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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

THROUITHER, adv., adj., n. Also thro-, through-, throo-, throw(e)-, thru-, -ither, -other and reduced forms throughther, thro(u)ther, throother, throwther; through'er; throud(d)er, throwder; also †thorow other (from Thorow). In earlier usage freq. written as two words. Common in mainland Scot. in all senses below in I. and II. but not much used in I.Sc. [′θru(ɪ)ðər, ′θrʌu-; Abd. + ′θrʌudər]

I. adv. 1. As a phr., orig. of two words: mingled one with another, without distinction or discrimination, promiscuously, blended throughout. Gen.Sc., obsol. To caird throuither, tr. to comb (tufts of wool) into one mass; intr. and fig., to mix well, harmonise (see Caird, v.2, Caird, v.3); to work through-other, to do a variety of jobs.Sc. 1705 J. Spreull Accompt Current (1882) 59:
If that Fleece of Wool were all Carded throw other, the hairie part spoils the fyner.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 155:
When little Midges frisk in lazy Air, Have ye not seen thro' ither how they reel?
Lnk. 1733 Session Papers, Neilson v. Weir (25 June) 6:
Threed, which was of a very coarse Sort, and all wafted throw other.
Sc. 1738 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1927) III. 134:
You and Lockhart would caird finly thorow other for if you're brief he's prolix.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 28:
The streams of sweat an' tears thro'ither ran.
Rxb. 1868 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 33:
If ye was to pit a weaver, a tailor, and a miller into a poke, [and] shake them a' through ither.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb vii.:
I thocht ye wud 'a maetit a' throu ither.
Wgt. 1885 G. Fraser Poems 59:
They were a' freens throughither in auld Wigtown toon.
Abd. 1895 J. Davidson Old Abd. Ministers 71:
His prayers . . . are aye sae bonny, an' throwither, an' throwither.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 29:
But across an' thro' ither his arrows he flings, Like the warp o' the nettercap's weave.
Uls. 1913 F. E. S. Crichton Precepts of Andy Saul 1:
He would tell you that he “worked through other,” which implied a certain authority in garden, farm, and stable.
Sc. 1928 W. P. McKenzie Fowls o' the Air 10:
Life's threads a' through-ither Cam' free frae the tangle.

2. In(to) a state of muddle or confusion, higgledy-piggledy, in(to) disorder, pell-mell (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc.Lnk. 1718 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 229:
The defenders fell in fighting, and all went through other.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween v.:
Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane, They roar an' cry a' throu'ther.
Hdg. 1796 Session Papers, Petition J. Tait (26 May) 18:
She was a rattling ‘throughother-speaking woman', very familiar often in her address to her mistress.
s.Sc. c.1800 Memoirs S. Sibbald (Hett 1926) 204:
A' things thru other an' the hoose in a confusion.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xiv.:
A' hirdy-girdy — clean through ither.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 45:
They ran a' throuther in their hurry.
Uls. 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxxvi.:
Ye hae put me that throo ither a dinnae ken what a'm dain.
Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-net 12:
What's the dairy when a'thing else is gaun through-ither?
Per.4 1950:
Everything was lyin a' throughother on the flair.

3. Used predicatively and quasi-adj.: mixed up, confused, rambling, disordered (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc.Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 62:
Tho' he was so sadly throu'ther Since than he ne'er leuk'd o'er his shouther.
Abd. 1882 G. MacDonald Castle Warlock vi.:
My heid's some sair, an' throughither-like.
Slk. 1901 C. M. Thomson Drummeldale 114:
He was that throughither wi' waikness an' want o' sleep.
Sc. 1907 D. MacAlister Echoes (1923) 123:
The warld is weised by craft an' wile, An' Fortune 's a' throwither.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 20:
The things doonby are gey throughither.

II. adj., from 3. above: 1. Of persons: (1) untidy, disorganised, unmethodical, slovenly, harum-scarum, unruly (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 273; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); awkward, difficult, esp. of a child. Gen.Sc. Hence throughitherness, muddle-headedness, lack of method (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 193; ne.Sc. 1972); throughither-witted, muddle-headed, scatterbrained.Sc. 1801 Edb. Mag. (Dec.) 451:
Some half-witted throuther Poet.
Sc. 1825 Writer's Clerk I. 40:
He was a “through'er boy,” and required correction and admonition.
Rnf. 1838 Whistle-Binkie 10:
He was idle and thro'ither, and drucken an' a'.
Sc. 1860 J. W. Carlyle Letters (Froude 1883) III. 64:
She was so heedless, and ‘thro'other.'
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin iv.:
This explanation will account for his throutherness.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 157:
A through-ither Trollop.
Lth. 1882 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny 290:
I've been a wild throughither kind o' a man.
Rnf. 1898 J. M. Henderson Kartdale 69:
The kind o' throuither-witted amang us.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood ix.:
I'm a dacent, saft, through-ither body, wi' his wits sair fuddled by strong drink.
Uls. 1948 D. G. Waring Not Quite So Black 84:
I'm afraid we're dreadfully through-other.
Abd. 1968 Sc. Poetry 3 46:
Ca' her sleekit, saft, a throwder baggrel.
Arg. 1992:
I don't know what to do with him. He's a wile throuither boy.

(2) informal in manner, free-and-easy, not standing on ceremony.Rnf. 1815 W. Finlayson Rhymes 135:
Upon a Sabbath night conven'd some douce An' throuther neibours, in a cronie's house.

2. Of things: disorderly, in confusion, muddled, untidy, ill-kept, ill-arranged. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1720 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 492:
Yours . . . had it been a little sooner, had prevented my rude and through-other draught.
Kcb. 1797 R. Buchanan Poems 3:
Attend then To my thro'ther Shandean lay.
Sc. 1894 L. Keith Lisbeth xii.:
A through-other house like Marget's.
Kcb. 1899 Gallovidian 152:
This paper must of necessity be a reel-rall through-ither performance.
Uls. 1901 Northern Whig:
The house then gets a “through-other” appearance.
Ayr. 1910 Poets Ayr. (McIntosh) 272:
At the throughither waddin' o' Hullibalee.
Abd. 1924 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 444:
“Queecher” or “queigher” meant as substantive “a throuder steer.”

III. n. 1. A confusion, row, fracas; a muddle, mess, state of disorder (Abd. 1972).Slg. 1792 G. Galloway Poems 45:
Quickly you sell them a divorce, Whilk bred a throw'ther.

2. In pl.: mixed or assorted sweets.Slg. 1900 R. Buchanan Poems 138:
Buying anither package o' sweeties (throothers) for Jenny.

3. An unmethodical person whose affairs are in constant confusion (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ags., Lnk., Rxb. 1972).

[O.Sc. throuch uther, indiscriminately, without distinction, 1596, mingled, 1630, from Throu + Ither, II. 1. Cf. Ger. durcheinander, in confusion. The corresp. Gael. troimh chéile may be derived from Sc.]

Throuither adv., adj., n.

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"Throuither adv., adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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