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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BOTHAM, BOTHOM, BOTHEM, n. and v. I.Sc. and ne.Sc. forms of bottom. Lit. and fig. See also Boddam. [′bɔðəm]

1. n.Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 4:
He saw he could no' bide i' the botham o' the geo.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 222:
The hill air lats fouk fin' the bothom o' their stamacks.
Abd. 1897 G. Macdonald Salted with Fire xxv.; Abd.22 1935:
I'll tak my aith, it's that Isy's at the bothom o' 't!

Hence bothemless, adj., without a bottom.Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 245:
Comets are nae the bothemless pit.

2. v. To understand thoroughly, to get at the bottom of.Bnff.(D) 1933 M. Symon Deveron Days 8:
Ay! Logic, Algebra — ye sair nott them a' When ye set oot to bothom oor Wag-at-the-wa'.

[O.Sc. bothome, bottome; Mid.Eng. botham, -em, -um, -om, n.Eng. dial. bothom, -am, -um. See also etym. note to Boddam, n.]

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"Botham n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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