Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
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DOITER, v. Also †doitter, dighter, †dytter, doither; ditter. [′dɔɪtər, ′dɪtər Sc., Abd. and Ayr. + ′dəitər]
1. To walk or move unsteadily, to totter, stumble; to flit about; to potter, hang about (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 223, dytter; Bnff.2, Abd.9 (doiter, dighter), Fif.10 1940; Slk. 1947 (per Abd.27), ditter; Uls.2 1929, doit(h)er). Also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick I. xi.:
I wan up wi' a warsle an' fan' I could doiter o'er the stenners.Sc. 1934 Scotsman (25 Aug.) 10:
Through Jùly gloamin ditterin, A silly baukiebird alang The deid-quate ruifs is chitterin.Abd. 1929 P. Baxter in Scots Mag. (March) 451:
Noo, I gaed ditterin' roon the biggin', and I cam' on a lean-to shed far the boiler was.Fif.14 c.1942:
“Is that no him A hear doiteran alang the road?” said a St Andrews Home Guard contemptuously of his platoon commander, who walks with a very slight limp.Fif. 1947 (per Fif.14):
He was kept back or delayed or something of the kind “ditterin for ma mate.”Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 262:
Auld care gangs doiterin' by my door.Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 263:
We totter through the birkie bank, an doiter owre the brae.
2. (1) intr. “To dote, to become superannuated” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2). Now only in ppl.adj. = stupid, confused, witless, gen. from old age (Fif.10 1940; Ayr.4 1928, m.Lth. 1990s; Edb., Dmf. 2000s) dightered; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn., doithered). Also in Nhb. dial.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xi.:
I gaed aboot the hoose like ane daivert an' doitert.Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet viii.:
Auld, doitered, donner't, daidlin' creature.Lnk. 1927 G. Rae Where Falcons Fly xiii.:
Whaur water gangs, shairly twae men, though yin is an auld doitered fule, can lippen on twae-three strong boards weel bund wi' rapes o' straw.Uls. 1987 Sam Hanna Bell Across the Narrow Sea 2:
He had half-feared, half-hoped, that someone would ride after him. But who was fit to do that - his doitert brother, his father, that shambling sodden old man?
(2) tr. To bemuse, make witless.Dmf. 1844 E. Sloan in Sc. Songs (ed. Whitelaw) 463:
The pawkie wee quean has doiter'd me clean.
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"Doiter v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/doiter>