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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.

CUITHE, COOTH, COUTH, Cuith, Kuithe, Keuth(e), Quith, Cuth, Queethe, Cweed(ie), Kweed, n. Applied to the coalfish, Pollachius virens, from one to three years old, i.e. before it is fully grown (Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VII. 453, cuth, 1808 Jam., cuth, cooth, 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 220, keuth, 1879 Jam.5, couth, 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) 152, keuthe, cuithe; Ork.1 1941; quith Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XV. 310); Mry.11925, cweed(ie), kweed (Find.). Cf. Coothin, Cuddie, n.1, Kød. [køð Sh. (Jak.); køð, kuð Ork.; kwið Bnff.]Ork. 1936 S.C. in Scotsman (7 March) 17:
In the evening he will paddle about the geo catching cuithes and sillocks.
Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour Ork. and Sh. 209:
The year-old coal-fish is the cooth of Orkney.
Ork. 1908 J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 320:
We's no be greedy, gin we cinna get a steul, we's pit ap wi' a peerie creepie — half a cuith's better nor nae fish.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
After the kuithe (piltock) stage, it is called a kuithin and ultimately a saithe.
Ork. 1996 Orcadian 4 Jan :
The theme this year was the harvest of the sea. The display contained a very interesting collection of articles artistically arranged, from model trawlers down to creels. All that was missing were a few cuithes and salt herring.
Bnff. 1872 W. Philip It 'ill a' come Richt 65:
One day Willie Lorimer, Jack Train, and I came hither to fish for “queethes” on the rocks.
Bnff.2 1930:
The loons were aa bizzy catchin queethes at the peynt o' the pier.

[Norw. dial. kôd, fry, young fish, esp. the fry of the coalfish, Mod.Icel. kôð, the young of plaice (Torp).]

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"Cuithe ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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