Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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LOWRIE, n. Also Lowry, Laurie, -y, Lourie; in meaning 3. Lowran, -en, -in, Louran. Sc. hypocoristic forms and usages of the prop.n. Lawrence. [′lʌuri, -ɪn]

1. A name given to the fox, = Eng. Reynard. Chiefly liter. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 43:
The Monarch pleas'd with Lowry, wha durst gloom?
Per. 1761  Letter in Atholl MSS. (22 Oct.):
Yesterday they had a fox sett loose on the moor of Luncarty with an extraordinary number of hounds, hownever Laury made the best of his way through Almond water to the parks of Huntingtowr and there left them all.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 14:
Auld sleeket lowrie fetcht a wyllie roun, An' claught a lamb anoner Nory's care.
Ayr. 1789  D. Sillar Poems 117:
Has greedy lowrie been amang thy sheep?
Ags. 1879  G. W. Donald Poems 69:
They e'e me but, they e'e me ben, As Lowrie e'es a clockin' hen.

Freq. in combs. tod-lowrie, ¶lowrie-tod, id. See Tod. Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 16:
O! then he gaed wood and looked as waefu like as he had been a tod lowrie.
Dmf. 1823  J. Kennedy Poems 47:
Sounding like Tod-laurie's lecture, Preaching only to destroy.
e.Lth. 1885  S. Mucklebackit Rural Rhymes 91:
As sheep when lowrie tod they see, Man, wife, and wean in panic flee!

2. A name given to the great bell of a church, which was freq. dedicated to St Lawrence. Sc. 1887  Jam. s.v. Lawrence:
In many of our large towns the bell rung at ten o'clock, night, is called Lourie, lang Lourie, big Lourie; and its call is still, at least acknowledged to be, the signal for respectable people to retire homeward from calls or amusements.
Abd. 1910  R. Anderson Abd. in Bygone Days 21:
This addition [to St Nicholas Church] was made in 1355 by Provost William Leith of Barns, who also gifted to the church the two bells “Lawrence” and “Maria” — the former familiarly known as “Lowrie.”

3. Used attrib.: the name of two fairs, held in Rayne, Aberdeenshire and Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, in mid-August and dedicated to St Lawrence (ne.Sc. 1961, now only hist.). Hence Louran Day, Lowren Fair. Abd. 1725  Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. IV. 237:
For a cow that his wife bought from me payable at louran day nixt . . . ¥12. 13. 4.
Abd. 1754  R. Forbes Journal 29:
In a weaven the house wis gain like Lowren-fair; for you wou'd na' hard day nar door.
Abd. 1929  J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 53:
Aw'm nae sure bit some fowk wis throu' gin Lowrin' Fair.

[O.Sc. lowry, the fox, from c.1500, Lourance, c.1470.]

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"Lowrie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2018 <>



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