Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MAR, v.1, n.1 Also marr; maar; mer(r); erron. mare (see I. 1. (2)). Sc. usages. [mɑr; Sh., s.Sc. mɛr]

I. v. 1. To obstruct, hinder, block, stand in the way of, intercept, stop (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Dmf. 1917; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., Mry., sm. and s.Sc., Uls. 1962). Obs. in Eng. Deriv. merrer, one whose duty is to block the path of animals while being driven (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Peb. 1711  C. B. Gunn Cross Kirk (1914) 59:
They . . . ordered a large foot to be cut off Lyne's seat, . . . so that no part of the public entry may be marred thereby.
Sc. 1724  R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) III. 129:
This story is trumped up or taken hold of to mar that transportation.
Sc. 1811  J. Ramsay Acct. Curling 44:
If, in sweeping or otherwise, a running stone is marred by any of the party to which it belongs, it must be put off the ice.
Sc. 1827  Carlyle Tieck's Elves II. 121:
“Then we shall see which of us is swifter.” “Done”, said Mary, and began to run; “for we shall not mar one another by the way”.
Gsw. 1849  Chambers's Information II. 653:
If a bowl is accidentally marred by an opponent, it shall be in the option of the party playing to let it rest, or play it over again.
e.Dmf. 1917 2 :
Merr that sheep.
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 15:
Beide yow there an merr thir paips soomin doon the guitter.
Sh. 1949  J. Gray Lowrie 85:
Whaar wis I agen, doo mers me?

Hence combs. (1) marrboard, a board fixed to keep a moveable object in position, e.g. a door-check or a front fixed to a shelf or rack to keep the contents from falling off; a window-shutter; (2) mar-brow, only in ppl.adj. mer-browed, having the eye-brows meeting or growing together (Rxb. 1962). See Trans. Bnff. Field Club (1890) 57, where an erroneous explanation is given. (1) Abd. 1742  Powis Papers (S.C.) 285–6:
To . . . a Marrboard for fixing the Door Cheek at the Stair foot. . . . To 3 marr boards for the bottle Raks.
Sh. 1954  New Shetlander No. 40. 7:
Kye njoagd, an stirred demsells i' da byres; fokk rekkit demsells, fur da maar-burds taald dem a da rivin a da dim.
(2) Rxb. 1901  R. Murray Hawick 108:
He had only got as far as the old toll-house when he observed a mer-browed man coming in his direction.

2. Specif. Of the leader of a string of boys sliding on ice in a crouched position: to guide the file on a safe course by skilful use of his feet as brakes or rudder (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Vbl.n. merreen, the action of guiding skaters; agent n. merrer, the leader of the file (Id.). Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 14:
Sic a byordnar grand bit for a sledge-skly or a yoke-a-tuillie! By!! The gaird wad need ti bei richt an skeely at the merreen.

3. To annoy, put about, inconvenience; confuse (Ork. 1958; Cai., Lnk. 1962). Cai. 1949  :
A'm no muckle marred.

II. n. 1. An obstruction, a hindrance (Sh., Lnk. 1962). Obs. in Eng. Gsw. 1721  Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 114:
The eastwall of the fleshmercat on the side of the Candlerig Street . . . is not straight, which may be a marr and hinderance in the streighting of the new street.
Ayr. c.1825  J. McMillan Poet. Wks. 79:
I canna tell what was the mar, But it was sae forbid.

2. Specif.: an impediment in speech. Dmf. 1786  Session Papers, Jardine v. De la Motte (27 Sept.) 20:
[He] did not think she spoke so freely, but seemed to have a mar in her voice.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 338:
Maunt — To speak thick and fast; to have a marr in the speech.

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"Mar v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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