Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TOUR, n.1, v.1 Also toure, toor (Bwk. c.1830 Minstrelsy Merse (1893) 168: Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders ii.; Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 44), tooer (Abd. 1877 G. MacDonald M. of Lossie xx., 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 48). Dims. tourie, toorie, tourack, -oc(k), -ick, toorack(ie), -ock, tourriky, tow(e)rick(ie). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. tower (Sc. 1709 Household Bk. Lady G. Baillie (S.H.S.) 237). [tu:(ə)r]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Sc. combs. and derivs.: (1) tower-bolt, a type of barrel bolt (Sc. 1946 Spons' Practical Builder's Pocket Bk. 443); (2) tour-house, a high, somewhat narrow, rectangular tower, gen. having only one apartment on each floor and used as a residence by the local landowner, but equipped for defence in troublous times, esp. common in the Border Country, a peel or keep. See Peel, n.4, 2. Most tower-houses date from the period 1330–1600; (3) tourock, toorackie, etc. (i) a little tower; (ii) anything rising high or to a point (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Gen.Sc.), a small pile, heap, stack, of sand, dust, etc. (Edb. 1910 Scotsman (6 Sept.); Per., Slg., Lnk. 1972), a pinnacle of rock, cairn of stones (em.Sc. 1972); (iii) an ornamental top, tuft, knot, crest or the like, surmounting an object (Sh. 1972). Also attrib.; ¶(iv) a spiral column (of smoke); (4) tourie, toorie, (i) (a) = (3) (Sh., Abd. 1972). Also attrib. Comb. toorie-tap, a pinnacle; a fir-cone (Fif. 1958); (b) specif.: the ornamental knot of wool on the crown of a Scottish bonnet or tam o' shanter; sometimes the bonnet itself. Gen.Sc. Also transf. jocularly to the cork of a champagne bottle; †(c) an old woman's cap or Mutch (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (d) a top-knot or bun of hair (Sh., Cai. 1972); (ii) a spirit supposed to haunt ruined towers; (5) tour-sneck, in masonry: a sneck or wedging stone which is too high and so breaks bond (Per. 1972). See Sneck, n.1, 3. (1). (2) Sc. 1720  Sheriffdom Lnk. & Rnf. (M.C.) 136:
It is ane old tour house; the walls are of a prodigious thickness.
Peb. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 602:
Tower houses are met with in a ruinous condition at the mouth of every defile.
Sc. 1924  Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 3) II. 57:
During this [14th] century, the type of castle in vogue among the needy Scots barons was a simple square tower-house, to which a walled court or “barmkin ” was appended.
Sc. 1960  S. Cruden Sc. Castle 128:
Many existing tower-houses were added to during the fifteenth century and became the nueleus of a more expansive establishment ranged round a courtyard.
(3) (i) Kcb. 1893  Crockett Stickit Minister 165:
A bell to hing in their bit tooroch.
(ii) Dmf. 1848  Edb. Antiq. Mag. 117:
It is now a ‘kail-yard,' and a ‘tourock' of stones marks it out.
Lnk. 1873  J. Nicholson Wee Tibbie 57:
Sic a touroc o' guid things to glow'r at!
Kcb. 1900  Crockett Stickit Minister's Wooing 237:
The grey whinstane tourocks and granite cairns on the hilltaps.
em.Sc. 1913  J. Black Gloamin' Glints 52:
A toorackie o' san' I'll mak', An' gie' the wee ba' sic a whack.
Dmf. 1956  :
If there was a tourock in Tynron Glen, folk wad come frae far and near tae break their necks on't.
(iii) Kcb. 1897  66th Report Brit. Ass. V. 480:
The minister commonly cuts the bride-cake. In doing so he hands the ‘toorack' — i.e., the top, to the bride.
Kcb. 1897  A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine at Exhibition 11:
A fine tourriky feather hat.
Dmf. 1914  J. L. Waugh Cracks wi R. Doo 147:
On the table in front o' every chair was a nice white hanky, folded in a by-ordinar fancy wee tourick.
(iv) Rxb. 1858  H. S. Riddell Song of Solomon iii. 6:
Wha is this that cums owt o' the wuldirniss like towiricks o' reek?
(4) (i) (a) Rnf. 1813  G. McIndoe Wandering Muse 73:
Let mony simmer suns yet warm thy hurdies, And on thy toorie-tap lang beek the burdies.
Gsw. 1863  W. Miller Nursery Songs 55:
He that on fortune's toorie sits May fa' an' fin' the hap o't, O.
Lnk. 1890  H. Muir Reminisc. 75:
What queer biggin's this wi' the roon toorie turret?
Hdg. 1892  J. Lumsden Sheep Head 220:
In the middle o' the toorie o' ase.
Peb. 1908  Gsw. Ball. Club III. 140:
The manse, by my certy, 's a braw sonsy Ha', Wi' turlies and toories and gables.
Gsw. 1931  H. S. Robertson Curdies 114:
It's the heidstane wi' the toorie.
Ork. 1938  M. A. Scott Island Saga (1968) 70:
Doon it [corn] gaed, and roond it gaed, wi' here and there a toorie.
(b) Sc. 1874  W. Allan Hame-Spun Lilts 229:
A braid Scots bannet Wi' ae red toorie centred on it.
Gsw. 1902  J. J. Bell Wee MacGreegor 69:
Wull my greengarry bunnet ha'e a rid toorie?
Sc. 1926  H. M'Diarmid Drunk Man 16:
Naethin' but the toories O' their Balmoral bonnets to tell the tale.
Sc. 1935  B. Marshall Uncertain Glory 303:
Like me to take his toorie off for ye, surr?
Sc. 1956  R. M. Barnes Sc. Regiments 304:
Uniform [of the K.O.S.B.]: Kilmarnock bonnet, blue, with diced border, red tourie and blackcock's tail.
(d) Lth. 1888  D. Carmichael Cosietattle 231:
Blondes wi' their toories o' tow.
Ayr. 1895  H. Ochiltree Redburn iv.:
Ye canna put a bonnet abune sic an awfu' tourie o' hair as that.
(ii) s.Sc. c.1830  Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1916) 101, 112:
Towries or Dunters were spirits that inhabited old castles, towers, dungeons of forts, and peels. They make a noise as if they were beating flax, or knocking barley in the hollow of a stone. . . . “And the toweries hard are thumpin'.”

2. In pl.: cumulus clouds (Mry. c.1890 Gregor MSS.).

II. v. intr. To form into a heap, to pile up; to rise high in the air, of flames. Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 450:
Hay is said to be toorrin when it rises on the rake in raking; a fire is also said to be so when blazing freely.

[O.Sc. tourhouse, 1494.]

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"Tour n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2017 <>



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