Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
SWITHER, n.2, v.2 Also swid(d)er (Sh.).
I. n. A rushing movement, a swirl, a flurry (of rain or snow), a gust of wind (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1972). Adj. swithery, full of driven snow.Jak.:
He guid by in a great swidder.Abd. 1957 Bon-Accord (17 Jan.) 8:
The win' hed driven't it [snow] intae swithery nyeukies.Sh. 1964 Nordern Lichts 56:
Dan a flann cam howlin doon an a swidder o snaw.
II. v. 1. To rush, swirl, move with haste and flurry (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1972), to whizz.Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales I. 240:
A swithering noise like that made by a black-cock on the wing.Abd. 1845 W. Thom Rhymes 159:
As the storm would swither and swell.Ags. 1894 A. Reid Sangs 79:
A darksome dell Whaur wud the switherin torrents fell.Sc. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Scots 13:
And saftly thru the lichted mirk The switherin' snaw cam doun.Sh. 1953 Manson's Almanac 122:
The “flaans” that swidered in over the cliff edge.
2. tr. and intr.: appar. in 1933 quot., to swing about, to move from side to side, but the meaning is not certain and such a usage is otherwise unattested. Comb. swither-tree, the swingle-tree of a plough or the like (Ork. 1929 Marw.).Kcd. 1933 L. G. Gibbon Cloud Howe 127:
Dite had cornered Jim's pig at last, as it swithered its head he saw it set fine.
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"Swither n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Feb 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/swither_n2_v2>