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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.

TOO-HOO, n. Also tui-hui (Dmf. 1917, Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), tu-hu (Fif. 1825 Jam.); to-hoi. See Muckle. [tu′hu; s.Sc. tø′hø]

1. A fuss, to-do, hullabaloo, any noisy expression of emotion or excitement (Sh., Ags., Dmf. 1972).Sc. 1858 Scotch Haggis (Campbell) 82:
You was te pekinner of this tamn too-hoo.
Wgt. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 323:
[He] took unto himself a wife, and a bonnie toohoo he made about her.

2. A spiritless useless person, one with little energy or intelligence (Fif. 1825 Jam.; Dmf. 1917; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., 1942 Zai; Kcd., Ags., Rxb. 1972).Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin v.:
A muckle saft too-hoo, ca'd Jock Broon.

[Imit. of an outcry, in meaning 2. phs. associated specif. with the owl and its cry.]

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"Too-hoo n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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