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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ETTER, n., v. Also (j)eder, eter (Jak.) and see Atter. [′ɛtər Sc., Sh. + ′ɛdər]

1. n.

(1) Pus, suppurating matter (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); venom, poison (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1914 Angus Gl., eder). Hence comb. et(t)er frod, ederspittle, cuckoo-spit (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), eter frod; 1914 Angus Gl., etter frod, ederspittle); supposed to cause sickness in cows (Sh.10 1950).

(2) Fig. Of weather: bitter cold. Cf. Ettery.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
A eter o' cauld, a cauld eter; a eter o' wadder, bitterly cold weather.

2. v. To emit purulent matter, to fester (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang., 1825 Jam.2; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also used fig. as ppl.adj., vbl.n., ettering.Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxxix.:
If a stop could be put, by my help, to the opening of such an ettering sore and king's evil as a newspaper.
Ayr. 1836 Galt in Tait's Mag. (June) 394:
Without any great ettering of fash, we got all our rickle of things put on board.
Abd. 1931 Abd. Press and Jnl. (11 Feb.):
“Etter” means to fester, and an “ettered” claw, or cleuch, may be a “bealt” finger or hand.

[O.E. ātor, poison, ǣttran, to poison; O.N. eitr, n., eitra, v., id., eitr kaldr, bitterly cold. The v. is also found in n.Eng. dial.]

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"Etter n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/etter>

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