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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

KNOTTIE, adj. Also knotty. Sc. usage: Full of lumps or knots (Sh., n.Sc., Ags., Lth., Ayr., Rxb. 1960), gen. in combs.: 1. knotty meal, the earth- or pig-nut, Bunium flexuosum (Mry. 1839 G. Gordon Flora of Mry. 10; Inv., Mry. 1886 B. & H. 292; Nai, 1892 Trans. North. Assoc. I. v. 66; Mry.1 1928). See Crottymell; 2. knotty porridge, = knot porridge s.v. Knot, n., 1. (Abd.27 1960); 3. knotty sowens, = knottin sowens s.v. Knot, v., 2. (1) (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); 4. knotty-stick, in phr. ca' ye me knotty-stick!, an expression denoting disbelief, = Eng. “I'm a Dutchman!”; 5. knotty tam(s), -tammies, -tommies, a dish consisting of hot milk or water and oatmeal formed into partially cooked lumps (Cai. 1911 T.S.D.C.; Sc. 1929 F. M. McNeill Sc. Kitchen 198; Cai., ne.Sc. 1960); “the knots skimmed off oatmeal porridge, before they are completely made; used as a dish in Renfrew” (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Aigars. Also fig.Slk. 1892 W. M. Adamson Betty Blether 69:
But . . . didn't I gaun awa' an' stave my hand wi' splittin' some sticks that were as knotty as shearers' parritch.
3. Sc. 1858 Sc. Haggis 71:
Knotty sowens, and a wee grain o' butter.
4. Abd. 1883 W. Jolly J. Duncan 481:
If that binna fale [fell, hot, pungent of taste], ca' ye me knotty-stick!
5. m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xiii.:
There's aye ower mony Knotty Tammies in the la'yer's parritch.
Abd.13 1920:
Knotty-tam here means milk brose. You put the milk to the boil and pour it on the oatmeal and salt in a bowl or caup; then stir it and put on more boiling milk on the top. The meal goes into knots when the boiling milk is stirred thro' it, hence the name. In some farm kitchens this is a favourite dinner for the men on a busy day in the house.
Cai. 1929 F. M. McNeill Sc. Kitchen 199:
Knotty Tam . . . is a brose made of beist milk and oatmeal.
Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (22 April):
The tyke'll but sniff at the milk pottage unless she be fell yamp, but jist ye watch foo she'll gobble up the leavins o' the knottie tams.
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 119:
It was 'Knotty-Tams' for supper, brose made from oatmeal and mixed with boiling milk instead of water.

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"Knottie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Aug 2022 <>



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