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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SPLEITER, n., v. Also splyter, spleyter; spleeter. [′spləitər; ′splitər]

I. n. 1. A splash, a patch of spilt liquid, a blot (ne.Sc., Ags. 1971); a botch, mess.Abd. 1919:
Ye've garred me mak a spleiter o' a blot.
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 27:
There the spleiter of water was.
Arg. 1935:
I don't want tae mak' a spleeter.
Abd. 1963 J. C. Milne Poems 76:
Try and haud yer elbucks And spleeters aff the table!

2. A wind-driven shower of rain, snow, etc. (Bnff., Abd. 1971). Also fig.Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 49:
Tramping back in the spleiter of a winter night.
Abd. 1959 People's Jnl. (31 Oct.) 11:
Some awfa spleeters o' weet drivin' afore heich win's.

3. Slush (Kcd. 1949).

4. A confused crowd, a huddled bunch or mass of people.Kcd. 1933 L. G. Gibbon Cloud Howe 99:
Into the middle of the spleiter of spinners.

II. v. tr. and intr. To spill, spatter messily over an area (ne.Sc., Ags. 1971).Abd. 1941 Bon-Accord (20 Nov.) 12:
Seet an' rice plaistered an' spleytered a' ower the place.
Ags. 1959 People's Jnl. (12 Sept.):
It gaed spleeterin' ower the flair.
ne.Sc. 1979 Alastair Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 63:
Gin I thocht o eternity and kent whit it meant,
it wid be this elemental hiss
splyterin saut on the tummle o its spines,
the muckle backet o the earth
teemin and fillin thro history
Abd. 1995 Sheena Blackhall Lament for the Raj 23:
They peinted the skyrie sunbeams gowd
They splytered broon far the brackens showd.

[Imit. altered forms of Splatter, splutter.]

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"Spleiter n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Mar 2023 <>



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