Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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 18 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/queer_adj_adv_n>

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