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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

KNOTTY, n. Also notty, knotti, knutti (Sh.). [′(k)nɔte]

1. The game of Shinty, or some variant form of it (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 77; Sh., Cai. 1960). Also attrib. and in comb. knotty-tree, a hockey-stick (Sh. 1960).Cai. 1705 D. Beaton Eccles. Hist. Cai. (1909) 141:
It was delated that ther was severall children in Murkle seen previous Sabbath playing at the knottie.
Cai. 1842 J. T. Calder Sketches 232:
On New-Year's Day there was always a grand turn out to the ancient popular game of “knotty”, which was played with a club and a round ball of wood.
Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 9:
Div ye mind 'e Knotty Club wi' its game an' ragged band?
Cai. 1952 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc.:
“Knotty” you enjoyed, a rough kind of shinty.

2. The wooden ball or some substitute, such as a cork, used in shinty or football (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 77; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork., Cai. 1942). Cf. Knot.

[O.N. knǫttr, a ball, a game of ball, with dim. suff.]

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"Knotty n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Mar 2023 <>



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