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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.

EMMERTEEN, n. The ant (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 43; Bnff., Abd. 1946). Also emerteen; emmertine, emertie (Mry.1 1925); emart (Id.; Abd. (Deeside) 1948 (per Abd.27)); ¶emeret (Ags.19 1950); ? enanteen (Abd. 1825 Jam.2). [′ɛmərtin, -əin, ′ɛmert(e)]Abd. 1855 Bnffsh. Jnl. (9 Oct.) 4:
Some old fool, who . . . may have found some creeping things there, which, after all, were most likely only “emmertines”.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 147:
The ant was called “emerteen”, and when on being disturbed it was seen carrying off its eggs it was supposed to be its horse, and the following words were repeated: — “Emerteen, emerteen, laden yir horse, Yir father and yir mither is ded in Kinloss.”
Bch. 1950 Bch. Observer (22 Aug.):
An emerteen's byke . . . is aften in a great commotion; but the wee beasties ken to keep a soun' reef abeen their heids if there's ony signs o' rain.

Comb.: emmerteen's meat, the heath bedstraw, Galium saxatile (Abd. 1937 (per Abd.16)).

[Prob. for emmet, with intrusive r, + dim. suff. -in(g). Cf. Eemock, id.]

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"Emmerteen n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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