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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

BITTOCK, Bittick, Bittik, Bittag, n. A small bit or portion (of space, time, quantity); also used fig. Gen.Sc. [′bɪtɪk, ′bɪtək Sc.; ′bɪtəg Cai. + ′bɪ̢təg]Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.:
It's unco late, and it's sax miles an' a bittock doun the water.
Ork. 1908 J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc., Ork., Sh., etc. I. vi. 222:
He buist a' bigged 'er weel cis sheu man hae steud noo I wad tink a guid bittick ower a hunder year.
Cai. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.:
Bittag. A very small bit; a “bittock.”
Ags. 1820 R. Mudie Glenfergus II. xvii.:
“That was a bonnie sang you were singin' . . . Ha'e you ony mair o't?” “A wee bittock,” said Tibbie.
Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 134:
Tho' she hadna feck o' fortune — Jist a bittock 'bune the scant — Baith her pooch an' hairt were open.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 160:
Three miles and a bittok.
Lnk. 1838 McIlwham Papers Letter ii. 19:
An' how, quo I, can ye ken a ye alledge again my frien frae that we [sic] bittock o' a paragraph?

Hence bittikie, bittickie, dim. of above.Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 380:
A gey bittikie on the vrang road.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 7:
Life hid niver bin the same fur Davie Donald sin Graham Reid hid meeved tae the clachan o Blackbrae. The Reids war still a thochtie o a questionmerk in the place, bein toun fowk fa'd bocht a hoose a bittockie ooto the clachan. They keepit thirsels tae thirsels, wi the exception o their laddie Graham. Like rinny jeelie he seemed tae spreid himsel aawye.

[From Bit, n.1 + dim. -ock. Not given in D.O.S.T.]

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"Bittock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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