Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
GRUESOME, adj. Also grousome, †grewsome, †groosom(e), †grusome, ¶gruisome (Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 228). Now adopted as St. Eng. under the influence of Scott.
1. Horrible, fearful, inspiring a shuddering dread or loathing (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems, Gl., grousome; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 243).
Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween xxiii.:
He takes a swirlie, auld moss-oak, For some black, grousome Carlin. Slk. 1807 Hogg Mountain Bard 184:
Thy greesome [sic] grips were never skaithly. Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 48:
Had gru'some cauldrons ever boilin', An' scores o' slaves aroun' him toilin'. Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf x.:
He's a grewsome spectacle for a crooked disciple, to be sure. Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 106:
Whare you an' I will aiblins win, In spite o' grousome death an' sin. Mry. 1828 “J. Ruddiman” Tales 186:
I shook and trembled like an aspen leaf, for he had on a most gruesome look. Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rhymes 92:
His gruesome visage! weel I kent it, For mony a day my heart it dauntit. Gsw. 1884 H. Johnston Martha Spreull viii.:
Noo, this is a gey gruesome beginnin' to the story I'm gaun to tell ye. Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables frae French 80:
Their wey was stapt wi' clarts an' gruesome glaur. Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 197:
Aghast I glowr't at the grousome throng In their mort claith gouns arrayed.
2. With weakened sense: ugly, repulsive, dismal (gen. of the appearance). Also in n.Eng. dial.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 102:
Here mony a wight, frae mony a place, . . . Exhibits mony a groosome face. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xx.:
A bonny lass will find favour wi' judge and jury, when they would strap up a grewsome carle like me for the fifteenth part of a flea's hide and tallow. Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 38:
He sent for grousome Willy Bennet, Wi' towzie pow, wherein a kame Perhaps for towmonds never came. Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) viii.:
I looked myself in it [looking-glass] . . . and made a gruesome face. Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 88:
Her face had a smack o' the gruesome and grim, Whilk did frae the fash o' a' wooers defend her. Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 81:
Were ye heart-stawed wi' my maunders, Grewsome looks, and plaintive sang?
Hence gruesomely, adv., horribly, repulsively; gruesomeness, regret, distaste.
Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1864) IV. 121:
Then dinna girn sae gruesomely — but join me in a guffaw. Rnf. 1889 D. Gilmour Paisley Weavers 170:
It was with feelings somewhat mixed with pleasure and gruesomeness that . . . she saw James lift Nanny's right hand.
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"Gruesome adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Mar 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/gruesome>
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