1) In the early references, from <i>c</i>.1300, this was a word for a serving-man, of low birth and position, and it is found frequently in by-names.

1301 De Johanne Hardladd, Hauxwell

1334-5 William Fatlad, Pickering. By the mid-fifteenth century though it was being used more generally of boys and young men: 1525 made showtes and exclamacions, seyng Come knavez and laddes of Wortley, as many as wyll, and drynke

1602 He then a younge ladd thought ... they would geve little enough, Brandsby

1684 upon the White Moore they mett a ladd driving two horses loaden with apples, Bolton by Bowland

1725 had bought it of a ladd that had found it in Knaresborough and had given five grotes for it, Ilkley.

dates 1301 1334-1335 1525 1602 1684 1725

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2) A standing stone or a pile of stones. It can in some respects be compared with ‘law’, which was also used of boundary markers, occasionally as a direct alternative.

1594 the heap of stones which hath in ancient times called [sic] Lad or Law ’, Wadsworth. The distinction may be that ‘lad’ referred initially to a single upright stone but came to be used less specifically when used as a boundary marker: 1592 a great stone called Langshaw Ladde , Ilkley

1805 to a certain Stone called the Lad or Scarr on the Hill , Stanbury. This meaning of ‘lad’ has not yet been noted before the sixteenth century but numerous minor place-names testify to its use from that date. The more obvious examples include: The Lad


Lad Stones



Lad Lowe Hill. Ladcastle and Two Lads may also belong here.

dates 1592 1594 1805

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0