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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BODDAM, BODDOM, BODDUM, BUDDOM, n. Also boattom. The bottom of anything; the buttocks, as in St.Eng. Gen.Sc. See also Botham. [bɔdm, bodm Sc.; bʌdm s.Ayr., Gall.]Sh.(D) 1918 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. I. xv.:
Dey want to kno aboot paets fae da boddam, and fae da boddam dey sall know.
Bnff. 1882 W. M. Philip K. MacIntosh's Scholars vii.:
Ye have a rayther drier boddam [subsoil] nor me.
Abd.4 1929:
“The grace is i' the boddam o' the dish the day,” old saying when the grace was forgot.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 10:
" ... Jimmy! Stan teetle the door till I phone the Bobby. Stuff's bin gaun missin fur wikks noo frae my shoppie. I'll win tae the boddom o't afore the day's a meenit aulder. ... "
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 43:
Last week thair, when ah wis reddin up the boattom drawer ae your chest-ae-drawers, ah cam acroass a auld photie fae back in the forties...
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 137:
In the wet clay at the pit boddom were the stead of the tackets and sparribles of the auld coal-hewers of langsyne.
Gall. 1930 (per Wgt.3):
Then the buddom seemed to fa' oot o' a big angry lookin', drumly clood on the side o' Maldenoch.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) II. 305:
Poor Sandy maunna gang till the boddom o' the sea.

Hence boddomless, adj.Mearns 1929 J. B. Philip Weelum o' the Manse iv.:
Ivry congregation is the better o' bein' shakken ower the boddomless pit ivry noo and than.

Combs.: (1) boddom-breadth, “the space necessary for seating oneself” (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.1 1935); (2) boddum-lyer, “a designation given to a large trout, because it keeps to the bottom” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2); (3) boddum-pleuch, plough for turning up the subsoil; (4) boddum-runner, “the boards between the hassins of a boat” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Sh.7 1935).(1) Knr. 1895 “H. Haliburton” Dunbar in M. Sc. 100:
Little we seek, nor meikle mair desire — Our boddom-breadths and a sma' blink o' fire.
(3) Abd.(D) 1931 R. L. Cassie in Bnffsh. Jnl. (21 April) 5/3:
The boddom-pleuch gyangs deep eneuch, The thortin braks the clay sae teuch.

[O.Sc. boddom, bodom, boddum, n.Eng. dial. boddom, boddum, boddam. O.E. botm, O.N. botn, cogn. Du. bodem, Ger. boden.]

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"Boddam n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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