Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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VARIORUM, n., v. Also -im and altered forms valiorm, furiorum. Sc. usages. See also Wheeriorum. [vɑrɪ′orəm]

I. n. 1. A change, novelty, diversion; a constant variation, a variety, medley. Sc. 1761  Magopico 41:
A little chit-chat with cuttie is an excellent variorum to exhilarate a man.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Jolly Beggars Air 8:
Life is all a variorum.
Ayr. 1836  Galt Rich Man (1925) 40:
I cannot say that there was much variorum in my way of life for several years.
Edb. 1876  J. Smith Archie and Bess 95:
It's a lang time since I heard ye sing't and it'll aye be a variorum.
Per. 1895  R. Ford Tayside Songs 37:
There's joy within our house at e'en, An' muckle variorum.

2. A variation in music. Abd. c.1760  J. Skinner Amusements (1809) 56:
Dringing dull Italian lays, . . . They're dowf and dowie at the best, Wi' a' their variorum.
Kcb. 1901  R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 11:
They [Cameronians] widna let the Paraphrases be sung in the kirk, or tunes wi' variorum about them.

3. A piece of decoration, in furniture, etc., an ornament, gew-gaw, trinket (I., em.Sc.(a), sm.Sc. 1973); a flourish in handwriting; any unnecessary appendage (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); in pl., the genitals (Abd. 1973). Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxx.:
She not havin' similar variorums in her hoose.
Ags. 1880  J. Watt Poet. Sk. 21:
She had made it sae to sheen 'Mang ither variorums she'd gat.
Mry. 1887  A. G. Wilken Peter Laing 11:
There was a lot of variorums on the back o't [chair] ance on a day.
Kcb. 1930  :
A'm guid at readin' write gin it has nane o' your variorums and whirligigs.

4. A whim, caprice, a palaver, fuss. m.Lth. 1857  Misty Morning 140:
Ye needna trouble yersel' wi' ony o' yer high-fleein' variorums wi' me.
Abd. 1889  Bon-Accord (19 Oct.) 20:
This ceremony wis conduckit wi' lagammachies as big's yer airm, an' a dasent sicht ower muckle furiorums.

II. v. To ornament, decorate. Rare. Sh. 1970  New Shetlander No. 93. 27:
Aa athin da kirk aye lookit weel: Shapit an valiormed, made wi skeel.

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"Variorum n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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