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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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


1. intr. †(1) With about: “to wag about; spoken of something heavy or unwieldy moving now in one direction, then in another, with an easy motion, as a little child, or an old man” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2).

Hence doddle-doddle, adv., shaking fom side to side, wobbling.Sc. 1920 C. Jerdan Sc. Clerical Stories xviii.:
When he shook his heid i' the poopit, his cheeks gaed doddle-doddle.

(2) To walk feebly or slowly (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940). Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1897 “L. Keith” My Bonnie Lady 56:
It did not seem to him the daft-like thing it was that he, an old, failed man, should be doddling there.

2. tr. To dandle (a child).Gall. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 306:
When they were hotchin or doddlin the weans on their knee.

[Freq. of Dod, v.1, corresponding to dodder. Cf. daddle, s.v. Daidle, v.1, to toddle, and Daidle, v.3 O.Sc. has dodling, toddling, 1590.]

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



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