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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ITHER, adj., pron., adv. Also idder (Sh., ne.Sc.), edder (Bnff. 1949 Banffshire Jnl. (8 Nov.)), ether, aither (See P.L.D. § 35).  Sc. forms and usages of Eng. other. See also Tither. [Sc. ′ɪðɛr, Sh., ne.Sc. ′ɪdɪr, s.Sc. ′ðɛr]

I. Sc. forms of Eng. other.wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 8:
"Faither, if you dinnae keep a place warm at the mill for me, it'll pass us by after you've gone to some ither family and we'll be left wi' nothin' but the rigs."
e.Lth. 1883 J. Martine Reminiscences 91:
They ca' ane of them Donna Majewel, the aither Donna Pedero.
Fif. 1946 J. C. Forgan Maistly 'Muchty 14:
Dauvit an' his harp an' sic like aither sages.
Abd. 1991 David Ogston in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 118:
Some ither day, faan I get helpit
Fae a hearse, they'll be bumbased
At sic a smooth performance.
'He's deen't afore,' they'll say.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 19:
Cam ye fae some idder warl,
Mysterious, oonchancy cat,
A speerit-craiter athoot faat,
To me, a feel, roch human carl?
Sh. 1993 New Shetlander Sep 22:
"I hae need of a roof ower my head and maet set afore me" he said "and a bed on the laft to lay me doon wid suit me fine and I hae money enyoch for any idder needs. ... "

Sc. usages:

I. adj. 1. Esp. with def. art. or before a numeral: further, additional, successive, more. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Now obs. or dial. in Eng.Wgt. 1725 Session Rec. Whithorn MS. (6 May):
To Jean Stewart . . . 00 12 0 To other two people . . 00 02 0
Edb. c.1730 W. Mitchell Tinklarian 10:
The king was turn'd canty with the other gill.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To J. Smith ii.:
And ev'ry ither pair [of shoes] that's done, Mair taen I'm wi' you.
m.Lth. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 120:
An' gin you will nae mair your laddie scorn, I'll maybe bring you ither ten the morn.
Abd. 1847 G. Rust Poems 110:
Buildin' up the ither shell O' iron ships.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 100:
An aye the ither stoup gaed roun'.
Ags. 1887 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 141:
Auld Ebenezer toddled oot an' in, gettin' aye the ither bit troke dune for him.
Sc. 1902 P. H. Brown Hist. Scot. II. 363:
The victory of Worcester . . . shortened the reign of Charles [II] by other nine years.

2. Combs.: (1) ithergates, (a) otherwise; (b) elsewhere (em.Sc.(a) 1958); (2) itherroads, = (1) (a) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lnk., Uls. 1958); (3) ither some, pron., some others, others. Arch. or dial. in Eng.; (4) itherwhere(s), adv., elsewhere, in or to another place (n.Sc., m.Lth., Lnk., Kcb. 1958); (5) otherwhiles, at other times (Sc. 1903 E.D.D.; Abd., Ags., Uls. 1958); (6) itherwise, -wyse, otherwise, in another manner. Gen.Sc. See also III.(3) Ayr. 1792 Burns John, come Kiss i.:
And ither some will kiss and daut.
Sc. 1827 W. Motherwell Minstrelsy 298:
Some of them has roosed their hawks, And other some their hounds.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 104:
Some tak' their seats, and ithersome Stan' chattin' wi' their joes.
Cld. 1882 A. Nimmo Cld. Songs 110:
When old John Knox and other some Began to plott the bags of Rome.
(4) Ayr. 1786 Burns Ep. to Davie vii.:
There's wit there, ye'll get there, Ye'll find nae other where.
Cai. 1896 J. Horne Canny Countryside 48:
His mind's aye itherwheres fan it should be here.
Fif. 1933 J. Ressich Thir Braw Days 44:
If things wis poorly here they micht be a thocht brichter ither-where.
(6) Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 58:
When I was young I thocht itherwise.

II. pron.

Sc. forms of Eng. other.wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 58:
Wis Ah right or wis Ah wrang, eh Mither?
This treachery must convince ye o' the ither,
Sc. 1991 Roderick Watson in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 108:
There's ithers o us hae become
Godly baillies, lairds and maisters,
ne.Sc. 1996 Charles G. Morrice in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 58:
Yet Settler man, though ye've changes rung,
It's nae you that's be-deviling the mither tongue.
The feerin that's been plooed be you,
Is bein "pan-loafed" be ethers noo.

