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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HOWDER, v.1, n. Also howther, howthir, houther, houder; huther, hudder. For other meanings see the variant form Hudder. [′hʌudər, ′hʌuðər]

I. v. 1. To move with a rocking, jolting or bumping motion, esp. of a boat or cart (Arg. 1948, howther; ne.Sc. 1957), of a person or animal with a rolling gait (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 82); to tumble roughly in play. Also fig.Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 46:
A caller burnie was his drink, That howder't down the braes.
Abd. 1842 Banffshire Jnl. (16 Oct. 1900) 7:
Ye've gien the Kirk an unco dose And sair ye've gart her howder.
Abd. 1918 W. Mutch Hev ye a Spunk 33:
Oor Barney didna like the boat that howdert ower the sea.
Abd. 1922 G. P. Dunbar Whiff o' Doric 12:
Set Tam's knees wabblin' like a deuk fin howd'rin' ower the green.
Abd. 1958 People's Jnl. (18 Jan.):
Foo gled Ah wis tae be on dry lan', by's howderin' aboot on the watter.
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 114:
Ilka day she howders wi a sey tae the wal
In the yaird ootbye.

2. To carry or heave along awkwardly or with difficulty, to push roughly.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 82:
The twa ill-contrivet geets howthirt the peer gangeral our the dyke in o' the ditch. . . . She needna be howthirin' and cairryin' that muckle bairn; he's aul' eneuch t' gang himsel'.

3. Of a large number of persons or objects: to swarm, bustle about, mill around, crowd together; to romp about (Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 334).Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 187:
Menzies o' Moths an' Flaes are shook, An i' the floor they howder.
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 125:
Whan, huthran in a thrang, Out frae their hole, at unca rate, They driftet wi' a bang.
Ags. 1867 G. W. Donald Poems 147:
Frae creeks an' seas, like swarms o' bees, His hungry hordes may howder.
Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 250:
It's then I see our greenwood tree, Where wives an' weans are howdering.
Sc. 1995 David Purves Hert's Bluid 38:
The'r no mukkil in't for the bairns,
an the sang dwynes doun for the auld:
howdert thegither in hames,
bleirin awa dreich days
goavin at fremmit ferlies
on ane electronic screen.

4. Of the wind: to blow fitfully, in gusts. Also ppl.adj. howderin.Abd. 1925 R. L. Cassie Gangrel Muse 39:
Oh, sic a day o' houderin' win'! It deaves oor lugs wi' rairin' din.
Sc. 1935 Sc. N. & Q. (Feb.) 23:
Moans an' howders th' win' 's gin 'is bellows wad brak.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 7:
Skelpit by cankert howderin storm
Ah! hou the yirth will rive an screed.

II. n. 1. A rocking, jolting, sideways motion, as of a boat on a rough sea or a person with a rolling gait (Bnff., Abd. 1957); rough, uncouth horse-play, a tousling, a rough-and-tumble (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 276; Lth., Lnk. 1825 Jam., howther).Slg. 1804 G. Galloway Luncarty 55:
The breeks he woo'd and wed in Maggy Tudor, When first he blest her with a highland houther.
Lnk. 1808 W. Watson Poems 22:
A houther now amang the strae Wad be a better scheme.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 82:
The ween raise, an' they got a howthir or they cam in.
Abd.29 1951:
Ye aften get a gey howder in a trawler in the North Sea.

2. A rough push or heave. Cf. v., 2.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 82:
Gee 'im a howthir on o' the horse back. He wiz sittin' on a dyke fin the little ill-trickit hurb ran in ahin 'im, an' ga' 'im a howthir doon aff o't.

3. A blast of wind, a blustering wind (Abd. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1957).Bch. 1861 J. Davidson Poems 100:
The win' gat up wi' awfu' blewder — I tint my bonnet in the howder.
Ags. 1879 Arbroath Guide (12 April) 3:
That's an awfu' hudder o' a storm.
Bch. 1929 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 128:
It's jist as weel it's blawn by. It wiz a bit o' a howder fin't laistit.
Abd. 1954 Huntly Express (29 Oct.):
A gweed houder o' win' an' mak' them shoud wad dee the rucks a lot o' gweed.

[Freq. form of Howd, q.v. Cf. Hudder.]

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"Howder v.1, n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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