Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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EMMERTEEN, n. The ant (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 43; Bnff., Abd. 1946). Also emerteen; emmertine, emertie (Mry.1 1925); emart (Id.; Abd. (Deeside) 1948 (per Abd.27)); ¶emeret (Ags.19 1950); ? enanteen (Abd. 1825 Jam.2). [′ɛmərtin, -əin, ′ɛmert(e)] Abd. 1855  Bnffsh. Jnl. (9 Oct.) 4:
Some old fool, who . . . may have found some creeping things there, which, after all, were most likely only “emmertines”.
ne.Sc. 1881  W. Gregor Folk-Lore 147:
The ant was called “emerteen”, and when on being disturbed it was seen carrying off its eggs it was supposed to be its horse, and the following words were repeated: — “Emerteen, emerteen, laden yir horse, Yir father and yir mither is ded in Kinloss.”
Bch. 1950  Bch. Observer (22 Aug.):
An emerteen's byke . . . is aften in a great commotion; but the wee beasties ken to keep a soun' reef abeen their heids if there's ony signs o' rain.

Comb.: emmerteen's meat, the heath bedstraw, Galium saxatile (Abd. 1937 (per Abd.16)).

[Prob. for emmet, with intrusive r, + dim. suff. -in(g). Cf. Eemock, id.]

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"Emmerteen n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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