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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SLOUTH, n., adj., v. Also †slooth (Sc. 1715 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 532), slowth. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. †sleuth, sloth. See also Sleeth. [sluθ; ne.Sc., Ags. slʌuθ]

I. n. As in Eng. Adj. slouthfu, lazy, idle, slothful (Lth., Cld. 1880 Jam.).

II. adj. Slothful, lethargic, drowsy. Arch.Sc. 1873 D. M. Ogilvy Willie Wabster 19:
Yon croodlin' doo is sleuth and sleepy.

III. v. 1. intr. To idle, to be lazy, to “swing the lead” (Lth., Cld. 1880 Jam.). Obs. in Eng.

2. tr. To carry out (a task) in a lazy, idle way, to do (something) perfunctorily and carelessly, to treat with indifference or neglect (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., sloth; Lth., Cld. 1880 Jam.; Abd., Kcd., Ags. 1970). Ppl.adj. slouthed, slowtht, of a child, etc.: badly cared for, neglected.Ags. 1821 J. Nevay Poems 38:
To slouth the poor an' mind the rich.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 154:
Wi' ilka thing they interfere, An' slouth their ain.
Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 21:
For she ne'er slowth'd his education In keepin' aye frae a' temptation.
Ags. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
He slouthed or neglected his work.

[For the Sc. forms, cf. O.Sc. sleuthfull, slothful, 1475, slouthful, 1615, sleuth, laziness, to neglect, 1456, lazy, 1567, from O.E. slǣwþ. Sloth is from Early Mid.Eng. slāwðe, slōwðe, later formations from the adj. Slaw, slow. For the diphthong cf. Trowth, truth.]

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"Slouth n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Feb 2024 <>



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