Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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1. tr. Of eggs: to stir them in a pan with butter till cooked (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Ags.1, Fif.1 1937). Fif. 1895 “S. Tytler” Macdonald Lass x.:
Flora boiled and “cottered” the eggs; Mrs Macdonald, Kirkiebost, sliced and toasted the cheese.

2. tr. “To entangle. Usually as pa.p. cotter'd” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

3. intr. “To work in a weak, unskilful manner” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 221); “to potter about, do odd jobs” (Bnff. 1898 E.D.D.).

[E.M.E. cotter, to clot, coagulate, congeal, 1577, frequentative of cot, to tangle, from cot, n., wool matted in the fleece, a tangle; Anglo-Fr. cot, idem. Cf. O.Fr. coterel, tangled wool (Godefroy). Sense 3 may be a distinct word.]

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"Cotter v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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