Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TUITH, n. Also teeth as sing. (Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 49; Ayr. 1834 Galt Liter. Life III. 19; m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 303; Abd. 1874 N. Maclean Life Nth. Univ. 16; Wgt. 1878 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 188, Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) 47; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson, Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Sh., n.Sc., Ags., Dmf. 1973). Dim. teethie (Ayr. 1883 W. Aitken Lays 133). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. tooth. An unusual feature of the word is the form teeth as a sing. used far beyond the dialect areas where the vowel would normally coincide with that of the pl. as the development of O.E. ō, viz. n.Sc., w.Per. and e.Dmf. Outside those areas teeth sing. appears to have developed from such alternative forms as teethy, teethache, teeth and nail, where the pl. is properly intended, but where the sing. form tooth is more usual. It is not therefore always possible to distinguish teeth sing. from teeth pl. contextually. Deriv. tuithsome, toothsome, tasty (Fif. 1909 J. C. Craig Sangs o' Bairns 76). [m.Sc. tøθ, tɪθ, tiθ, n.Sc. tiθ]

1. Sc. form of Eng. tooth (teeth as sing.) (teeth Ork., Cai., Bnff., Edb. 2000s). Hebr 1983 Christine Marion Fraser Children of Rhanna (1989) 27:
'If it's no' them losin' themselves it's my teeths playin' hide-and-seek wi' me.'
Hebr 1983 Christine Marion Fraser Children of Rhanna (1989) 61:
... her lined old face was serene even though she had left her 'teeths' steeping in a glass by her bedside.
Abd. 2004:
She hid a teeth haaled oot.

Sc. combs., derivs. and phrs.: (1) ill-teethed, ill-humoured, having a bad temper (Fif. 1825 Jam.); (2) in spite of one's teeth, despite, notwithstanding one's wishes or efforts, in defiance of (someone). Gen.Sc. Now only dial. in Eng.; (3) on teeth, in mining: see quot.; (4) to hae a' one's (back) teeth up, to be no novice or fool, to be shrewd and astute, not to be easily imposed on (Abd. 1973); (5) tuithache, teethhac(k), toothache. Gen.Sc.; (6) tuithfu(l), teethfu, (i) n., a very small quantity of food or drink, a mouthful, esp. of liquor (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D., teethfu). Gen.Sc.; ¶(ii) v., to drink in small quantities, to tipple; (7) tuithrife, teeth-, agreeable to the taste, palatable (Ags., Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (8) tuith tuil, a mason's chisel or punch with a serrated edge used for the second dressing of stones (Fif., Bwk., Rxb. 1973). Also teether, id. (Fif. 1973); (9) tuithy, teethie, -y, adj., (i) having sharp, fierce teeth, and hence ravenous, devouring, lit. and fig.; (ii) sharp in manner, tart, critical, biting, acrimonious, ill-natured (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif., Lnl., wm.Sc., Wgt. 1973). Adv. teethily, testily, cantankerously (Per. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial.; (iii) of weather: cold, biting, sharp, frosty (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Lnl. 1973).(2) Sc. 1725 State of the Case, Parish of Marbottle:
By giving them a Minister in spite of their Teeth.
Sc. c.1800 Jamie Telfer in Child Ballads No. 190. A. xxix.:
But I'll drive Jamie Telfer's kye In spite o Jamie Telfer's teeth and thee.
Slk. 1830 Hogg Tales (1866) 212:
That's the place where the spirit tried to take me in spite o' my teeth.
(3) Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 66:
Miners speak of their coal face being teethed or on teeth when it is advancing half and half plane.
(5) s.Sc. 1840 Tait's Mag. (Dec.) 785:
She's sair fas'hd wi' the teethac.
Mry. 1887 A. G. Wilken Peter Laing 22:
I learn't it throu' my mither takin' the teethick.
Ags. 1889 J. Fotheringham Carnoustie Sk. 82:
I think it wad cure the teethache tae.
Sh. 1898 J. Nicolson Aithstin' Hedder 14:
It's dis confoundit teethache.
Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 22:
The movin' feelin' is like the teethache.
Abd. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 18:
Fan his missus wis ull wi' the teethache.
Edb. 1936 F. Niven Old Soldier xiv.:
I'm like a body after the teeth-ache.
(6) (i) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 212:
Tho' lairds take toothfu's o' my warming sap.
Per. a.1843 J. Stewart Sketches (1857) 71:
Doon went a toothfu' . . . A thumblefu' mair.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine at Exhibition 47:
He ca'd for anither toothfu'.
Abd. 1922 Weekly Free Press (21 Jan.) 3:
Fess ben th' bottle an' gi'e Hilly a teeth fu'.
(ii) Sc. 1891 R. Ford Thistledown 127:
I've toothfu'd awa' at it [whisky] this sixty year, an' I'm aye livin' yet.
(9) (i) Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 160:
At his expense our teethy faes are fed.
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 188:
Though puir folk's bairns are unco toothie, Their feeding's sma'.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 70:
Now Autumn drives his fiery car along the field, And the golden wands before his toothy sickle yield.
(ii) Ayr. 1787 Burns Willie's Anna vi.:
Toothy critics by the score.
Sc. 1824 S. Ferrier Inheritance xxiv.:
‘I suspect that's your case', retorted Miss in a very toothy manner.
Per. 1897 P. R. Drummond Bygone Days 81:
The Colonel said teethily, “I will thank you to sign that letter of demission.”
Lnk. 1895 W. C. Fraser Whaups 157:
A terrible sherp teethy creatur'.
Kcd. 1900 W. Gairdner Glengoyne II. 99:
Mony o' them gat a wee teethy tu and teld the Frees that they hed gaen clean daft about naething.
Sc. 1952 Sporting Post (4 Oct.) 3:
The game became a teethy affair and Ashe and Rodger were both booked by the referee.
Fif. 1955 St Andrews Cit. (28 May) 2:
An absence of real teethy heckling.

2. The fragment of the lower end of a rainbow seen near the horizon and taken to be a sign of bad weather (Mry., Bnff., Abd. 1973). See also Wolf. Comb. a Buckie man's tooth, id.Abd. 1924 J. Hunter MS. Diary (7 April):
Glass falling and some teeths looks some like a change.
Abd. 1969 Scots Mag. (March) 562:
A Buckieman's tooth. — A fragment of rainbow over the sea from whence would come a storm.
Abd. 1990:
Fin ye see a teeth ye can be sure o rain.

3. In pl. with def. art: the six in dominoes (Ags. 1973).

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Tuith n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: