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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

NETHER, n. Also naither, neddar (Sc. 1880 Jam.), -er, -ir. The adder, Vipera berus (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 399, Cai. 1964); fig. an ill-natured or irritable person (Uls. 1924 Northern Whig (21 Jan.)). See also Ether, n.2 For comb. nether's neb, see Neb, n., 1., Combs. (7). [′nɛðər, ′nɛd-]Knr. 1895 H. Haliburton Dunbar 60:
The day — it's stinging like a nether.
Ags. 1920 A. Gray Songs 17:
I saw your hert, wi' channerin' neddars there.
Cai. 1952 Edb. John o' Groats Lit. Soc.:
What if we lifted a peat with a “hairy brotag” on't, or worse still — a “nether”?
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 148:
'No sign o a fox?'
'I found a nether's skin,' pipes up a young Campbell.

[O.Sc. neddyr, id., c.1450, O.E. nœdre.]

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"Nether n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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