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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SWITTLE, v., n. Also -el, switl (Jak.). [swɪtl]

I. v. To splash, plash, dash about, in or of water, to dabble, lap (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1972).Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 32:
'Twas fine ta pit dir bits o haands Inta da sea, an swittle.
Sh. 1933 J. Nicolson Hentilagets 22:
Du'll swittle saftly ower da saands.
Sh. 1950 New Shetlander No. 22. 39:
Da skerries whaar da sma waves swittled low.

II. n. 1. The purling or rippling of a stream (Sh. 1904 E.D.D.); a dabbling or plashing.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
A swittel i' or o' de watter.

2. Thin wishy-washy drink, liquid food or the like (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1972).Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 97:
Shu cam in wi' a coarn o' wattery swittle.
Sh. 1961 New Shetlander No. 56. 25:
Yun aer o swittle oot o da Loch a Sweertawater.

[Norw. dial. skvitla, to splash, dabble, squirt, deriv. of skvetta, see Swite.]

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



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