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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.

TOUT, v.1, n.1 Also toute, toot. Dim. and freq. forms touter, toot(t)er, toutle, toot(t)le. [′tut(ər, -əl)]

I. v. 1. As in Eng., to blow on a horn. Sc. phrs. and derivs.: (1) touter, (i) a horn, trumpet, freq. of a toy trumpet (Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS.; n.Sc., em.Sc.(a) 1972); †(ii) one who blows a horn, esp. a public cow-herd who used a horn to drive his animals; (iii) a liar, braggart (w.Lth. 1972); (iv) transf. and jocularly: an animal's horn; (2) touteroo, = (1) (i) (ne.Sc. 1972); (3) toutie, = (1) (ii); ¶(4) touting birk, a birch coppice where hunters assembled at the sound of a horn; (5) touting horn, a cow's horn sounded by a cow-herd in driving his animals (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 450); fig. a foreman or gaffer who passes on orders from above (Bnff. 1972); (6) touting-trumpet, a pitch-pipe (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); (7) to tout on anither horn, to change the subject, take up another topic; (8) to tout (on) one's ain horn, -trumpet, to boast, brag about oneself (n., em., wm., s.Sc. 1972).(1) (i) Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) ix.:
Ye'll hear Gabriel's tuter juist i' the noo.
(ii) Mry. 1865 W. Tester Poems 140:
We'll miss his horn sadly i' the toon, We hae nae touter left us noo to blow.
Kcd. 1898 Brit. Weekly (18 Aug.) 302:
A “tooter” or herd-boy, who collected the live stock of the people in the morning and drove them to the common pasture land.
(iv) Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 39:
Twa touters on his temples buckled, As if the auld ane had been cuckold.
(2) Mry. 1865 W. Tester Poems 140:
Gin he blaw as lang the tooteroo.
Abd. 1923 L. Coutts Hotch Potch 16:
Fan Gabril blaws his tooteroo.
Kcd. 1958 Mearns Leader (8 Aug.):
Ey the mannie tootit his tooteroo.
(3) Ags. 1883 W. Jolly J. Duncan 27:
The public cowherd, generally an elderly weather-beaten man, was known throughout Scotland by the title of “Tootie”, from his tooting or winding his horn — a name still attached to places such as “Tootie's Nook”, a street corner where he used to assemble his cattle in an ancient town in Angus.
(4) Slk. 1827 R. Chambers Picture Scot. I. 134:
A clump of birches on the south or opposite side of the hill, called “the Touting Birk”, where, it is conjectured, the hunters would be summoned from the chase.
(5) Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 46:
It is ill making a silk purse of a sow's lug, or a touting horn of a tod's tail.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 67:
The pipers play'd like any touting horn.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 2:
A touting horn (the horn of an ox perforated at the small end), by blowing on which, they made a loud, and not altogether a discordant sound.
Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket 21:
On a shelf were a number of dried rhubarb stalks — these were the school prizes, and very proud was the boy who, for diligence or good conduct, got one of them to make a tootin horn.
Sc. 1879 A. B. Grosart Works of R. Fergusson 146:
The herd's club and touting horn have long been in many places in desuetude.
Per. 1910 in D. R. Kyd Rev. T. Hardy 197:
An ancient touting-horn of battered brass.
(7) Sc. 1844 Songs for the Nursery 39:
Ye've sung brawlie simmer's ferlies, I'll toot on anither horn.
(8) wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 498:
She tootit her ain trumpit, Luckie Nanse Norrie.
Abd. 1926 Trans. Bch. Field Club XIII. 102:
Gin there's onybody can toot his ain horn, it's oor frien' there.

2. tr. and absol. To trumpet, make a noise like a horn, hoot, to blare forth; “to cry by prolonging the voice as when sounding a horn” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); to speak loudly or noisily, to shout (Ork. 1929 Marw.).Ags. a.1823 G. Beattie Poems (1882) 208:
He loutit him, wi' due respeck, An' toutit thro' his hummel neck.
Ags. 1824 J. Bowick Montrose Characters (1880) i. 23:
[He] could tout a verse of merry Tullochgorum.
Slk. 1825–31 Hogg Poems (1865) 343, 399:
The storm-cock touts on his towering pine . . . The wind touts on the mountain's breast.
Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales 64:
Toutin' and rairin' alang like the trumpets o' twenty armies.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 109:
She heard a fell soun' o' tootin' an' rowtin'.

3. To cry plaintively, to sob, to boo-hoo, esp. of a child (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also in Eng. dial. Ppl.adj. toutin, touterin, weepy, given to crying (Abd. 1929).Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 115:
She began to toot an' greet as gin I'd dune her a grievous injury.
Ags. 1897 Bards Ags. (Reid) 465:
Toutin' Tib got twa new frocks.

4. To mutter, mumble to oneself (Knr. 1825 Jam., tooter).

5. tr. To spread abroad as a report, to blab, proclaim, broadcast (Sc. 1825 Jam.), also with up; intr. to gossip, babble in a thoughtless manner (Bnff., Per., Ayr. 1880 Jam., toot(t)er, toot(t)le; Abd. 1969, tout(er)), vbl.n., ppl.adj. toutin, tootteran, -in, toottlan, -in (Gregor). Hence touter, tootter, a gossiping person, a scandal monger.Ayr. 1788 J. Lapraik Poems 37:
Till your kind Muse, wi' friendly blast, First tooted up my fame.
Rnf. c.1803 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 33:
Ilk rising generation toots his fame.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 194:
She's naething bit a mere tootter; and the hail thing 'ill seen be the claik o' the queentryside. He toottert (about) it, he toottert it oot. The tootteran an' spykan it they keepit aboot that.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 258:
It was tootit owre a' the kintra-side in a gliff.

II. n. 1. As in Eng., a blast on a horn. Sc. proverbial phrs. a new tout on (or in, out o) an auld horn, an auld tout in a new horn, an old idea or piece of news dressed up as new.Sc. 1706 Charitable Observations on Forbes' Treatise on Tithes 53:
A new Tout out of an old Horn.
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 13:
An auld tout in a new horn.
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxvii.:
There are, as I have proved in my book, Puritans of papistical principles — it is just a new tout on an auld horn.

2. A boast, brag, puff (Sc. 1887 Jam.).Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 55:
But tho' the tout o' fame may please you, Letna the flatt'rin' ghaist o'erheeze you.

3. In dim. forms touter, toutle, trivial gossip, tittle-tattle (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 194, Bnff. 1972); silly empty talk.Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories 41:
He rav't aboot prowlin' roon' his gairden at nicht, jist a lot o' tooter.
Abd. 1971:
I jist cam in to gie ye a bit touter.

[O.Sc. toote, to call aloud, 1653, to blow a horn, 1682, E.M.E. to(u)te, to sound, (of) a horn, M.L.Ger. tuten, id., of echoic orig.]

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"Tout v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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