Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
TARRY, adj. Also tarrie, taur(r)ie, taurry. Sc. forms and usages. [′tɑre; wm.Sc. ′tre; Sh. ′tære]
1. As in Eng. (e.Lth. 1876 J. Teenan Son 23, taurie; Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 183, taurry). Sc. combs.: (1) tarrie bogie, a sack made of dried whale-gut for containing oil or tar (Sh. 1972). See Bogi, n.; (2) tarry breeks, a soubriquet for a sailor. See Breek, n., 1. Also in anglicised form britches. Liter.; (3) tarry hat, a nickname for a policeman from the tall black felt hat formerly worn as part of their uniform (Abd. 1890); (4) tarry jacket, = (2); (5) tarry John, = (2); (6) tarry-temple, see quot.; (7) tarry (w)oo, wool from a sheep which has been smeared with tar.
(1) Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 135:
I wis' mae heed been smoored that day Doun i' a tarrie bogie. (2) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 318:
Tarry Breeks pays no Fraught. Abd. 1733 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 50:
Tarry-breeks should aye gae free. Ayr. 1786 Burns A Dream xiii.:
Young, royal Tarry-breeks, I learn, Ye've lately come athwart her. Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 49:
Tarry-breeks lay yaval on the deck. Sc. 1931 J. Lorimer Red Sergeant xxviii.:
The tarry-britches from the Beulah's crew. (3) Bnff. 1954 Banffshire Jnl. (2 Nov.) 4:
I wis eyven a bobby a fyle. An' I got rale tired o' the loons roarin' ‘Tarry-hat!' efter me. (4) Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel iv.:
Every tarry jacket that wants but a pound of oakum. (5) Sc. 1888 Stevenson Black Arrow iv. vi.:
Long-headed tarry-Johns, that fear not fire nor water. (6) Sh. 1964 J. & T. Flett Trad. Dancing 63:
During the herring season, all these girls lived in the various ports, in large tarred wooden huts known as “barracks” or “tarry temples”. (7) Sc. 1737 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) II. 184:
Tarry woo is ill to spin. Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 276:
O weels me on the tarry woo'. Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 182:
The smeared or tarry wool, is sold at from 4s. to 5s. per stone. Ags. 1879 Forfar Poets (Fenton) 139:
His hair . . . hung in teats like tarry-'oo.
2. Fig. Light-fingered, thievish, having a tendency to pilfer, short for tarry-fingert below (Sh., Cai., Ags., Per., Ayr., Kcb. 1972).
Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 108:
Ye'll ne'er gie o'er that tarry trick, Likewise that way o' cheating folk. Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. xvii.:
The gipsies hae tarry fingers, and ye would need an e'e in your neck to watch them. Rxb. 1824 Rymour Club Misc. II. 48:
Have fingers aye tarry, but look to the lass In case that your motions she's watching.
Combs.: tarry-fingers, an epithet for a person given to stealing, a petty thief, ppl.adj. tarry-fingert, -ed, pilfering, thievish (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Dmb., Ayr. 1910; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 271; Cai. 1916 J. Mowat Cai. Proverbs 11; Gen.Sc.), tarry-haun'd, id. (Sc. 1825 Jam.); tarry neive, = tarry fingers above. See Neive.
Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 98:
Tweed-shaw's tarry neives are here. Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 65:
Man sets the stamp [trap]; but we can tell He's aften taury haun'd himsel'. Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan III. x.:
There's nae need o' standing on stepping-stanes wi' a tarry-fingerd attorney. Lnk. 1886 A. G. Murdoch Readings I. 25:
Wha was't put a bawbee in the kirk-plate, an' lifted oot the fourpenny bit, eh? Answer me that, auld taurrie fingers! Fif. 1912 D. Rorie Mining Folk 400:
When the child's nails require shortening, they should not be cut with scissors, but bitten. If a child's nails are cut before it is a year old (some say six months), it will be “tarry-fingered.” Arg. 1936 L. McInnes S. Kintyre 23:
She's aa richt in every wey but wan: she's tarry-fingert. s.Sc. 1947 L. Derwent Clashmaclavers 50:
The tarry-fingered Gypsy Queen In a' oor hen-hooses has been. Abd. 1966 Huntly Express (21 Oct.) 2:
Only a loon o' saxteen or so, but as tarry-fingered as ever I cam' across.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Tarry adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/tarry>
Try an Advanced Search