Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DIRTEN, Dirtin, adj.

1. Filthy, soiled by excrement (Sc. 1808 Jam., dirtin; Abd.27 1950; Ags.2, Ags.17 1940). Cf. Dirten Allen. Hence †dirtenly, adv., foully. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 249:
Money is welcome in a dirten Clout.
Ib. 400:
I do full dirtenly, I wish they had the skitter that speers.

2. Used fig.: mean, contemptible; conceited (Abd.13 1910), disdainful, “snooty.” In superl. = utmost (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940); cf. Dirt, adv., above. Cai.3 1930:
She wis gey dirten 'e day an went past wi' her nose in 'e air.
Abd. c.1750 R. Forbes Ulysses' Answer in Sc. Poems (1785) 34:
A dirten dirdum ye brag o' Done on the Trojan shore.
Abd.15 1915:
Dae his dirtnist, he cudna meeve that muckle steen.
Abd.27 1948:
A' the thank I got was a dirten answer.

3. Comb.: dirtin'-gab, a foul-mouthed person. Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 98:
Oily-tongued dirtin'-gab, ay fu' o' clashes.

[Orig. a met. form of dritten s.v. Drite. Dirtin, dirtied, defiled with filth or excrement, is found in O.Sc. from a.1508.]

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



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