Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CAIRRY, Carie, Cary, Caerry, v. Sc. forms of St.Eng. carry. The Eng. form is illustrated only where the usage is peculiar to Sc. The forms kairy (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Ork. Par. (1922) 126) and kerry (Sh. 1919 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. II. 48) are also found.

1. To conduct, escort, lead. Now arch. or dial. in Eng. (N.E.D.). Sc. 1707  Account Bk. Sir J. Foulis (S.H.S. 1894):
Jan. 20: To wm douglas yt he gave to Jonie jonstoune to carie his charges wt the 2 horses to dunipace . . . 0. 3. 6.
Sc. 1733–1734  J. Cockburn Letters (S.H.S. 1904) 6:
To a jockey's combing and brushing his horse and putting a white clean bridle upon his head the morning before carrying him to markett.
Sc. 1861  E. B. Ramsay Reminisc. (2nd Series) iii.:
Mrs Campbell gave him [the servant] very particular instructions regarding visitors, explaining, that they were to be shown into the drawing-room, and no doubt used the Scotticism, “Carry any ladies that call up stairs.”
n.Sc. c.1730  E. Burt Letters North Scot. (ed. Jamieson 1818) I. 66, Note:
They talk of . . . getting on the back of a cart-horse, and carrying him to grass.

2. To behave. Obs. earlier in Eng., last quot. 1673 (N.E.D.). Sc. a.1714  First Earl of Cromartie in Earls of Crm. (ed. Fraser 1876) II. 482:
Dureing his lyfe he not only protected the country by his power, but he caryed so, that non wes els estemed a better neighbour to his friends, nor a juster maister to his dependers.
Sc. 1726  R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) III. 267:
I hope the youth will carry so as he may not be ashamed of the God of his fathers.

Hence caryadge, behaviour. Sc. a.1714  First Earl of Cromartie in Earls of Crm. (ed. Fraser 1876) II. 482:
In that on thing of his caryadge to his first wyfe, he is justly reprowable.

3. Ppl.adj. carried, carri(e)t, carryit, cairri(e)t, caerry't, (1) transported (in spirit), elated; conceited; harebrained; known to Bnff.2, Ags.1, Slg.3, Lnk.3 1938; now obs. in Eng. (N.E.D.); (2) “delirious (in cases of fever)” (Fif.10 1938); (3) applied to eggs: imported. (1) Sc. 1701–1731  R. Wodrow Analecta (Maitland Club 1843) III. 120:
He was in (such) a great rapture that he knew not well sometime what he was doing . . . his spirit was so wonderfully carried and ravished.
Sc. 1827  Scott Chrons. Canongate, Croftangry v.:
Shanet will pay ye the fifteen of change that ye ran away without, and without bidding Shanet good day. But never mind (nodding good-humouredly) Shanet saw you were carried for the time.
Abd. 1938 19 :
She's a carriet craitur wi' hir heed i' the air.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Ayrsh. Legatees 54:
Indeed, he has given hints about the saving that might be made by buying one [a carriage] of our own; but my mother shakes her head, and says, “Andrew, dinna be carri't.”
Rxb. 1825  Jam.2:
Jenny's gotten an heirscaip left her, and she's just carryit about it.
Ant. 1930 ,
(per Uls.3):
“A cairrit away crathir,” a light-headed, hare-brained person.
(2) Fif. 1938 10 :
He was awfu' carried for a while through the nicht.
Gall.(D) 1901  Trotter Gall. Gossip 6:
Yer faither took . . . the Typhus Fivver. . . . He gaed clean caerry't the third day, an ken't naething an naebuddy.
(3) Lth. 1938  (per Lnk.3):
In the Lothians a distinction used to be drawn between “country eggs” and “cairriet eggs,” i.e. between “home produce” and “imported.”

4. Phrases: (1) carry my lady to London, a children's game; †(2) to carry coals, to submit to any indignity; †(3) to carry the worl' before one, to prosper, to succeed in life. (1) Uls. 1880  W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
In this game two children grasp each other by the wrists, forming a seat, on which another child sits, who is thus carried about, while the bearers sing — “Give me a pin to stick in my thumb, To carry my lady to London; Give me another, to stick in my other, To carry her a little bit farther.”
(2) Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel i.:
You may get a broken head — he looks not as if he would carry coals.
(3) Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 98:
He was lifted up to an extraordinar' degree to see me carrying the worl' so weel before me.

[O.Sc. has cary, cairy, carie, kary, to convey, etc., from 1375; to behave, a.1646; pa.p. caryit, cariet, cairit, etc. (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cairry v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Mar 2018 <>



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