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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.

TOT, n.1 Also tote. Dims. tot(t)ie, totty. [tɔt, tot; ′tote]

1. A small child, a toddler. Gen.Sc. and colloq. Eng. Used freq. as a term of endearment (Sc. 1905 E.D.D.), and ironically in 1931 quot.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. ii.:
Wow! Jenny, can there greater pleasure be Than see sic wee tots toolying at your knee?
Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 122:
Each for a Bab is inclin'd, To dandle the tote on her knee.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie iii.:
Blithe to see the wee totties spinning about the floor like peeries.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 41:
To young gudewife Syne cam' totties wee.
Rnf. 1873 J. Nicholson Wee Tibbie 60:
Wee totie, here's a wee hue O' raisins.
Ags. 1880 J. E. Watt Poet Sk. 49:
Roun' her auld creepie the totties wad rin.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 293:
This wee, wee tot o' mine.
Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle iii. vii.:
I understand what you're up to' my bonnie tottie.

Hence tottie, tot(e)y, totty, totie, toaty, adj., Small, diminutive, tiny (Gall. 1906 A. McCormick Tinkler Gipsies 89; Cai., m. and s.Sc. 1972).Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie vii.:
A wee totey motor-car a' for your ain sel'.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 34:
A penny book wi' great big letters and wee tottie picters.
Arg. 1952 N. Mitchison Lobsters on the Agenda vi.:
If I can get a wee tottie place it wouldna need heating.
Gsw. 1970 G. M. Fraser General Danced 35:
Yer ain, wee totty bottle.
wm.Sc. 1965 Alan Sharp A Green Tree in Gedde (1985) 216:
'Well the man didn't know so he runned up the hill to the big crowd, but he was just a wee man, he was a wee totie man and he couldn't see over all the people's heads and as he was running round the edge of the crowd trying to see they all shouted "one", "two", ... '
Gsw. 1970 George MacDonald Fraser The General Danced at Dawn (1988) 35:
"Are ye worried aboot yer wee bottle? Yer ain wee totty bottle? Ye boozy bum, ye! ..."
ne.Sc. 1982 Alastair Mackie in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 66:
The totty cars birr north,
an assembly line on holiday.
Gsw. 1984 James Kelman The Busconductor Hines 73:
There is a gas-fire such that 3 sections exist, each containg 24 toty rectangles behind which lurk several 100 pointed particles of an unknown nature but that they glow whitely when at hot heat; this gas-fire can be leaking mysteriously.
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 31 Jan 10:
The host rejected Kay's Miniatures on the grounds people would assume he was talking to "wee toty buddies in Scots".
Gsw. 1991 Anna Blair More Tea at Miss Cranston's 25:
Th'was a toty-wee scullery too and the zinc bath hung on the wall there.
Edb. 1992:
I just love these totie wee tomaties ye get nooadays.
Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 6:
You got wee tottie cellulose dolls that fitted into a matchbox, and we got wee tottie bits of cloth and make [sic] beds for them.
Edb. 1994 Gordon Legge I Love Me (Who Do You Love?) 20:
'Can't stand it when you go round there and she's got this tiny, tiny, tiny wee toaty thing she calls an ashtray that you're all supposed to use.'
wm.Sc. 1995 Alan Warner Morvern Callar 7:
Then she goes, since we were off for three day would I come to The Mantrap and get mortal after closedown? She would meet me with a summerbag: shoes and the little black number, though it had a totey hole at the shoulder ...
Gsw. 1997 Alasdair Gray in Susie Maguire and David Jackson Young Hoots! 34:
His mind might wander, his hand tremble, so you are safer with me. His X-rays indicate two fillings, one of them a wee toaty tiddler of a job, ...

2. Transf.: a small adult person (Abd. 1972). Rare.Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 181:
Oor wife's a gey funny auld tot.

3. A child's word for the penis (n.Sc. 1972).

[Orig. Sc. and first recorded in Ramsay. Of uncertain etvm., poss. partly imit., partly a reduced form of Totum or totter, Tottle. Cf. Tot, v.]

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"Tot n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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