Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

OORLICH, adj., n. Also ourlach, o'rlich, (h)urloch, oorlick. [′u:rlɪç]

I. adj. Of persons: miserable-looking from cold, hunger or illness, pinched, haggard, shivery, out-of-sorts (Abd. 1929, oorlick); of the weather: damp, chilly and unpleasant, raw, bleak, depressing (Bch. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1964); of things: sad and depressing, eerie. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 45:
Ayont the pool, I spy'd the lad that fell, Drouket, an' looking unko ourlach-like.
Mry. 1806  R. Jamieson Ballads I. 295:
And mony a cald hurloch eenin, Through weet and through snaw had he gane.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Oorlich shoo'ers o' drift an' hail.
Abd. 1915  H. Beaton Benachie 163:
There's been a drap rain, an' she may be o'rlich kin'.
Bnff. 1922  Banffshire Jnl. (18 April) 2:
As oorlich as the greetin' hellwarye The crafters, mossin' to the tap, can hear, Hine, hine awa', the grouse scraich ower the meer.
Bnff. 1953 ,
A gey oorlich pairt o the country, yon. A richt oorlich kin o a day.

II. n. A starved-looking, stunted person (Abd. 1911 Abd. Wkly. Jnl. (20 Jan.)). Abd. 1922  Swatches o' Hamespun 87:
A smoolach o' a carlie staviet in the idder day, An unca-lookin' oorlick.

[From Oorie, with -lich suff. substituted. See -Och, II. 2. (3).]

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

"Oorlich adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down