Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
QUEER, adj., adv., n. See also wheer. Sc. forms and usages:
I. adj. 1. As in Eng., odd, peculiar, strange; unwell, queasy. Hence derivs. (1) queersome, somewhat queer; (2) queerways, adv., in not quite a normal state, slightly unwell (Ork., Kcb. 1967); (3) que(e)ry, (i) adj., rather strange, oddish (Ags., Per. 1967); (ii) n., an oddity, a queer thing (Rnf. 1902 E.D.D., query; Ags., Edb. 1967).
(1) Mry. 1865 W. Tester Poems 78:
We've tripped through mony a queersome reel. Abd. 1900 J. Milne Poems 3:
Ye a' hae heard how famous Neil Gaed stoiterin' hame a queersome reel. (2) Rnf. 1827 W. Taylor Poems 43:
When wee things there are making din In their fathers' arms. It maks me queer ways. Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 46:
I'm beginning to feel queer ways mysel'. (3) (i) Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums ix.:
Ou, losh, ay! it made me a kind o' queery to look at her. Ags. 1900 Barrie Tommy and Grizel xxvi.:
There's something queery about her though I canna bottom't. (ii) Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 150:
It's strange to tell their fligmagaries, Their patent netts and catgut queries. Ags. 1856 W. Grant Poet. Pieces 36:
An' playin' at the bools an' peeries, An' hunders ither frisky queeries. Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 249:
This warld's a queery — its freits an' its fykes.
†2. Amusing, funny, entertaining (Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 74, 1825 Jam.). Deriv. querish, rather comical.
Sc. 1784 G. Caw Poet. Museum 61:
He'd gi' a punk, and look sae queer, Without a joke. Ayr. 1790 Burns Tam o' Shanter 49–50:
The soutar tauld his queerest stories, The landlord's laugh was ready chorus. Sc. 1799 H. Mitchell Scotticisms 69:
Queer, in English means odd, strange, singular. — In Scotland it is used in the sense of witty, humorous, comical. But a man may be queer who has not wit, and one may have wit without being queer. Ags. 1823 Scots Mag. (July) 30:
Whene'er this queer and comic lass But hinted up her keeking glass, They throng'd in bourachs at her ca'. Kcb. 1848 J. Hughan Poems 16:
Ye at them turns your head gay sly Wi' querish wink.
3. As an intensive: considerable, very great (Wgt. 1950), freq. in phr. a queer lot, a large amount, a considerable quantity. Gen.Sc., appar. of Irish origin.
Kcb. 1916 6 :
There's a queer draught comes in at your door. Rxb. 1921 Hawick Express (12 Aug.):
There must bei a queer lot o' money in th' world yet — notwithstandin' short time an' bad trade. Mry. 1959 Bulletin (23 May):
Seven cats, all with kittens, can perish a queer lot of the stuff.
II. adv. 1. In an odd manner, in a peculiar way; as an intensive: very. Combs. queer-gotten, of a child: of uncertain parentage; queer-ta'en, taken aback, surprised, disconcerted.
m.Lth. 1858 Dark Night 222:
I saw the queer-ta'en look ye gi'ed; but I daursay ye wadna think I flang't oot as a jibe. ne.Sc. 1894 A. Gordon Northward Ho 66:
Auld MacDowall's queer-gotten bairn had turned oot tae be a real nait'ral. Kcb. 1916 6 :
My heid's queer sair.
†III. n. In pl.: something strange and surprising, news (Rxb. 1825 Jam.).
s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws ix.:
The Lord kens it's queers to Archie Simpson, that there's any harm in kissing a lassie.
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"Queer adj., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Apr 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/queer_adj_adv_n>
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