Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

-UM, suff. Also -im, -om, -am, -em, and in pl. forms with -s, esp. in children's language. [-əm]

1. Added to noun or verb stems to form nouns with dim. or hypocoristic force, as in Breekums, brinkum s.v. Brinkie, Didderums, Doldrum, Fegrim, Ginkum, Groatum, Keekum, Leggums, Nickum, quirklum s.v. Quirk, scoudrum s.v. Scowder, etc. Cf. colloq. or childish Eng. diddums.

2. Used to form advs. as in legim, astride, s.v. Leg. Rare.

[A formation, prob. orig. jocular, based in 1. on Lat. -um, neuter ending of -o- stems, partly an altered form of -in(g)s, vbl.n. ending, in 2. on O.E. -um, adv. ending, as in Whilom.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"-um suffix". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: