Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GURL, v.1, adj., n. Also †gurrl(l), †gurle.

I. v. 1. To growl as a dog (ne.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Lth., Lnk., Ayr., Kcb., s.Sc. 1955), to grumble, snarl. Rarely tr. Also fig. Since 16th c. in Eng. dial. only. Ayr. 1817  in Mem. Curl. Mab. (Broun 1830) 81:
Let rogues and let fools rin to cards and to dice, And gamblin', sit girnin and gurlin.
Sc. 1835  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1864) IV. 260:
I loupt out on my mither the Lioness, and in a mock-fecht we twa gaed gurlin doun the brae.
Ayr. 1891  H. Johnston Kilmallie II. xviii.:
I heard the innkeeper's dog gurling last nicht.
Lnk. 1922  T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 11:
He whaisled there Wi' auld-warl' words aye haverin' sair, Gurlin' them oot.

2. Of the wind: to roar, howl (m.Lth., Bwk., Ayr. 1955). Also in Nhb. dial. Rnf. 1790  A. Wilson Poems 61:
Weel may ye mind, yon night sae black, Whan fearfu' winds loud gurl'd.
Gsw. 1844  Sc. Song (Whitelaw) 6:
Though gurlin' wuns may blaely blaw; Our rousin' fire will thow The straggler's taes.
Sc. 1887  Stevenson Merry Men ii.:
A fine gaun breeze upon the water, but no steedy; an' . . . anither wund gurlin' owerheid.
Ayr. 1955  S. T. Ross Bairnsangs 10:
A Wund cam gurlin thro' the toun.

3. (1) Of water: to gurgle, purl (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Lth., Rxb. 1955). The 1934 quot. appears to be an extended meaning of this by transference of usage from sound to appearance, hence to quiver, shimmer; (2) of an infant: to crow, to make a gurgling or cooing noise (Abd. 1900 E.D.D.). (1) Edb. 1884  Mod. Sc. Poets IX. 70:
An' aye it [the burnie] guttered, an' gurled, an' clang, An' yattered, an' yammered, an' chirled alang.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 7:
Yeh bit sate on the kei-stane o the brig; yeh deek at the gurlin Yill: an A hoyed strecht for the “clachan.”
Bnff. 1927  Banffshire Jnl. (10 May):
I lo'e the bonnie gur'lin' stream that prees the sweet blue bell.
Kcd. 1934  “L. G. Gibbon” Grey Granite iv. 286:
She'd open her eyes and see only . . . the summer hills gurling in summer heat.

4. By extension: to flatter. Hence gurly adj., flattering, deceitful (Abd. 1900 E.D.D.). Abd. 1900  E.D.D.:
None o' yer gurlin' noo.

II. adj. 1. Of the weather, wind, landscape: stormy, boisterous, wild; forbidding (m.Lth. 1955). Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 132:
When Northern Blasts the Ocean Snurl, And gars the Heights and Hows look Gurl.
Edb. 1822  R. Wilson Poems 79:
An' frae the north the wind fu' gurl, Cam snell and keen.

2. Of persons: surly, grumbling, brusque (Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 41; Dmf. 1955). Lnk. 1827  J. Watt Poems 72:
Ay ilka thing to scrimp an' hain, Nae pleasure gi'es — gars sigh an' grane; Makes gurl an' crabit.
Sc. 1846  Anon. Muckomachy 50:
Ilk ane was very Gurl and camstary.
m.Sc. 1926  “O. Douglas” Proper Place xx.:
An' he sterted an' pu'ed down the winday — she keeps the windays shut for fear o' dust comin' in — an' he was that gurrl aboot it that he broke a cheeny ornament.

III. n. 1. A growl, a snarl (ne.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf., Rxb. 1955). Also fig. Sc. 1756  M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 165:
The carle gave such a gurll as made me jump.
Rnf. 1790  A. Wilson Poems 102:
Poor starvin' dogs, Glowre fierce, wi' hungry gurle.
Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize II. xv.:
A gurl of rage, like the first brush of the tempest on the waves, passed over the whole extent of Scotland.
Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms lix. 7:
Tak tent, what a gurl's i' their gab.

2. A strong wind, a squall (Ork. 1929 Marw.; ‡Sh. 1955); boisterous weather. Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 263:
Being at Borgue kirk one windy day, while coming over the kirk-stile . . . a gurl came . . . and away went the [umbrella].
Clc. 1860  J. Crawford Doric Lays 81:
The puir bieldless body has scougg't the cauld blast, 'Yont our hallan he's houf't till the gurl gaed past.

3. (1) A gurgling or purling sound (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Lth., Rxb. 1955); (2) a narrow place in a stream between rocks from which the water rushes with a gurgling sound (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); (3) in comb.: gurl(e)-hole, a small boggy pool. (1) Ayr. 1868  J. K. Hunter Artist's Life xxvii.:
Can you pronounce velhurr? make a gurl at the last syllable.
Sc. 1934  Scotsman (21 July) 15:
But there are many notes in whaup music . . . the full call, beginning with the low, quiet tones, but gradually bursting into the glamorous gurl which literally fills the glen.
(3) Bwk. 1856  G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 133:
Jock Wardlaw's mare Is lair'd i' the Gurle-hole.

[Echoic in origin. Cf. Gurr. The v. appears first in Mid.Eng. c.1380; the n. appears once in Eng. 1755; the adj. is exclusively Sc., being recorded once in O.Sc. = cold and stormy, 1513.]

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"Gurl v.1, adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Dec 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/gurl_v1_adj_n>

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