Origin of totter
- Middle English toteren perhaps of Scandinavian origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English totren, toteren, from earlier *tolteren (compare English dialectal tolter (“to struggle, flounder"); Scots tolter (“unstable, wonky")), from Old English tealtrian (“to totter, vacillate"), from Proto-Germanic *taltrÅnÄ…, *taltÅnÄ… (“to sway, dangle, hesitate"), from Proto-Indo-European *del-, *dul- (“to shake, hesitate"). Cognate with Dutch touteren (“to tremble"), North Frisian talt, tolt (“unstable, shaky"). Related to tilt.