Laird (disambiguation)
  • Willie Laird (20th century), Scottish association football player
Laird (disambiguation)

Laird is a hereditary title in Scotland.

Laird or Lairds may also refer to:

Laird (given name)

Laird is a masculine given name. Notable people with the name include:

  • Laird Howard Barber (1848–1928), Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Laird Barron (born 1970), American author and poet
  • Laird Bell (1883–1965), American attorney, philanthropist and businessman
  • Laird Cregar (1913–1944), American film actor
  • Laird Hamilton (born 1964), American big-wave surfer and co-inventor of tow-in surfing
  • Laird Smith (born 1913), Australian rules footballer
  • Laird A. Thompson (born 1947), American professor of astronomy

Usage examples of "laird".

The laird stood his ground with much ado, though his face was often crimsoned over with the hues of shame and anger.

Her chamber woman, in curch and tartan screen, was old nurse and sole domestic of the high-headed, strong-minded, stately widow of a wild north-country laird, whose son now ruled alone in the rugged family mansion among the grand, misty mountains of Lochaber.

LRD, as in Laird, or dit dah dit, dah dit dah, dit dah dit, for RKR, as in Rucker, was a mystery whose solution was known only to the FAA.

Now, I can tell you, that your auld Laird is disturbed in his grave by your curses, and the wailing of your family, and if ye daur venture to go to see him, he will give you the receipt.

I hae said, and whan he didna come, I took my hat--that was about a half-hoor efter the laird left me--and gaed oot to luik for him.

Climbing up an espalier, he soon reached the top, and looking down on the other side, to his horror and rage espied the mad laird on the ground, and the very men of whom he had been in pursuit, standing over him and brutally tormenting him, apparently in order to make him get up and go along with them.

And it happened, too, that he was the one person in all the world that Jock would most wish not to hear it, for he was gamekeeper to the Laird of Glen Cairn, and the Laird of Glen Cairn owned all the land for miles and miles about in every direction.

Trapping the laird of the castle in his own garderobe appealed to her sense of humor.

Along with your title, I award to you the lands that stretch from Callender in Perthshire to the land from Sterling to the Clyde, and I appoint you laird of all the MacDonald clans in Glengarry, who have long been with out a leader.

Invergarry, the castle of the laird of Glengarry, and continued his journey into the west Highlands, where he found shelter in a village called Glenbeisdale, near where he had landed on his expedition for the conquest of England.

Lairds should bide in their ain houses if the land is to have any gude of them.

But for all her antiquity and lappets, it is not to be supposed what respect and deference Miss Jenny and her brother, the laird, received--nor the small praise that came to my share, for having had the spirit to invite them.

David Maigh, keeper of the blood slough hounds, belonging to the Laird of Riddel, in Tweeddale.

Scots border rievers led by a justly infamous noble raider, the Laird of Eliot, overriding the inborn prejudices of the rest of his followers and officers.

While still in the north, he had been offered and had eagerly accepted an aggregation of fierce, hard-riding, hard-fighting Scots border rievers led by a justly infamous noble raider, the Laird of Eliot, overriding the inborn prejudices of the rest of his followers and officers.