Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BOTHAM, BOTHOM, BOTHEM, n. and v. I.Sc. and ne.Sc. forms of bottom. Lit. and fig. See also Boddam. [′bɔðəm]

1. n. Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 4:
He saw he could no' bide i' the botham o' the geo.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 222:
The hill air lats fouk fin' the bothom o' their stamacks.
Abd. 1897 G. Macdonald Salted with Fire xxv.; Abd.22 1935:
I'll tak my aith, it's that Isy's at the bothom o' 't!

Hence bothemless, adj., without a bottom. Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 245:
Comets are nae the bothemless pit.

2. v. To understand thoroughly, to get at the bottom of. Bnff.(D) 1933 M. Symon Deveron Days 8:
Ay! Logic, Algebra — ye sair nott them a' When ye set oot to bothom oor Wag-at-the-wa'.

[O.Sc. bothome, bottome; Mid.Eng. botham, -em, -um, -om, n.Eng. dial. bothom, -am, -um. See also etym. note to Boddam, n.]

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"Botham n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Jun 2021 <>



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