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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.

SLIDDER, v., n. Also slither; sluther (Per. 1897 C. R. Dunning Folk-Lore 6); sclidder, sklidder, sclither, sklither. [′slɪdər, -ðər, ′skl-]

I. v. 1. intr. (1) To slip, slide, slither (Rxb. 1825 Jam., sclidder, -ther; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Rxb. 1942 Zai, sklidder; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1970).Rnf. a.1810 R. Tannahill Poems (1910) 126:
Smiling, leuk back, an slidder down, Tae rise again.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 278:
Ane o' their horses . . . slidders awa doun a bank, and gets jammed into a snaw-stall.
Ags. c.1860 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XIV. 260:
He's gruppin' at ane [trout] by the tail — Eh, there it's sclidder't oot.
Per. 1895 I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 142:
The soople, slidderin' body o't [a trout].
Sh. 1896 J. Burgess L. Biglan's Mutch 57:
I couldn't stand sliddering about upun a yard above a boiling sirf.
Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Frae the Heather 156:
That fain wad climb, but stachers aye And slidders back.
m.Sc. 1928 O. Douglas Ann and her Mother ix.:
If the whole hypothic didna slidder oot o' ma hand on to the grund.

(2) To walk or move in a casual, sauntering manner, to walk with a lazy, lounging gait (Ayr. 1930; Ags., wm.Sc. 1970); to slip away, to “get a move on”, take oneself off.s.Sc. 1885 W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 256:
The ither mun slidder up to Abbotsford and tell your uncle Tam.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Cleg Kelly xxix.:
Slidderin' alang by the hill dyke wi' his hands in his pooches.
Ags. 1904 E.D.D.:
Dod, man, I'll need to slidder.

2. tr. and intr. (1) To slur one's words in speaking, “to pronounce indistinctly in consequence of speaking with rapidity” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (2) to delay, put off, procrastinate (Kcd. 1825 Jam.).

3. tr. (1) To cause to slip or slide (Sh., Ags. 1970).Ayr. 1833 Galt Howdie, etc. (1923) 68:
The advocate . . . sliddered back his chair from the breakfast table.

¶(2) to make slippery, cover with a slippery substance, to frost over.Kcb. 1838 R. Kerr Maggie o' Moss (1891) 60:
He slidder'd the pavements a' aboot, To break folks' legs an' arms.

II. n. 1. A sliding, slithering movement , a slip, skid (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., ne.Sc. (sclidder), Per., Lth., wm.Sc., Kcb. 1970).Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life II. 124:
Every step I forward ettled, A backward slidder whelp'd or kittled.

2. Ice, an icy surface (ne.Sc., Ags. 1970); a slide of ice (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Abd. 1922 Weekly Free Press (28 Jan.) 3:
Gin there be slidder or sic like, Aw canna pit oot ma fit ava.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iii.:
Naething noo bit tangles abeen yer heid an' slidder aneth yer feet.

3. A narrow steep hollow or track running down a hill-side, esp. when covered with loose stones, a scree (Lth. 1825 Jam., sclithers; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; s.Sc. 1970); one of such stones.Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 103:
Thro' heather, sclithers, bogs, an' rashes.
Rxb. 1845 T. Aird Old Bachelor 176:
Tearing and wearing his corduroys, up trees and down “slidders”.
Sc. 1884 T. Speedy Sport in Highlands 220:
Owing to their [ptarmigans'] reluctance to rise, they will often be seen running among the grey stones or “sclithers”.
m.Sc. 1898 J. Buchan John Burnet iii. v.:
We were now descending a steep hillside, all rough with sklidders.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
He threw a sklidder at 'im.
Slk. 1949 W. Addison Ettrick Verse 27:
The third bomb gaur'd the sclidders flee In shoors o' fell hailstanes.

4. A slow-moving or dilatory person, a sluggard, “snail” (wm.Sc. 1970).Ork. 1894 W. R. Mackintosh Peat-fires 108:
Ane micht as weel speak to the stane wa', th'u are sicna slither.

5. In deriv. form slidderum, a “slippery”, smooth-tongued insincere person (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also attrib. = wheedling, fawning (Id.).

6. The movable parts of a slide-rule. The rhyme however is with dividers and the word is prob. a misprint for slider.m.Lth. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 44:
A boxwood scale, wi' slidders.

[A variant form, now only dial. in Eng., of the later slither (see D, 4.), O.E. slid(e)rian. The n. may however be in part at least a subst. use of the O.Sc. adj. slidder, c.1460, O.E. slidor, slippery.]

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"Slidder v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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