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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

TWEETLE, v., n. Also twitl (Jak.); ¶tweddle. [twitl]

I. v. 1. To whistle, warble, sing. Gen.Sc.; to play (on a whistle). Rare and dial. in Eng.Abd. 1909 C. Murray Hamewith 5:
He wheepled on't at mornin' an' he tweetled on't at nicht.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 69:
The birds are tweetlin' gran' Frae the sykes and slacks and trees.
Lth. 1924 A. Dodds Poppies in Corn 11:
Bit man nor mavis rules the like o' him, He tweetles on for neither rhyme nor reason.

2. To walk nimbly and quickly, sc. in the manner of the fingers on the stop-holes of a whistle or the like (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).Sh. 1952 J. Hunter Taen wi da Trow 100:
As I watched da bow legs tweetlin Up yon steep an heavy brae, Min, I tought hit wis a marvel Whaar yon speed cud aa come fae!

II. n. A public assembly of young people for dancing, a “hop”.Mry. 1830 Elgin Liter. Mag. 274:
Attending Jamie Will's Tweetles in the “forenight”.
Mry. 1836 J. Grant Penny Wedding 18:
And I hae danc'd the highland reel, At rants and tweddles, wi' great glee.
Mry. 1887 Lintie o' Moray 24:
He instituted a series of “tweetles” or dancing assemblies at Christmas time.

[Variant or altered forms of Eng. tweedle, to trill, pipe, of imit. orig. Cf. Tweeter.]

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"Tweetle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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