kittle

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English kitelen, from Old English citelian (to tickle), from Proto-Germanic *kitilōną, frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *kitōną (to tickle), from Proto-Indo-European *geid- (to stick, jab, tickle). Cognate with Dutch kittelen, kietelen (to tickle), Low German kettelen, ketelen (to tickle), German kitzeln (to tickle), Icelandic kitla (to tickle), Swedish kittla, kittsla, Danish kildre and perhaps Old Armenian կիծ- (kic-, to sting, bite). Compare tickle.

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

kittle (third-person singular simple present kittles, present participle kittling, simple past and past participle kittled)

  1. (transitive, Scotland and Northern England) To tickle, to touch lightly.

Adjective[edit]

kittle (comparative kittler, superlative kittlest)

  1. (Scotland and Northern England) Ticklish.
  2. (Scotland and Northern England) Not easily managed; troublesome; difficult; variable.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English kitelen, from Norwegian kjetla (to bring forth young), equivalent to kit +‎ -le.

Verb[edit]

kittle (third-person singular simple present kittles, present participle kittling, simple past and past participle kittled)

  1. (intransitive, Scotland and Northern England) To bring forth young, as a cat; to kitten; to litter.

References[edit]

  • kittle in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • Northumberland Words, English Dialect Society, R. Oliver Heslop, 1893–4[1]
  • A List of words and phrases in everyday use by the natives of Hetton-le-Hole in the County of Durham, F.M.T.Palgrave, English Dialect Society vol.74, 1896, [2]
  • Todd's Geordie Words and Phrases, George Todd, Newcastle, 1977[3]