RR_McIan_-_'Mac_Aulay'_-_(Eyre-Todd)red, adj.
comparative mair reid; superlative maist reid

As early as the 15th century, criminals in Scotland were being “apprehendit  with the redhand”. It is not until the 19th century that Walter Scott used the form “red-handed” . The redness of the legs caused by exposure to the elements gave rise to the name redshanks. In The Bannatyne Miscellany, a highlander tells us “We … goynge alwaies bair leggide and bair footide … tendir delicatt gentillmen of Scotland call ws Reddshankes” (1542).