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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DEESTER, Dooster, Do-ster, n. One in a position of authority, an agent (Mry.1 1925, dooster; Abd.15 1928, do-ster; Abd.2 1940, deester). Often used contemptuously (Bnff.2 1940) and freq. in comb. heid-deester, an overseer, a “leading light.”Bnff. 1929 Bnffsh. Jnl. (1 Oct.) 2:
He wis makkin' for the Rural, an' his wife bein' a heid deister, he dursna gang there wi' a breath.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Ye was there as weel's me, an' kent a hantle mair o' the heid deesters.
Abd. 1928 Q. B. Lane in Abd. Book-Lover VI. No. i. 14:
The gaithert an' great, the pillars o' state, The deester, an' big committee-man. They're prim an' correct.

[From dee s.v. Dae, v.1, or do + -ster. agent suff.]

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"Deester n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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