Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HULTER, n. Also holter, hulder, hilder. Cf. hiller s.v. Hill, n., Whilter.

1. A large boulder or lump of rock (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 109, 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1957). Also used fig. of anything unwieldy or clumsy (Jak.). Deriv. huldery, adj., awkward, clumsy (Ib., Sh. 1957).

2. A heap of boulders resulting from a fall of rock (Jak.). Extended to mean a beast's lair in such a place (Ib.) and fig. in phr. a hulder (hilder) o' beens, a rickle of bones, a very lean person or animal (Ib.). Sh. 1957  Sh. Folk-Bk. III. 70:
Deyre mony a hulter greff and shon Ta clim, ta spang, ta sweem.

3. Fig. A mountainous wave or sea (Jak.).

[Norw. dial., Icel. holt, any rough, stony hill or ridge, cogn. with Eng. holt, a wooded hill, + augmentative suff. -er.]

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"Hulter n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2018 <>



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