Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
TOTUM, n.1 Also tottum, -em, totim, toutom.
1. Reduced Sc. forms of Eng. teetotum, the four-sided top spun in games of chance, esp. put-and-take (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 82, toutom; Abd. 1956 J. Murray Rural Rhymes 9; I., n.Sc., Lnk., sm.Sc. 1972), the game itself (Sc. 1825 Jam.); any wooden top used as a plaything (Cai., Abd. 1972).
Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 237:
The whole fraternity's gaun mad To yoke the totum. Dmf. 1826 A. Cunningham Paul Jones I. vi.:
The shepherd-bairns play at the totum on his braw brade gravestane. Mry. 1830 Elgin Liter. Mag. 226:
We dedicated an hour or two to a game at the “Totum,” playing either for pins or buttons as the case might be. n.Sc. 1840 D. Sage Memorabilia (1889) 122:
He made a “totum” for me of a bone button-mould, which from its size, colour and rapid revolutions, I thought the most wonderful toy I had ever possessed. Ayr. 1873 A. Aitken Poems 40:
He was aye fond o' wood-making — first he made totums. Ags. 1890 A. N. Simpson Muirside Memories 78:
When the Laird's father and himsel' played at the tottum for crack-nets. s.Sc. 1907 Border Mag. (March 1935) 48:
When he saw the totum spinnin? Sh. 1931 Manson's Sh. Almanac 194:
Whirlin' roond leck a totum. Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxi.:
Daavitie an' me hid sutten doon tae hae a bit furl at 'e tottum.
2. Transf. a fir-cone (Lnk. 1972).[O.Sc. totum, the fall of the top which allowed the player to scoop the pool, 1500, the top itself, 1638, Lat. totum, the whole lot. This was usu. indicated by the letter T inscribed on the appropriate face and hence the Eng. form T- or tee totum.]
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Totum n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/totum_n1>
Try an Advanced Search