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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FITTIE, n., adj. Also fitty (Watson): †futty, footy; fitti, futi (Jak.); feetoo (Ork.).

I. n. 1. Dim. of Fit, n.1, a foot. Now mostly n.Sc. Double dim. form fittiekin.Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 230:
A wae be to you for a 'orse . . . setting your muckle iron lufe on my bairn's wee fittie.
Lth. 1882 “J. Strathesk” Blinkbonny 183:
I wad gladly gi'e my “stockin' fittie.”
Abd. 1886 Folk-Lore Jnl. IV. 143:
The mother takes hold of the child's feet, and imitates the motion of walking, repeating: — “Fittiekins, fittiekins. Fan will ye gyang?”

2. The pupil at the foot of the class, the dunce (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ags.19, Rxb. 1951). Also attrib.Dmf. a.1909 in A. Mackie Readings in Mod. Sc. (1913) 217:
The hale o' the schule an' the half o' the folk Made a nickname, an' ca'd him at ance “Fittie Jock.”

3. Extended to denote “an imaginary personage, of an extremely useless nature” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 204).Ib.:
Ye're as useless as fittie. Ye can do a certain job “nae mair than fittie.”

4. = Fittock, 1. (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh., Mry. 1951). In this sense the form feetoo is also found in Ork. (Ork.5 1951).

5. A person with deformed feet (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.).

6. “Used by school-boys or young people, to denote the state of the foot, when they have stepped into mud, or, in their own language, when it is covered with glaur” (Lth. 1825 Jam.), phs. because of its resemblance to 4. above.

7. In comb. footy-arse. The little footy” arse is the little grebe, Podiceps ruficollis (Ork. a.1795 G. Low Fauna Orcadensis (1813) 97), so called from the legs being set far back. Cf. futinas s.v. Fit, n.1, v.1, III. 45.

II. adj. Nimble, agile, sure-footed (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry, Gl., futty; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 204; Kcb.4 1900; Dmf. 1951). Used as a n. for the name of a dog.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems 63:
But Jackanapes and snarling Fitty Are grown sae wicked.
Cld. 1818 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 328:
The fittie fairies liftit her, Aneth them cluve the yird.
Ayr. 1823 Galt in Blackwood's Mag. (Oct.) 468:
But at the time I did na begrudge that liberality on my part, having so footy and well-going a beast for my bethank.
Rxb. 1848 R. Davidson Leaves 194:
Hae, there's a morsel, honest fittie, Ye're now grown auld, the mair's the pity.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowl. Hills 63:
Nae doot I hae the boolin hairt, But on the green I'm ocht but fitty.
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 114:
Orra sma fittie baists fimmer an flirr
On her flagstanes.

[From Fit, n.1, v.1 with -ie, dim. or adj. ending.]

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"Fittie n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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