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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TITHER, pron., adj. Also tedder (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (5 March)), tidder (Abd. c.1782 Ellis E.E.P. V. 773; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Sh., Abd. 1972), tiddir; tuther (Rxb. 1863 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. I. 31). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. (now dial.) tother, in Sc. regularly following the def. art. [′tɪðər; Sh., ne.Sc. ′tɪdər; s.Sc. ′tʌðər]

I. pron. The other or second of two, freq. in opposition to Tane, q.v. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 28:
The tane to had the grots The tither to had the meal.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 60:
The tane wi' yellow hair, the tither gray.
Ayr. 1792 Burns Scroggam iii.:
That the heat o' the taen might cool the tither.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 11:
The tither, nae less brym in zeal.
Uls. 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings 9:
Pittin' yin han' on the tap o' my head, I gruppit my nose wae the tither.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xxix.:
Ye canna tell the tane frae the tither.
Per. 1935 W. Soutar Poems (1961) 100:
Stane-blind he was; but kent nae doot His ae thoumb frae the tither.
Sh. 1947 New Shetlander (June–July) 10:
Wan settled on a mülde koose, da tiddir on da hill.
Abd. 1987 Sheena Blackhall in Joy Hendry Chapman 49 57:
An ill-yokit pair is merriment an' dule
Ane's trottin trig, the tither rugs the load
Heid-doon, slaw fittit, foonert in the glaur
The tichtenin bit, gyan deep as ony goad.
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
We socht for safticks for bait, green backs
noo slippit oot their hard shalls that floatit
in the shallow pools whaur the flukes bided
on the sand, that like the sand that nae ee
kent ane frae tither,
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 84:
'Ye theivan wee pyat, its tane or its tither,
deil kens yer wame maun be whummlan aroun'
But naa, tho I'm lossan the rag aathegither,
yon dour feckless tyke is biddan abuin.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 6:
'Twixt Ruberslaw an Warbla Knowe
Yince, Christopher we'd meet
For ae sicht o' the tither
Asklent burn water rummlin at oor feet!
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 64:
'Lauderdale owed me a favour. It's peyed noo, that's the difficulty. The Bass Rock was yin hauf o the bargain atween us, and the tither ... weill, the tither was the port of Leith. ... '

II. adj. 1. Other, alternative, second of two (or more), another (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); previous, recent, just gone. Gen.Sc. Comb. tither-shither, other people (Cai. 1934). See Shither.Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 27:
On the tither hand I did na' care to stilp upo' my queets.
Ayr. 1784 Burns Epitaph J. Rankine 1–2:
Ae day, as Death, that gruesone carl, Was driving to the tither warl'.
Gall. 1828 W. McDowall Poems 44:
Then on the tither han', allege, God is a strong vindictive judge.
Uls. 1879 “Robin” Hum. Readings 77:
She sut doon awa at the tither side o' the lum.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 82:
“The wife,” quo' Jolm, “is no sae richt; She rack'd her side the tither nicht.”
Ork. 1904 Dennison Sketches 23:
When folk cam' in tae the hoose the tither day.

2. Additional, extra, yet another, next. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1874) I. 8:
The lover he gae her the tither kiss.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 215:
Still making tight wi' tither steek, The tither hole, the tither eik.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Ordination xiv.:
Come, bring the tither mutchkin in.
Bwk. 1801 “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 85:
I'll ay exchange the tither sang, Dear friend, wi' you.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxiii.:
Giein' aye the tither stown glance ootower his shoother.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 183:
Aye he cut the tither slice frae aff the kebbuck heel.
Ags. 1892 A. Reid Howetoon 95:
There sud 'a been munelicht, but the cutty jinkit aye in ahint the tither clud.
Fif. 1952 B. Holman Behind the Diamond Panes 86:
Many a miner was always anxious to get “anither tither yin,” meaning another hutch of coal to give anything like a living wage.

[O.Sc. the tothir, from 1375, Mid.Eng. tother, formed by wrong division from O.E. þǣt ōðer, the or that other. See Tane.]

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"Tither pron., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Apr 2024 <>



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