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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CHITTERIN' BIT, -BITE, -CHOW, CHITTERIN(G) PIECE, n. comb. A piece of bread, biscuit, etc., eaten after bathing (Bnff.2 (-bit), Abd.16, Fif.13, Slg.3, Edb.1, Arg.1, Kcb.1 (-bite) 1940; Slk.1 1929, -chow; chitterin bite Gsw., Ayr. 2000s. Also chitter-bite (Fif.10 1940). Cf. Chatterin(g)-bit(e), and Chitteriechatterie above.Sc. 1979 Maurice Lindsay Collected Poems 128:
The same reflected sky, the same blue shout
through which a bather plunges, and runs out,
his sticky shin rubbed dry with towelled grit,
a gravelly biscuit for his chittering bit.
Slg. 1935 W. D. Cocker Further Poems 33–34:
Plump in whaur the billows invite; But, gin ye'd keep clear o' the hoast, Ye'll remember yer chitterin'-bite.
w.Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. chitter:
Boys are wont to call that bit of bread, which they preserve for eating after bathing, a chittering piece. [Also chitterin piece, — chow (Jam.6 s.v. chiver).]
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake, etc. 122:
The dives frae aff the laich spring-board, . . . The glory o' the “chitterin' bit,” Wi' hunger kitchen'd sweet.
Gsw. 1999 Anne Donovan in Moira Burgess and Donny O'Rourke New Writing Scotland 17: Friends and Kangaroos 35:
Here you are, hen, your chitterin bite.
Inside were two jammy pieces, wan for me and wan for Agnes, tae eat efter the swimmin on the way alang the road, a chitterin bite, no enough tae fill your belly, just something tae stave aff the chitterin cauld when you come oot the baths.

[First element from Chitter, v.]

Chitterin' Bit n. comb.

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"Chitterin' Bit n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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