Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HUDDER, v., n. Also huther, -ir; huidder (Rxb.); howder, howther (Lnk.). [Sc. ′hʌdər, ′hʌðər; Lnk. ′hʌu-]

I. v. 1. To be disorderly or slovenly in appearance or habits. Only in ppl.adj. hudd(e)rin, hutherin, huderon, slovenly, slatternly, tawdrily dressed, gen. of a woman (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Kcb., Uls. 1930–57). See also Hudderon. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 14:
A Morning-Sleep is worth a Foldful of Sheep, to a huderon, duderon Daw.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 24:
The great hudderen carlen was riding hockerty cockerty upo' my shoulders in a hand-clap.

2. To act in a confused or hasty manner; to work or walk clumsily or hastily (Bwk., Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 109, huther; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86, huthir); ppl.adj. hutherin', awkward, clumsy (Ib.). Cf. Howder, v.1 Abd. 1739 Caled. Mag. (1788) 501:
A huddrin hynd came wi' his pattle, As he'd been at the pleugh.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 196:
Nor e'er, in huth'ron haste, advance.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86:
She cam hutherin' up the rod.
Tyr. 1929 M. Mulcaghey Ballymulcaghey 179:
She had the betther ov Mary, who was a bit hudderin' of herself.

3. tr. To heap together in disorder (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., hudder, huther; Ags. 1957); of clothes: to throw (on) hastily or untidily, to clutter; intr. with doun, of a garment: to hang down untidily (Lnk. 1953 per Mearns6). Comb. huther-my-duds, a ragged person, a tatterdemalion (Fif. 1825 Jam.). Rnf. 1863 J. Nicolson Kilwuddie 113:
She lies till aucht (whiles nearer nine) like ony lazy drone, Then, when at len'th she wauchels up, her claes she hudders on.
Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs.:
It's a gatherin' up an' hutherin'-like.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
The bairn's fair hudder't wi' claes.

II. n. 1. An untidy person, a sloven (Lnk., Dmf., Rxb. 1957, huther); one who works hastily and clumsily (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86, huthir). Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 61:
Thon clorty huther o' a wife.
Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 109:
Nae howther in habit or person was Kate — For tosh, cleanly workin' she couldna be bate.
Dmf. 1905 J. L. Waugh Thornhill xx.:
Weel, if her shawl's clean, I'll wager her kitchen flaer's no. Awfu' hudder, Heughsie, an' aye was.

2. A confused crowd or heap (Bwk., Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 109, huther; Kcb. 1957). Sc. a.1826 Lord Thomas and Fair Annet in Child Ballads (1956) II. 184:
And ye'll hae nocht but a howther o' dirt, To feed about your fire.
Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 30:
We met Chanlock sheep at the bend, an' afore we could dae ocht they got mixed. I never saw sic a hudder.

3. Unbecoming haste (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86, huthir).

[A variant of Howder, q.v., of imit. orig.]

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"Hudder v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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