from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mouse-like creature which, according to folklore, Dutch women who sit over stoves give birth to.
  • n. An abortive scheme.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of false birth, fabled to be produced by Dutch women from sitting over their stoves; also, an abortion, in a figurative sense; an abortive scheme.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of false birth fabled to be produced by Dutch women from sitting over their stoves (Johnson)′ , hence, an abortive scheme or attempt.


Compare German dialect suttern to boil gently. (Wiktionary)



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  • Someone has a -kin list ... c_b? Qroqqa's citation reads like one of sionnach's specials, so this word must be amazing!

    July 9, 2008

  • Cute word, kind of gross etymology.

    July 9, 2008

  • An imaginary kind of afterbirth formerly attributed to Dutch women.

    a1658 CLEVELAND Char. Diurn. Maker (1677) 103 There goes a Report of the Holland Women, that together with their Children, they are delivered of a Sooterkin, not unlike to a Rat, which some imagine to be the Off-spring of the Stoves.

    transf. Chiefly applied to persons in allusive senses (to Dutchman, chimney-sweeps, Negroes etc.)

    Applied to literary compositions, etc., of a supplementary or imperfect character.
    —adapted from OED

    July 8, 2008