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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

EDDER, ETHER, n.1, v. Also aither, aider. [′ɛdər, ′ɛðər, ′e:ðər, ′edər]

1. n.

(1) A straw rope used in thatching a stack (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1944). Cf. Edderin.Abd.8 1917:
Ether . . . refers to a raip which crosses other raips at right angles taking a kench of each to anchor or keep them in position on the thatch.
Abd. 1931 in Abd. Press & Jnl. (15 Jan.):
The shuttle-shaped clew of straw rope was known to us as “ether.”

(2) Comb.: ‡ether-bucks, straw ropes used to wind round the ankles in snowy weather (Abd.8 1917). Cf. Boucht, n.1, v.1

2. v. To rope a stack in order to secure the thatch (Abd. 1825 Jam.2, ether, edder; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 187, aither; Abd.15 1928, aider; Bnff., Abd. 1946).Abd. 1749 Abd. Estate (S.C. 1946) 109:
To 2 men 1/3 of day eddering rucks — 0.2.8.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 122:
I canna get men ayven tull edder ma hey rucks nooadays.
Abd. 1917 W. Morren Buck and Benachie 12:
His father e'ed wi' pride the rucks, weel ether't een an' a'.

[Cf. Eng. dial. edders, withes plaited to bind the top of a fence, edder, v., to plait such, Mid.Eng. edder, id., prob. from O.E. eodor, eder, enclosure, fence, hedge.]

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"Edder n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Feb 2023 <>



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