Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SCUTTLE, v., n. Also scutle, scuttal, ¶scootle (MacTaggart), and, with alternative suff., scut(t)er. [skʌtl, †skytl]

I. v. 1. To serve on a plate, to dish up food; to pour liquid from one vessel to another, to spill in so doing (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 422). Comb. scuttle-dish, a platter, a large dish from which food is served; also explained as a large flat dish placed below the tap of an ale-cask to catch the drops. See also Skiddle. Rnf. 1807  R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 202:
Flunkie M'Fee, o the Skiverton place, Is chosen tae scuttle the pies and the puddin's.
Sc. 1828  Knight and Shepherd's Daughter in
Child Ballads No. 110 E. xliii.:
[She] would mess you up in scuttle-dishes.
Sc. 1888  Jam.:
In an old Scottish alehouses the scuttle dish was generally a large wooden bowl or basin.

2. In vbl.n. pl. scuttlins, the lighter grains of wheat winnowed out and ground by themselves into an inferior sort of flour (Fif. 1825 Jam.). Hence scuttlin-flour, the flour so made (Ib.).

II. n. 1. In pl.: any liquid that has been poured backwards and forwards from one vessel to another (Sc. 1808 Jam.).

2. Refuse water, slops, dish-water; a hole in the ground into which this is poured, a sewage pit, drain. Comb. scuttle-hole, scut(t)er-, id., a hole in the wall of a cowshed through which the dung, etc. is thrown out. Per. 1753  A. Nicol Rural Muse 16:
Well cou'd he purge the scuter holes.
Abd. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 69:
He plumpit i' the scuttal.
Abd. 1868  J. Riddell Aberdeen 12:
Yer mou' is like the scutter-hole o' a byre.
Per. 1898  C. Spence Poems 165:
In scutter holes hinch-deep I've been.
Abd. 1920  A. Robb MS. ii.:
Scuttle holes for throwin' the muck oot.

[O.Sc. scuttall hole, 1545, Mid.Eng. scutel, a dish, platter, a basket for winnowing corn, O.E. scutel, Lat. scutella, a plate.]

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"Scuttle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <>



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