Laird vs lord

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The words laird and lord have similar meanings with several key differences. We’ll discuss the difference between the words laird and lord, the origin of these two words, and show a few examples of their use in sentences.

Laird is a designation afforded the owner of a large estate in Scotland, it is the Scottish word for lord. The ability to call oneself a laird is attached to the ownership of land, whether inherited or purchased. The title of laird is not a peerage title, a laird is not a member of nobility. Today, several Scottish estates sell small souvenir plots of land stipulating that the buyers may call themselves lairds. This is in no way an official designation. The female equivalent of laird is lady.

Lord is a term that may simply refer to someone in power. However, in British peerage lord is a title given to a marquess, a baron, an earl, a duke or a viscount. An English lord is a member of the nobility and has voting rights in the House of Lords. Some titles are hereditary, originally tied to land ownership, and handed down to descendants. Some peerage titles are bestowed only for life, and the title dies with the owner. The female equivalent of lord is lady. When lord or lady are used as a title before a name, such as Lord Dudley or Lady Jane Grey, the word lord is capitalized.


“Thank you for being here and I’m just so glad as a local and almost as a host that everything is set up in a five star manner,” said this self-appointed laird of the manor as he sported the kind of gleaming beam not seen since the Bee Gees had a scale and polish. (The Herald Scotland)

Lord Tebbit, who was the trade and industry secretary during the 1984 clash, said many people who would be expected to give evidence had already passed away.  (The Telegraph)