Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
BACKSPEIR, -SPEER, -SPIER, v. To question, cross-examine, inquire into a matter. [bɑk′spi:r]
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
To Backspeir. To inquire into a report or relation, by tracing it as far back as possible; also, to cross-question, to examine a witness with a retrospective view to his former evidence. Sc. 1928 L. Spence in Scots Mag. (May) 142:
He speired and backspeired at us till he'd gotten near a haill hauf-century o' piper's news oot o' me. Bnff. 1832 J. F. S. Gordon Chron. of Keith (1880) 322:
Faith ye'll blek [puzzle] the Minister; tell him to back speer ye there. Abd. 1921 M. Argo Janet's Choice 16:
I winna be back-speired aboot foo I dee sic-an'-sic in connection wi' my ain faimily.
ppl.adj. back-spierin', inquisitive.
Ags. 1897 “F. Mackenzie” Sprays of Northern Pine xxii.:
An impident, back-spierin' chield that Minister o' oors!
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Backspeir v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/backspeir>
Try an Advanced Search