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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).

KITHAN, n. Also kithag, used of women (Cai. 1902 E.D.D., 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 76, Cai.1 c.1920). A term of reproach, a rascal, a blackguard (Ib., Cai. 1960); a mischievous tricky person (Cai.1 c.1920). Also comb. kithan-face, id. (Cai.9 1938); an imp, a demon, in phr. the auld (owld) kithan, the devil (Ib.). [′kɪθən]Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 41:
Yet, puir owld kithan, he [gull] maun live, For a' ma rage an' worry.
Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (21 Feb.) 2:
Time's a hungry kithan nane can fill.

[Orig. uncertain, ? dim. form of Cuithe, or variant of Coothin, Cuddie, n.1, with extended meaning.]

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"Kithan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Sep 2022 <>



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