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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HUDDER, v., n. Also huther, -ir; huidder (Rxb.); howder, howther (Lnk.). [Sc. ′hʌdər, ′hʌðər; Lnk. ′hʌu-]

I. v. 1. To be disorderly or slovenly in appearance or habits. Only in ppl.adj. hudd(e)rin, hutherin, huderon, slovenly, slatternly, tawdrily dressed, gen. of a woman (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Kcb., Uls. 1930–57). See also Hudderon.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 14:
A Morning-Sleep is worth a Foldful of Sheep, to a huderon, duderon Daw.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 24:
The great hudderen carlen was riding hockerty cockerty upo' my shoulders in a hand-clap.

2. To act in a confused or hasty manner; to work or walk clumsily or hastily (Bwk., Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 109, huther; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86, huthir); ppl.adj. hutherin', awkward, clumsy (Ib.). Cf. Howder, v.1Abd. 1739 Caled. Mag. (1788) 501:
A huddrin hynd came wi' his pattle, As he'd been at the pleugh.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 196:
Nor e'er, in huth'ron haste, advance.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86:
She cam hutherin' up the rod.
Tyr. 1929 M. Mulcaghey Ballymulcaghey 179:
She had the betther ov Mary, who was a bit hudderin' of herself.

3. tr. To heap together in disorder (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., hudder, huther; Ags. 1957); of clothes: to throw (on) hastily or untidily, to clutter; intr. with doun, of a garment: to hang down untidily (Lnk. 1953 per Mearns6). Comb. huther-my-duds, a ragged person, a tatterdemalion (Fif. 1825 Jam.).Rnf. 1863 J. Nicolson Kilwuddie 113:
She lies till aucht (whiles nearer nine) like ony lazy drone, Then, when at len'th she wauchels up, her claes she hudders on.
Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs.:
It's a gatherin' up an' hutherin'-like.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
The bairn's fair hudder't wi' claes.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 33:
Ae nicht he'll skite
on crackt bitter causey
and freeze in his bluid,
his body huddert
like fremmit land

II. n. 1. An untidy person, a sloven (Lnk., Dmf., Rxb. 1957, huther); one who works hastily and clumsily (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86, huthir).Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 61:
Thon clorty huther o' a wife.
Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 109:
Nae howther in habit or person was Kate — For tosh, cleanly workin' she couldna be bate.
Dmf. 1905 J. L. Waugh Thornhill xx.:
Weel, if her shawl's clean, I'll wager her kitchen flaer's no. Awfu' hudder, Heughsie, an' aye was.

2. A confused crowd or heap (Bwk., Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 109, huther; Kcb. 1957).Sc. a.1826 Lord Thomas and Fair Annet in Child Ballads (1956) II. 184:
And ye'll hae nocht but a howther o' dirt, To feed about your fire.
Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 30:
We met Chanlock sheep at the bend, an' afore we could dae ocht they got mixed. I never saw sic a hudder.

3. Unbecoming haste (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86, huthir).

[A variant of Howder, q.v., of imit. orig.]

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"Hudder v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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