Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHITIN, n. Also whiten (Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 86; Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town II. i.); whitting. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. whiting, the fish, Gadus merlangus. See also Fitin.

1. As in Eng. In proverbial phrs. to butter a whiting (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 122), to give one whitings but [= without] bones, to flatter, wheedle. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 158:
He gave me whitings, but Bones. That is, he gave me fair Words.
Sc. 1808 Jam., s.v. Quhyte:
He kens how to butter a whiting.

2. The immature sea trout, Salmo trutta (Sc. 1808 Jam., s.v. whitling). See also Whitling, of which 1831 quot. may be a misprint. Dmf. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIV. 410:
There is abundance of fish after floods, in Esk, and the lower end of Liddel; such as salmon, grilse, sea trout, and whitens, as they are named here, or herlings, as they are called in Annandale.
Per. 1831 Perthshire Adv. (24 Feb.):
A great many whittings have been caught [in the Tay], which, on being opened, were found to be full of the ova of salmon.

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"Whitin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2020 <>



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