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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SHOTTLE, n. Also shottel(l), shotle, shuttle. [ʃotl]

1. A small inner compartment fitted at the top of one of the shorter sides of a trunk, chest, tool-box, etc., usu. with a lid or sometimes with a drawer, in which small articles, money, trinkets or papers could be kept (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, Rxb. 1942 Zai, shuttle; Ork., Cai., Inv., Mry., Fif., em.Sc.(b), Lnk., Arg., Gall. 1970). Also attrib.Abd. 1720 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VIII. 44:
For putting in seven shott ells [sic] into my chist for keeping peapers, etc.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
When the lid of the shuttle is opened, it holds up that of the kist.
Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 195:
In for another nievefu' o' siller frae the shuttle o' the kist.
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe i.:
The weel picket pennyworth ye hae laid by in the shuttle o' my gran'-mother's kist.
Ayr. 1895 H. Ochiltree Redburn xii.:
From a drawer under the ‘shottel', Kirsty produced next a pair of white cotton gloves and a pair of stockings.
Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 50:
The shottle kist was a trunk with a department about six inches deep (called the shottle) fixed at one end, close up to the top, and with a lid on it.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 17:
He teuk them and pat them i' the shuttle o' his kist.

2. A small compartment in a cabinet or set of shelves, a division in a drawer or the like, esp. one in a shop counter, a till (Sc. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1700 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 108:
I have this day ended my shotles and you may expect my catalogue.
Sc. 1711 Edb. Ev. Post (13 Feb.):
Rubbing rubbers, drinking Glasses, jockie Whips, Shotles and Chist of a shop, and other sorts of Grossery Ware.
Sc. 1751 Caled. Mercury (25 April):
The Shop-Table containing 64 Shuttles, and two Drawers, one of 20 Shuttles, the other of 16.
Edb. 1722 Edb. Ev. Courant (21 March):
The shops are neatly fitted up with shelves, shuttles, and counter.
Sc. 1822 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) VII. 280:
Like the inside of an antique cabinet, with drawers and shottles.

[O.Sc. schottill, a small drawer or compartment, 1551. The form suggests a dim. in -le of shot, see note to Shot, n.4 and Shot, n.3 and cf. L.Ger. schot, a drawer. The common notion in these words is that of a sliding partition or shutter, i.e. a board that can be shot to and fro. See also Shot, n.1, 7.]

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"Shottle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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