Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
WITTER, v.1, n.1 Also wutter; ¶whitter.
I. v. To inform, guide, direct (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)). Vbl.n. witterin(g), information, indication; a report, hint, sign, token. Also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1802 The Broomfield Hill in Child Ballads No. 43 A. viii.:
That was to be wittering true That maiden she had gane.s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xi.:
What it is you done or how they got wittering o't, the Lord only kens.Gall. 1905 E.D.D.:
I heard a wutterin' o't, but naething for certain.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., obsol.:
He got a witterin' that a burglary wad take place.
II. n. 1. A sign, mark, token.Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. ii.:
A sign and witter from the people that they'll be humbugged no longer.
Combs.: (1) witter-hole, a mark or depression made in a witter-stone (a stone marking a boundary); (2) witter-wife, a female soothsayer or fortune-teller.(1) Abd. 1840 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. III. 63:
They [the boundary stones] were generally distinguished from “orra” stones by having scooped out, on the top, small round cavities called “saucers”,while some were remarkable besides from exhibiting four “witter-holes”.(2) Cai. 1891 D. Stephen Gleanings 23:
He was strongly advised to consult one or other of the “witter wives” — a class of dames professing to read fortunes and to discover thieves and depredators of whatsoever sort.
2. The tail- or marker-buoy in a fleet of herring nets (Sh. 1974).
†3. A tree left standing when cutting timber.Cld. 1794 J. Naismith Agric. Cld. 41:
It has long been the custom to leave 20 or 25 select trees, called reserves or witters, in an acre, at each cutting.
4. In Curling: the mark aimed at, the tee (Sc. 1811 J. Ramsay Curling 4; Ayr. 1930).Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 166:
Next Robin o' Mains, a leader good, Close to the witter drew.Rnf. 1805 G. MacIndoe Poems 57:
Then down the port like a king's cutter, Your stane'll slide into the whitter.Kcb. 1815 J. Gerrond Works 111:
Wha now will hin' han' clear the witter?
Combs.: (1) wutter length, used adv., as far as the tee; (2) witter-shot, a shot that sends the curling stone exactly to the tee (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 184, 1905 E.D.D.).(1) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 65:
Old wary curlers won't waste stones on the guards. They sail them past the sentinels, nigh witter length.(2) Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 29:
Their outer and their inner wicks, And witter shot.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Witter v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Feb 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/witter_v1_n1>