Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHITLING, n. Also whiteling and corrupt form whittering. An immature sea trout, Salmo trutta, one at the stage of development equivalent to the Grilse of the salmon (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Dmb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VIII. 184, whiteling; Rxb. 1915 Jedburgh Gazette (3 Sept.) 2; em.Sc., Ayr., Rxb. 1974), and attrib. as in whitling fly, -hook, -trout (Bwk. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 IV. 196). Also in n.Eng. dial. In 1834 quot. used fig. of a young boy. Bwk. 1761  Edb. Mag. or Lit. Misc. VII. 244:
Our trout, which you commonly call Salmon-trout. . . . They are called here Whitlings, and are certainly a distinct species of fish.
Per. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 Xl. 598:
Whitlings, which some fishermen say are young salmon, and which others reckon a distinct species of trout, are common in the Teath, in July and August.
Sc. 1803  Prize Essays Highl. Soc. 355:
It is a strong vigorous fish, of a bright silvery colour. It is therefore called the whiteling, or as it is commonly pronounced the whitling.
Ayr. 1834  Galt Liter. Life III. 77:
A recruiting serjeant caught, however, no fish in our parish, but only that whittering trout, Moses [a seven-year-old boy].
s.Sc. 1847  T. Stoddart Angler's Comp. 84:
On rivers like the Tweed or Tay, I recommend the use of a whitling hook.
Sc. 1887  Session Cases (1886–7) 652:
Salmon, sea-trout, whitling, and yellow trout.
s.Sc. 1904  H. Maxwell Brit. Fresh Water Fishes 253:
I shall therefore venture to define as the salmon-trout (salmo trutta) the fish known in Ireland as the white trout, in Wales as the sewin, in the greater part of Scotland as the sea-trout, but in the Tweed as the whitling.
Sc. 1931  J. Stirling Fishing for Trout 84:
Whitling are known as finnock in the north-east of Scotland, as herling in the south and as blacknebs on Loch Lomond.

[North. E.M.E. whiddelynge, id., phs. related to O.E. hwītling, the whiting, from hwīt, white, + dim. sufix -ling].

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"Whitling n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Mar 2018 <>



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