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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CUITTLE, COOTLE, v.3 “To put to rights” (Gall. 1898 E.D.D., cootle); “to improve the draw of (a tobacco-pipe); to brighten or polish up (an article)” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); to stimulate, invigorate. Gen. used with up.Rxb. c.1920 J. Allen W.-L.:
Can ye cuittle this watch up for me?
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
He was gey hard up [in poor health], but got cuittl't up again. Cuittle up the fire.

[Etym. obscure, but phs. as Cuittle, v.2 There seems to have been a confusion in phonetic development between a form *cuttle, of unknown origin (? Cuttle), and Kittle, v.1, to tickle (O.N. kitla), which resulted in an interchange of forms and meanings of the two words, kittle being common to n. and cuittle to s.Sc. Cf. Cuittle, v.1 and Cuittle, v.2 and see Kittle, v.1 Norw. dial. forms kitla, kutta, tickle, show a similar vowel change.]

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"Cuittle v.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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