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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DOTTLE, v.3 and n.3

1. v. To move with short, quick steps. Ppl.adj. dottlin. Cf. dytle s.v. Dyte.Lth. 1825 Jam.2:
A small poney, that takes very short steps, is said to be a dottlin creature.

Hence dottle-trot, “also called ‘the old-man's walk': the rapid, short-step walk of an old person” (Ags., Per. 1887 Jam.6). Phr.: to tak the — (see quot.); cf. to tak the giggle-trot, id., s.v. Jeegle.Nai. 1987 David Thomson Nairn in Darkness and Light (1988) 162:
...and as we approached the station yard we heard the train. He picked up his Gladstone bag and leapt off before I pulled up. As he hurried away at a dottle-trot, I shouted. - But where to? Where do you live?
Ags.17 1940:
An old man who goes a-courting is said to have taen the dottle-trot.

2. n. A very small person (Bnff.8 c.1920; Abd.4 1928; Abd.2 1940).Bnff.2 1940:
She's a wee dottle o' a body nae mair than fower feet heigh.
Edb. 1995:
She wis jist a wee dottle o a lassie.
Dmf. 1844 Letters T. Carlyle to his Brother (Marrs 1968) 604:
A little useful "dottle of a body," already working for its little bit of bread there.

[Dim. or freq. of Dot, n.2, v.2, q.v.]

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"Dottle v.3, n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2024 <>



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