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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LOWDER, v., n. Also lyowder, lewder, louder; looder; (l)louther; louter. [′l(j) ʌudər, ′lud-; ′l(j)ʌuð-, ′lʌut-]

I. v. 1. To loiter, idle, loaf about (Fif. 1930). Ppl.adj. louthering, lazy, clumsy, awkward (Fif. 1825 Jam.).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 107:
He diz naething bit llouther aboot at haim.
Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Kincaid's Widow xvii.:
They lie lowtherin' about the mill a' the day.

2. To walk with a heavy, rocking motion, as from weariness, to plod (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 107; Abd.7 1925); to move clumsily or lazily, to slouch; “to move in an awkward and hobbling manner, apparently in haste but making little progress” (Fif. 1825 Jam.), “gen. applied to those who have short legs” (Ags. Ib.).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 63:
Showding frae side to side, and lewdring on.
Ags. 1820 A. Balfour Contemplation 266:
While he went louthrin' o'er the fields, Ay givin' 's pack the tither hitch.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 60:
Some to the wreaths wade in, and fairly stack. And some were cow'd, and forc'd to lowder back.
Abd. 1928 Word-Lore III. vi. 149:
It wis a sicht for sair een, Meggie louderin' ower the leys.
Lnk. 1930 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 301:
While ithers louter up as frae a hole They'd ta'en a baikie-fu' o' lowin' coal.
Arg.1 1935:
I was juist readin an argyin wi the wife an looderin about.
Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (8 July):
Like Peat-settin' Meg, on a louderin' leg.

3. tr. To heave up, esp. with the shoulder (Abd.27 1950).

II. n. †1. An idler, a loafer, lazy fellow. Also in form loutherin, phs. by conflation with Laidron. Cf. I. 1.Edb. 1786 G. Robertson Har'st Rig (1801) 36:
The master calls “Mak' haste, mak' haste! Ye lazy louthers.”
Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 52:
Get yersel' waukin' first, an' speak sense, ye lazy loutherin'.

2. A heavy, rocking gait, a plodding walk; “a tall uncomely person”, sc. who walks so (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 107).Abd.15 1950:
He was comin ben the road at a gey lowder.

Hence lyowdersome, of a strong head-wind which makes people walk in this way.Abd.15 1930:
A fell lyowdersome, towdersome win' the day, na?

3. A heave with the shoulder (Abd.27 1950).

[Prob. ad. Du. leuteren, to linger, dally, Mid.Du. loteren, to sway or rock about, to hesitate, the orig. of Eng. loiter. The phonology is somewhat uncertain and may have been influenced by the notion of heaviness or clumsiness in Lewder, q.v. The forms lewtre, lowter, louther, to idle, are found in E.M.E. and n.Eng. dial.]

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"Lowder v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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