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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).

WHAT, v., n. Also whatt; whut-. Sc. forms of Eng. whet (Per., Fif., Lnk., Ayr., Dmf. 1974). Cf. P.L.D. § 76.1. [ʍɑt]

I. v. As in Eng., to sharpen. Pa.t. whatt. Vbl.n. whuttin in phr. a whuttin o' drink, a dram to sharpen the wits (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 479). Combs. whatstane (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 683), whutstane (MacTaggart), a whetstone, whatstick, a hone or emery board with a wooden handle, used by cobblers (Abd., Ayr., sm.Sc., Rxb. 1974).Ayr. 1785 Burns 3rd Ep. to J. Lapraik iii.:
Sae my auld stumpie-pen I gat it An took my jocteleg an' whatt it.
Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 156:
An eagle whattin his beak wi' his claws.
Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse 154:
Whar, oure a claut o' hame-brewed maut Their rusty tongues they whatt.
Abd. 1940 Abd. Univ. Review (July) 234:
Here's a whang o' yer leather (fat's better in need?), Wi' the whatstick and hemmer to brak them up sma'.

II. n. As in Eng., an appetiser, a snack.Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 97:
I'm hungrier than if I had ate a haill solan-guse. What'n a what!

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"What v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Jun 2022 <>



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