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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLUTHER, v., n.1 Also fludder (Jam.), flowther, flowder; fludda (Sh.). Sc. forms of Eng. flutter. Cf. Flither.

I. v. To flutter, flap about; as of birds dusting themselves (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 208); hence, to rush clumsily and hastily; to be in a great bustle or confusion (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Ppl.adjs. flutherin, bustling, confused (Id.), fluthered, excited (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Abd. 1797 Aberdeen Mag. 198:
My heart wi' sic a fluth'rin' beat, In fegs it maistly swooned me.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 36:
Hech, sirs! that's e'en a waefu' tale, It gars my heart a' flutherin' fail.
Fif. 1894 D. S. Meldrum Margrédel ix.:
“You seem fluthered.” “I daursay,” said Rab, indignantly. “I thocht by the way he pinted that ye had gaen owre the rocks.”
Abd.15 1930:
He gaed flowderin throwe the water.
Ags. 1934 H.B. Cruickshank Noran Water 30:
An' flocks o' bonny feathered birds Fluther aboot in flame.

Hence (1) †flutteration, excessive finery, frills and flounces; (2) flutter-baw, a puff-ball, fungus (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).(1) Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 142:
Train'd i' the path o' dissipation, An' deckit wi' French flutteration, Stap forth the uphads o' the Nation.

II. n. 1. A flurry, a confused fluttering mass, as of snow. Deriv. fludderoch, anything without solidity or weight, as a bag of feathers or chaff (Kcb.4 1900).Dmf. 1894 R. Reid Poems 161:
Sae wan were its faulds, sae dern and wan, 'Twas mair like a flowther o' drivin' snaw.

2. A bustle, stir, confusion (Abd.15 1930, flowder); agitation, anxiety. Phr. apo' da fludda, in a great hurry.Fif. 1806 A. Douglas Poems 97:
Tod Lawrie slie Cam' wi' an unco fluther, He 'mang the sheep like fire did flee.
Sc.(E) 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms xxxiv. 4:
[He] syne redd me frae a' my fluther.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (3 Sept.):
I hed ta geng up apo' da fludda ta skroo three or fower score o' pones.

3. A tawdry or highly ornamented piece of clothing, “an over-trimmed or badly-shaped dress, hat, etc.” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Fif. 1905 “S. Tytler” Daughter of the Manse i. v.:
The fule wife wi' her fluthers o' dress.

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"Fluther v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Mar 2023 <>



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