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Dictionaries of the Scots Language (DSL) defines intimmers as:


“of a vessel: the inside or outside timbers; of any mechanical contrivance: the internal structure or mechanism; of the human body: the internal organs especially the stomach and bowels”.


An early use comes from Orkney in Hugh Marwick’s Merchant Lairds (1714):


“100 or 200 pieces of crooked oak wood for intimbers of a good bigg [sic] size”.



And we’ve surely all felt this reporter’s pain re the inner workings of computers …


“Noo, wi that staim lattin aff, let me tak ye back tae last wikk's column reca’in mischanters up at the BBC in ma computer intimmers an foo the paper clip wi the starin een cam atween me an ma reason.”

(Press and Journal, 2004)


One can only marvel at the constitution of this individual from John MacTaggart’s Gallovidian Encyclopedia (1824):


“Ned is a really wonderful soul … his intimmers are of the best kind, he can be drunk and sober three times in a day”.



Intimmers is still used to mean innards, as here, again from the Press and Journal (2022):


“There’s fences doon a’ ower Meikle Wartle, so Feel Moira has puttered aff tae Aiberdeen tae get some timmer. I’d seen in the paper that there wis noo a branch o’ MFI at Foresterhill, so that’s far she’s headed. But then I pit ma specs on and realised it wiz actually an MRI, fit is nae use if ye need tae look for timmer, but perfect if ye need tae look at yer intimmers”.


This Scots Word of the Week was written by Pauline Cairns Speitel, Dictionaries of the Scots Language