Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DOTTLE, n.1 and v.1 Also dottel, dottal.

I. n.

1. A stopper or plug (Sh.11 1949). Sc. 1743  R. Maxwell Select Trans. Agric. 284:
Have a tub, with a small hole in the bottom of it, wherein put a cork or dottle in the under end.

2. A particle, a jot (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Slg., e.Lth. 1949 (per Ayr.9)); applied in gen. to anything small, e.g. sheep's droppings (Dmf. 1950 (per Fif.17)); cf. Doddle, n., 1. Hdg. 1908  J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 207:
Thy list of sages I did note all . . . Who have declared not worth a dottle Is man's old faith!
Ayr. 1928 5 :
A dinna care a dottle.
Ayr. 1949 9 :
Put a wee dottle of icing on the cake.
Ant. 1892  Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.):
The dropping of some of the smaller domestic animals would be called a dottle.

3. The plug of half-burnt tobacco left at the bottom of a pipe after smoking (Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 224, dottal; Ags. 1896 J. Barrie Sentimental Tommy xxxiii., dottel; Fif., Lth. 1825 Jam.2; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 180). Now accepted as St.Eng. Edb. 1844  J. Ballantine Miller vi.:
That's heard half-choakt in her husky throttle While swallowing dram, or smoking dottle.
Lnk. 1948  J. G. Johnston Come fish with me 165:
Never knock oot yer dottle until ye hae felt in yer pocket to mak' sure that ye hae brought yer tobacco wi' ye.

4. A cigarette end (Bnff.2 1940; Fif. 1950 (per Fif.14); Ayr.4 1928; Ayr.9 1949).

5. The core of a boil (Abd.2, Fif.10 1940; Ayr. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.; Ayr.4 1928); see also quot. Fif. 1899  P. Phil. Soc. Gsw. XXXI. 40:
A dottle . . . is any stringy tenacious substance, as for example the debris of a boil or the membrane of diphtheria.

6. The cut-off top of a boiled egg (Abd.9 1940; Edb.3 1929).

7. A small, loose-looking bundle (Abd.9 1940). Abd. 1928 4 :
A dottle o' strae.

II. v. To stop or plug up (Sh.11 1949).

[Dim. of dot, a small lump or spot: O.E. dot, = 5; Mid.Eng. dot, = 1. Cf. Norw. dott, a wisp, plug.]

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"Dottle n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/dottle_n1_v1>

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