Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SWITE, v., n. Also swit(t) (Jak.), swyt-. swatty-, sweet-. [swəit, swɪt-, swit-]

I. v. To bale out (water) from a boat (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), orig. in fishermen's taboo usage. Sh. 1952 New Shetlander No. 31. 27:
We wir shippin mair water dan we wir switin oot.

II. n. 1. A small amount of liquid (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).

2. In dim. forms swit(t)ek, switik, swytik, swattyek, sweetie-, (1) freq. in pl. a child's squirt or water-shooter, esp. one made from the stalk of an umbelliferous plant, e.g. the wild angelica (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), 1947 Sh. Folk-Bk. (Tait) I. 86, Sh. 1972, switiks, swytiks). Also in comb. sweetie-trump, id. (Sh. 1972); (2) a baling-scoop (Sh. 1897 J. Jakobsen Dial. Sh. 28).

[Norw. dial. skvett, a sprinkle, a splash, a little water, skvetta, to squirt, a squirt made of a plant-stalk, angelica.]

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"Swite v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Jun 2021 <>



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