1. recipr.: each other, one another (‡Sh., ne.Sc., w., sm. and s.Sc., Uls. 1958).Sc. 1710 R. Sibbald Fife & Knr. (1803) 77:
After they had viewed other a while, the Scots fell in upon them with a loud shout.
Abd. 1755 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 34:
They might aet ither . . . for ony thing that I car'd.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 221:
But hear their absent thoughts o' ither.
Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 32:
Sin' we twa thus began to crack wi' ither.
Edb. 1864 W. Fergusson Poems 55:
But ithers' thochts we weel could read, And ithers' hearts divine.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Lookin' at ither like daft folk.
Uls. 1897 A. M'Ilroy When Lint was in the Bell v.:
Fallin' doon on the grun', rowin ower ither a time or twa, an' then jumpin' up, shootin' “Hallelujah”?
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood ix.:
Me and the minister has something to say to ither.
Abd. 1993:
E loons in e faimly's affa lik ither.

Phrs.: (1) aither wi ither, one with the other, together (of two); (2) in o ither, together, in(to) one compacted whole (Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1958); into grips. To lat in o ither, to allow to fight (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 101); (3) out o ither, apart, in(to) pieces, in disorder or disintegration, the opposite of (2) (Cai., ne.Sc., Per. 1958); (4) through or throw ither, see Throughither.(1) Cld. 1887 Jam.:
Jist see thae twa aither wi' ither how thai gae on!
(2) Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 38:
Gin they wid learn them 'at they cud pit a troch in o' idder.
ne.Sc. 1958:
The twa dogs flew in o ither.
(3) Bnff. 1866 W. Knight Auld Yule 10:
The puir scawt duds upon my back Are hinging oot o' ither.
Abd.29 1952:
Ye'll hae tae get redd o that aul' cheer, it's a' hingin' oot-o-idder.

2. Each preceding one, of a sequence, esp. in phr. eftir ither, †ithers, in turn, in succession, one after another (n. and em.Sc., Lnk., Slk. 1958). Obs. in Eng.Edb. 1728 Private MS. per wm.Sc.1:
I past to the mercate cross of [Edinburgh], pear and shoar of Leith respective and successive ane after others and there at each one of the said respective places after my crying of three severall oyeses open proclamations.
Ags. 1897 G. A. Mackay Where the Heather Grows 165:
Ane efter ither, the lads I kent tak' their ain wye.
Abd. 1993:
Jist tick em aff aifter ither.

3. As pl.: others, other people [the orig. pl. form, now obs. in Eng., O.E. ōðre].Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis s.v. hoppand:
In some places of Scotland they call it Hipping, in other Happing.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 98:
The lasses look'd what ither had Roun' them o' braw clouts on O' claise that day.
Abd. 1899 W. Geddes J. Geddes 46:
Deil hurry them 'at hurries ither.

III. Used adv.: otherwise, else (I., n., e. and wm.Sc., Uls. 1958). Ony ither, nae(thing) ither, anything (nothing) else; nae ither o't, nothing else for it; what (fat) ither, what else? naturally, of course (ne. and wm.Sc. 1958); ither as much, as much again. See also I. 2.Ayr. 1786 Burns Jolly Beggars Song iii. iii.:
But what could ye other expect Of ane that's avowedly daft?
Abd. 1787 A. Shirrefs Jamie & Bess v. i.:
'Bout naething ither maist he thinks or speaks.
Gsw. 1858 G. Roy Generalship 16:
Although it should cost him ither as much as he had lost.
Abd. 1868 G. Macdonald R. Falconer i. xx.:
“Is he yer brither, than?” asked Robert. “Ay, what ither?”
Lnk. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 141:
I had nae ither o't but swallow my mortification.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (10 March):
We öt dem, av coorse. What idder wir we gaen ta dü. . . . Der nae idder for hit.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 205:
Far are ye gaun? Turra! Far sorra idder?
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 12:
Catch a dominie deein ony idder.
Bnff. 1956 Banffshire Jnl. (21 Aug.):
Sometimes fin I hae naething ither tae dee.

[The i forms are not found in O.Sc. which has gen. uther, O.E. ōðer. This suggests that there was a shortening of the vowel at the ui [ø:, y:] stage with unrounding, as in Brither, Fit, Mither. Cf. P.L.D. § 35.]

Ither adj., pron., adv.

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"Ither adj., pron., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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