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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TAMMAS, prop.n. Also Thammas. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. Thomas. See Tam, prop.n., and P.L.D. § 54. Now obsol. as a proper name. [′tɑməs]

1. A fool, a simpleton (Cai. 1934). Cf. Eng. dial. Tommy, id.

2. The puffin, Fratercula arctica (Nai. 1850 Zoologist VIII. 2908). See also Tammie and Combs.

3. The star-fish, Ophiura nigra, the sand-star (Abd. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.).

4. In comb. T(h)ammas mass, St. Thomas's Day, the 21st of December, on which Shetlanders formerly abstained from both work and amusement.Sh. 1888 Edmondston & Saxby Home of a Naturalist 136:
For the breaking o' Thammasmass nicht, Five nichts afore Yule.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 197:
This is Tammasmass E'en, and the day following is Tammasmass Day, in which no manner of work can be done.

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"Tammas prop. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



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