One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounmass nounScottish, Northern English
A coarse woollen cloth.
- ‘‘I found,’ he says (speaking of the condition of his own farmers), ‘my few tenants without leases, subject to the blacksmith of the barony; thirled to its mills; wedded to the wretched system of out-field and in; bound to pay kain and to perform personal services; clothed in hodden, and lodged in hovels.’’
- ‘At any rate, all around there are people like them, all part of a modern tribe, a vast nomadic group, mostly young, urban, clever, a little intimidating, given to expensive hodden clothes and rimless glasses.’
Late 16th century: of unknown origin.
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