- present participle of
- Gathering nuts. (Often as in "to go a-nutting" or "to go nutting".)
1575, John Stephen Farmer editor, Five anonymous plays, Early English Dramatists, volume Fourth Series, London: William How for Richard Ihones, page 171:
- I will no more a-nutting go ; That journey caused all this woe.
- (rare) Gaining favor or subjugating oneself.
1789, George Parker, chapter 16, Life's painter of variegated characters in public and private life, edition 2, published 1800, page 179:
- Now another drop genius is planted upon you, to turn you up, as they call it: He tells you that he is going to receive fifty pounds of an uncle, and if you will go with him he will let you have ten or twenty pounds, and meet the squire at such a house in such a street and play with him, himself and you shall go halves, if you will persuade the squire to come to this place appointed; this is called nutting of you.
- (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Thinking very hard or puzzling over something.
1951, Dal Stivens, Jimmy Brockett: portrait of a notable Australian, Australasian Book Society, published 1966, page 140:
- After the party had wound up, I did a bit of hard nutting over my plans for trotting.
- (UK, slang) Hitting deliberately with the head; headbutting.
nutting (plural nuttings)
- (rare) An outing to gather nuts.
1880, Henry Mills Alden, “Mrs. Flints Married Experience”, in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, volume 62, edition December, New York: Harper & Brothers, published 1881, page 89:
- The younger people had their berrying frolics, sleigh-rides, kitchen dances, nuttings, and the like, and their elders their huskings, apple bees, and sewing societies, but against all these the deacon set his hard face.