Difference Between Laird and Lord

Key Difference – Laird vs Lord

There is a distinctive difference between lair and lord, although these two terms have similar meanings. Laird is a Scottish word and is considered the English equivalent of lord. However, it doesn’t have the associations with nobility or aristocracy, unlike lord. Laird is designated to the owner of a large estate in Scotland. Lord is a peerage title and is not attached to the ownership of land. This is the key difference between laird and lord.

What Does Laird Mean

Laird is a Scottish word which refers to the owner of a large estate in Scotland. In general, laird is considered to be the Scottish equivalent of lord. A person who has inherited or purchased a large estate has the ability to take on the title laird. However, this is not an official designation like lord.  The term laird does not imply membership in peerage or nobility. The female equivalent of laird is lord.Difference Between Laird and Lord

What Does Lord Mean

The term lord has several meanings. In general, lord may refer to someone with great power. It is also used generally to refer to a nobleman – a  man of noble rank or high office. In British peerage, lord is a title used to address a baron, viscount, earl, duke, or marquis. An English lord is always a member of the nobility and a member of the House of Lords. Moreover, a person doesn’t become a lord just because he owns a large estate. Some of these titles are hereditary and are originally attached to the land ownership, but some titles are bestowed for life by royals (the title dies with the owner). The female equivalent of lord lady.

Difference Between Laird and Lord

Lord North, the second earl of Guildford

What is the difference between Laird and Lord?

English vs Scottish:

Laird: Laird is a Scottish term.

Lord: Lord is an English term.

Attached to:

Laird: The title laird is attached to the land.

Lord: The title lord is mostly attached to the family.


Laird: Laird is a title given to a person who owns a large estate in Scotland.

Lord: Lord generally refers to a person of noble rank or a person with power.


Laird: Laird is not a member of the peerage.

Lord: Lord is a member of the peerage.


Laird: Lairdship can be hereditary or purchased with the land.

Lord: Lordship can be hereditary or bestowed.

 Image Courtesy: 
“Nathaniel Dance Lord North” By Nathaniel Dance-Holland   (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
“Buchanan (R. R. McIan)” By Robert Ronald McIan (1803-1856). – The Clans of the Scottish Highlands.(Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia