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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

NETHER, adj., adv. Also n(e)ither, nithir; nedder, nidder (Jam.). Sc. forms and usages. [′nɛðər, Abd. + ′nɛd-]

I. adj. Lower, under (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. in Douglas Aeneis, nithir, nidder, 1808 Jam., nither; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., nedder; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 256; Bwk. 1942 Zai; I. and ne.Sc. 1964, nedder). Now mainly in place-names, of the lower-sited of two roads, farms, etc., e.g. Netherbow, Nethergate, Nether Mains, etc. Only liter. when applied to things in Eng.Peb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Tweeddale (1815) 171:
An herd's house called Blair-Bog; and then Romanno Grange, over and nether.
Bnff. 1723 Ann. Banff (S.C.) I. 195:
Bracco's Uper and Neither Guishaughs.
Wgt. 1747 Session Bk. Glasserton MS. (1 March):
Jannet McCandlish, housekeeper to William Credie in Neither Arrn.
Abd. 1151 W. Anderson Rhymes 121:
At the nethergate wall By Saint Mary's aisle.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags li.:
They unrove the nether rope and drew little Margaret up to the bank.
Sc. 1926 H. M'Diarmid Drunk Man 2:
But aince I get them there I'll whummle them And souse the craturs in the nether deeps.
Sc. 1963 N.E. Scotland 91:
The spaces in the old settlement pattern were filled with a multiplicity of small units, some of which took the name of the old township and added a prefix to indicate the different site. Easter or Wester, Nether, Mid or Upper are common all over the region.

Combs.: †(1) nether-chafts, the lower jaw. See Chaft; (2) nether-end, the posterior (I. and ne.Sc., Ayr., Uls. 1964); (3) nether ski, see Sky, n.2(1) Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 68:
The piper wants mickle that wants his nether-chafts.
(2) Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 5:
Twa herds upo' the sinny brae Forgathering, straught down on tammocks clap Their nether-ends.
Ayr. 1824 A. Crawford Tales Grandmother 73:
The first salutation that I gat was a whack on my nether end frae ane o' them wi' the braid side o' his claymore.

II. adv. Next below, nearer (Slk. 1825 Jam.). Also in Yks. dial.

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"Nether adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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