Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COT, n. Sc. combs. of Eng. cot, a humble dwelling, shelter: 1. cot-folk, labourers and their dependants living in cottages on a farm; Gen.Sc.; 2. cot-house, a farmworker's cottage; Gen.Sc.; †3. cotlander, one who holds a “cotland,” a piece of arable land attached to a cottage; “a cottager, who keeps a horse for ploughing his small piece of land” (e.Lth. 1825 Jam.2); 4. cotman = Cottar (Lnk.3, Kcb.1 1937); “always looked on as the second in command about a farm-house” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 142); used attrib. in quot.; 5. cottown, cotton, a collection of cot-houses, belonging to a farm or to several surrounding farms (Ags.1, Fif.10 1937). 1. Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs ix.:
An' what poor Cot-folk pit their painch in, I own it's past my comprehension.
2. Bnff. 1918 M. Symon Wir Roup 3:
I min' on't in a wee cot-house On Kirsty's kist o' drawers.
3. Rxb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 128:
Small tenants . . . in the village of Roxburgh are called cotlanders, possessing . . . about two acres of land each, together with a house, yard, and liberty of pasturing their cows in an adjacent loaning.
4. Ayr. 1862 J. Baxter Kirn, etc. 38:
A farmer's cotman slave.
5. Abd. 1913 J. Allardyce Byegone Days in Abdsh. 67:
The cottars paid a little money and did a good deal of work for the farmer. They were at his call whenever they were required. The Cottown was near the farm, and the young people reared there made the best of farm hands as they grew up.
Fif. 1905 “S. Tytler” Daughter of the Manse i. i.:
[It] was a mile and a half distant from Rowanden Kirk and cotton.

[Cot-house, cotland, cotman and cot-toun are all found in O.Sc. (see D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cot n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2021 <>



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