Annaker's midden n. a mess, a shambles
The Scottish National Dictionary's (SND) earliest example of the above phrase used in this sense from Central Scotland in 1962. This was firstly interpretated in SND as â€˜a knacker's midden'. Later research, recorded in the SND's 2005 Supplement, suggested that it originated instead from: â€œAnnacker's, a Glasgow pork butcher from 1853 to 1942; their messy bins were frequently raked through by the poorâ€.
Michael Munro in his Patter Another Blast from 1988 traces the origin to a firm of pork butchers, sausage makers, and ham curers: â€œFounded in 1853, at its height it was a chain of sixteen branches all over the city. The company also owned a sausage factory the last location of which was Naipiershall Street (near St . George's Cross). The People's Palace has in its collection the shop sign from the Bridgeton Cross Branch.â€
A quotation from Edinburgh in 1959 shows that as it spread eastwards, the phrase had developed an extended meaning: â€œThere's the Knacker's midden at it again. Said of a person who is voracious.â€
However, the original meaning of a scene of general chaos is still very much with us, as illustrated by an example from a guide to Scottish speech in the Daily Mail of 16 September 2005: â€œANNACKER'S MIDDEN: A mess, a dreadful muddle.â€. Greg Hempill and Ford Kiernan writing in Still Game from 2004 describe a house after a â€˜flitting' as: â€œLook at this. It's like Annicker's Midden.â€
Scots Word of the Week is written by Pauline Cairns Speitel of Scottish Language Dictionaries