Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

PITAWTIE, n. Also pitawta, pitattie, -tata, -y; petawta, -ti, petaty; patattie; patatee; potaty, -tae, potauto, -tawto(e); petetou, bitatoe; ¶pewtatie (Lnk. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 191); pirtawtie, partatow, purtatoe; reduced forms in Uls. and Gall. (from Ir. influence) prat(t)ie, pra(w)ta, pratoe, pritta, pirta, purda, and deformations pirrie, in street-cries pirri-aroe, peeryor(r)ie. Sc. forms of Eng. potato. The Gen.Sc. form is now Tattie, q.v. See also Peeryorie. [pə′tɑ:tə. See Burns Holy Willie's Prayer xii.]

1. Sc. combs. and phr., also under Tattie: (1) pitawtie-bing, a heap of potatoes covered with straw, etc. for winter storage, a potato-pit. See Bing, n.1; (2) pitawtie-beetle, -bittle, a pounder or pestle for mashing cooked potatoes. See Bittle, n.; (3) pitawtie-bogle, a scarecrow, lit. and fig. (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (4) pitawtie-claw, potato soup (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). See also Claw; (5) pitawtie-doolie, = (3). See Doolie, n.1, 2.; (6) pitawtie-holidays, a period of leave from school given to children in country districts to allow them to help in the potato-harvest; (7) pitawtie-muild, “ground just cleared of potatoes and considered sufficiently rich to give a crop of oats without manure” (Sh. 1880 Jam.); (8) pitawtie-rig, a section of ground used for growing potatoes, a potato-patch. See Rig; (9) potato-shaw, the foliage of a potato-plant (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). See Shaw; (10) pitawtie-track, the drill or ridge of earth in which potatoes are grown; ¶(11) pitawtie-trap, a jocular term for the mouth, lips.(1) Ayr. 1787 Burns Brigs of Ayr 27:
Potatoe-bings are snugged up frae skaith O' coming winter's biting, frosty breath.
Dmf. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IV. 186:
The mael chest and the potatoe-bing.
(2) wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 21:
She felled him to the ground with that ponderous kitchen utensil, denominated a potato-beetle.
(3) Sc. 1823 Scott St. Ronan's W. xvi.:
He comes down in the morning in a lang ragged night-gown, like a potato bogle.
ne.Sc. 1836 J. Grant Tales (1869) 91:
The meanest clad potatoe bogle in the country.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped xxvi.:
Ye have a fine, hang-dog, rag-and-tatter, clappermaclaw kind of look to ye, as if ye had stolen the coat from a potato-bogle.
(6) Fif. 1936 St. Andrews Citizen (17 Oct.):
The vexed question of potato holidays was again discussed.
(8) Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost vi.:
Not being content with the profits of his potatoe-rig.
(9) Dmf. 1814 Farmer's Mag. (Nov.) 472:
I have therefore always been in the habit of cutting the potatoe-shaws with the sickle before they were quite withered.
(10) Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 81:
The gairdner crooks his weary back A' day in the pitaty-track.
(11) Kcb. 1815 J. Gerrond Poems 94:
At last Jean's sweet potatoe-trap. He stooped down and tasted.

2. Also potottie. Used in children's counting rhymes.Gsw. 1985 Anna Blair Tea at Miss Cranston's 83:
...and this time with the line of players holding out two fists in front to be cuffed one at a time by the boss-man doing the counting-out, One potottie, Two potottie, Three potottie, Four Five potottie, Six potottie, Seven potottie, More.
Edb. 2003:
In Edinburgh we said One pitawtie, two pitawtie and so forth.

 [O.Sc. pitato, 1672.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Pitawtie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: