Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

HURB, n. Also horbe; dim. †hurble. [hʌrb] ‡A puny, weak, unhealthy person or animal (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., hurble); a rough, uncouth person, a slattern, a good-for-nothing creature (ne.Sc. 1957); applied playfully to a child, rascal (Abd. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.). Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb iii.:
He's a queer-leukin' hurb, at ony rate.
Mry. 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 160:
Ye'll nae get a waur pitten on horbe anaith the goon than Meg Macinnes in the hale pairish.
Bnff. 1921  Swatches o' Hamespun 22:
Some deid eeseless hurb 'at's weel awa'.
Abd. 1925 7 :
“Ye hurb, gin I wis at ye,” said the mother to her child. Sometimes it is used differently, as when a child rather smart at school, is called a “clever little hurb.”
Abd. 1951  Huntly Express (24 Aug.):
Here's that hurbs o' craws back at my barley again.

[Orig. doubtful. Phs. an emphatic variant of Eng. hob, a sprite, clown, booby. Cf. Dob, Dorb; Gob, Gorb.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Hurb n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down