Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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THEWLESS, adj. Without energy or spirit, dull and feeble, insipid (Lth., wm.Sc., Rxb. 1972). More commonly in form Thowless, q.v. [′θjuləs] Per. c.1800  Lady Nairne Songs (Rogers 1905) 213:
My sang's o' nae sic thewless themes.
Kcb. 1895  Crockett Moss-Hags l.:
A quiet, thewless, pleasantly conforming man.
Abd. 1900  C. Murray Hamewith 85:
Like some puir dwinin' thewless wicht Wi' death in view?
Kcb. 1911  Crockett Smugglers xxxiii.:
A tribe of thewless, bloodless, bakers'-bread eaters.
ne.Sc. 1928  J. Wilson Hamespun 71:
Whaur maukins thewless hirple like to freeze.

[O.Sc. thewless, immoral, 1513, Mid.Eng. theweles, id., O.E. þēaw, a characteristic, an attribute, Mod.Eng. thew, bodily strength, vigour, + -less. Cf. Thowless and Thieveless.]

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"Thewless adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2018 <>



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