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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GLUTTER, n., v. Also gluther, gludder. [′glʌtər, ′glʌð-, ′glʌd-]

I. n. 1. A rising or gurgling noise in the throat, e.g. that caused by emotion (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B., gluther); a splutter.Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man II. vii.:
At length he gae a great gluther, like a man drowning.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
A gluther cam into his throat, and hindered him frae speaking.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 240:
“The glorious grimness of a grove of gigantic forest trees”. “What a glutter of gutturals.”
Hdg. 1843 J. W. Carlyle Letters (Froude) I. 247:
I . . . had called him “Gludder,” (a word of my father's) from the sad sound he made in articulating (as if through slush).
Sc. 1884 R. W. Buchanan Foxglove Manor II. xxvi.:
A weazel, darting its head this way and that, and fiercely scenting the air, in one eternal glutter and hurry of bloodthirsty emotion.

2. “The ungraceful noise made in swallowing” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); “a loud sipping sound made in taking liquid food” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

3. “The sound caused by a body falling among mire” (Ayr. 1825 Jam.), a dull splash.Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize I. i.:
His foot slipped, and down he fell as it were with a gludder.

4. By extension: mire, mud, slush. Sometimes in pl.Lnk. 1827 J. Watt Poems 100:
Syne sic a swearin', sic a cryin', A' three amang the glutters lyin'!
Dmf. 1843 Carlyle New Letters (1904) I. 302:
Every stone when I have lugged it to the place is swallowed in unknown depths of gludder.

Hence gluthery, adj., muddy (Per., Fif. 1950), slushy; applied also to work involving the handling of wet and slippery objects, such as in tanning leather (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., gluddery), greasy, slimy.Fif. 1875 A. Burgess Poute 83:
“Aweel,” quo I, “the roads are very gluthery, weel-a-wat.”
Gsw. 1999 Anne Donovan in Moira Burgess and Donny O'Rourke New Writing Scotland 17: Friends and Kangaroos 35:
Ah'd watch fae the windae, alang the grey, gluthery street, till ah caught the first glimpse of her red raincoat and blue pixie hat turning the corner, ...

II. v. 1. To make a gurgling noise in the throat (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); to splutter.Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 184:
I carried them to different sides o' the water . . . an' after gluthering and spurring a wee while, they cam to again.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 5:
Whan naigs an troopers — the deed-ruckle glutherin i ther weizants — war cowpeet inti ilka seike.

2. tr. with ower: to pour (over the throat) with a gurgling or spluttering noise.Fif. 1873 J. Wood Ceres Races 93:
I didna force it owre his throat, As auld Wives haud a Coo for bile, And gluther owre the Castor-ile.

3. To swallow food (esp. liquid food) in a noisy, disgusting or voracious manner (Sc. 1825 Jam., gluther; Ayr. Ib., gludder; ‡Ayr.4 1928; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Ppl.adj. gluttering, voracious, gluttonous.Sc.(E) 1868 D. M. Ogilvy Willie Wabster 11:
Nae French kickshaws had Will to gludder, But ait-meal cakes and gowden butter.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 281:
What a gluttering maw! Naething cam wrang to his disgeester.

4. “To whisper or talk in an underhand way” (Kcb.4 1900, gluther); to put about (a rumour).Gall. a.1900 "Mulciber Veritatis" Gallowa' Herds 9:
It's gluthered when ree ye're wi barley bree, 'Mang hizzies ye're nae mair than chancie.

[Freq. of Glut, n.1, v., with onomat. variants. Cf. Sw. dial. gluddra, to speak indistinctly, to gargle, gurgle.]

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"Glutter n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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