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
  • 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, [1]
  • Todd's Geordie Words and Phrases, George Todd, Newcastle, 1977[2]