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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CUTTANCE, CUTTANS, Cuttin'(s), Cuttings, Cuttens, n.

1. An account; news (Abd.13 1910, cuttins; Abd.9 1941).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 123:
Some ither questions mair he speerd, but she Cud o' hersell nae proper cuttance gee.

2. Encouragement (Bnff.2 1928, cuttens; Abd.9, Ags.2, Fif.10, Slg.3 (cuttings) 1941), “change.”Abd. 1928 Letters of Jeems in Abd. Weekly Jnl. (30 Aug.) 6/5:
I gae 'im little cuttin' an' b' wye o' a pairtin' shot he tell't me I shud be ostracees'd.
Abd.1 1931:
A gaed owerbye tae let 'er ken the wye A made my kail, bit A got nae cuttans fae 'er.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxv.:
She gied him unco little cuttin's, yet that didna hinder him frae comin' back again.
Bwk. 1930 in People's Friend (27 Sept.):
“She got no cuttance from me,” meaning “she got no encouragement from me.”

[Corruption of Eng. quittance (O.Fr. quitance), orig. = a document certifying discharge from a debt or obligation, a receipt, recompense or requital, with extended meaning; N.E.D. gives the form cuttans s.v. for 17th cent. Eng.]

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"Cuttance n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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