Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TEUCHTER, n. A term of disparagement or contempt used in Central Scotland for a Highlander, esp. one speaking Gaelic, or anyone from the North, an uncouth, countrified person (Cai., e. and wm.Sc. 1972), jocularly also applied to animals. Also attrib. [′tjuxtər] Edb. 1940 R. Garioch 17 Poems for 6d. 13:
Thir a glaikit pair o Teuchters, an as Heilant as a peat.
Edb. 1956 Weekly Scotsman (3 Oct.) 8:
He is also Highland (a real teuchter of a bird).
Sc. 1957 Scotsman (11 Nov.):
It was made by Rory, the teuchter kitten.
Gsw. 1962 Scotsman (26 Jan.) 11:
There is ample evidence that she referred to him as a ‘teuchter,' a word which I understand to mean a country bumpkin.

[The orig. of this now common word is much in dispute and no satisfactory etymology has been found. It seems to have come into oral currency about 1910 and to have been vaguely associated with Gaelic (the form resembling Gael. occupational nouns in -(a)dair, as breadadair, weaver, fucadair, fuller, grùdair, brewer, saighdear, soldier, etc.) and some compare Gael. tuath, northern, country folk, or deoch, a dram (see Teuch, n.2, v.2). Others point to Sc. Teuch, adj., 3., or even Teuchit, as a conspicuously rural creature. But convincing evidence for any of these has not been adduced.]

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"Teuchter n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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