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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.

-UM, suff. Also -im, -om, -am, -em, and in pl. forms with -s, esp. in children's language. [-əm]

1. Added to noun or verb stems to form nouns with dim. or hypocoristic force, as in Breekums, brinkum s.v. Brinkie, Didderums, Doldrum, Fegrim, Ginkum, Groatum, Keekum, Leggums, Nickum, quirklum s.v. Quirk, scoudrum s.v. Scowder, etc. Cf. colloq. or childish Eng. diddums.

2. Used to form advs. as in legim, astride, s.v. Leg. Rare.

[A formation, prob. orig. jocular, based in 1. on Lat. -um, neuter ending of -o- stems, partly an altered form of -in(g)s, vbl.n. ending, in 2. on O.E. -um, adv. ending, as in Whilom.]

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"-um suffix". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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