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.]
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"Totum n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jan 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/totum_n1>
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