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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SAWTAN, n. Also Sautan, Sattan, Sahtan, Sathan. Dim. Sautie. Sc. forms of Eng. Satan. [′sɑ:tən, ′sǫ:-; I.Sc. ′sɑ:θən]

1. The Devil, Satan. Also in comb. Auld Sautie, id. See Auld, 3.; transf. a rascal, an imp, scamp.Sc. 1854 D. Vedder Poems 188:
Wi' cawk an' keel upon a deal, She scrawl'd the marks o' Sathan.
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 22:
The young sautan crawl'd up owre its lugs on tae its back.
Sc. 1867 St Andrews Gazette (22 June):
In the middle of his oration the learned Professor had a thought about Satan — or ‘Sattan', as he called his Satanic Majesty.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
As sune as I can win to stand on my twa feet we'll be aff frae this craig o' Sawtan.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xxiii.:
As if ye had dung doon the Bible an' selled yersel' to Sawtan.
Ags. 1897 Bards Ags. (Reid) 498:
John flittit; he would plough nae mair Whaur Sawtan fleggit him sae sair.
Sh. 1924 T. Manson Peat Comm. 205:
Dat Sathan guid awey dis moarnin wi' twa idder boys ta look fur birds eggs i da banks.
Abd. 1930 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 109:
It's that imp o' Sahtan again.

2. A small light shooting marble of a reddish colour, appar. so called because of the mischief it could cause to one's opponents' marbles (Slg. 1921 T.S.D.C. IV., sautie, Slg. 1969, sawtan).

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"Sawtan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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