Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TOTUM, n.2 Also totim (Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Glendornie xxx.), tottim, tottum. [′totʌm]

1. A term of endearment for a small toddling child, a tot (Sc. 1825 Jam.; n.Sc., Per., Dmb., Lnk. 1972). Abd. a.1794  in W. Stenhouse Illustr. to Sc. Musical Museum (1853) 151:
Whene'er the totums cry for meat.
Lnk. 1808  W. Watson Poems (1877) 120:
As granny was watchin' the stirrin' bit tottum.
Ayr. 1834  Galt Liter. Life III. 76:
Moses Waft grew into a totum, as we call a running wean.
Edb. 1856  J. Ballantine Poems 147:
Wi' ae wee tottum sleepin' 'neath its mithers' ee.
Ags. 1878  D. M. Ogilvy Poems 127:
There's a croodlin' totum on's grannie's knee.
Lnl. 1910  J. White Eppie Gray 10:
Wee hairmless tottums free o' guile.
Sc. 1943  J. Bridie Mr Bolfry i.:
Telling stories to Colin and me when we were wee tottums.

2. Any diminutive neat person, animal or thing (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 195; n.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Lnk., Dmf. 1972). Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 62:
I am no sae short as your totum of a taylor.
s.Sc. 1835  Wilson's Tales of the Borders I. 118:
“List! ye totum ye!” said she, “do ye say list?”

[From Tot, n.1, + -Um, suff., no doubt influenced by Totum, n.1]

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"Totum n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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