Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
WORRICOW, n.comb. Also worrie-, worry-, wirri(e)-, wirry-, wurri-, -cow(e), -kow(e), -coo; ¶corrupt form oracle. [′wʌrɪkʌu, ′wɪrɪ-]
1. A hobgoblin, bugbear, demon, a fearsome monster (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl., wirry-cow; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 494, wurricow; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson); a person of frightening or repulsive appearance, a ‘sight' (Lnk., sm.Sc., Rxb. 1974).
Sc. 1711 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 13:
I hirsl'd up my dizzy Pow, Frae 'mang the corn like Wirricow. Sc. 1757 Smollett Reprisal ii. i.:
Running about in the dark like a worricow! Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems 100:
The French met Billy Howe, I trow to them he prov'd a worry-cow. Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf ii.:
They do say there's a' sort o' worricows and langnebbit things about the land. Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck x.:
Wi' his haffats in a lowe, Wons the waefu' wirricowe. Ayr. 1830 Galt Southennan I. xxxiv.:
In cam' a worricow o' a Frenchman. Per. 1852 R. S. Fittis Moss-trooper 37:
The gude neebors had to gie Tammy his bairn when they got their ain worrykow wi' sic a het skin! Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 276:
Hump-backit an' bow'd — a wirricow — And scrimply fowre feet three! Fif. 1938 Daily Record (23 June):
A child who has soiled her frock is vigorously pronounced by her mother “a dirty oracle”.
†2. The Devil himself; an imp of Satan; a mischievous person.
Sc. 1719 in Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 130:
May thou . . . thro' thy Creed Be keeped frae the Wirricow After thou's dead. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 77:
Scream'd at ilk clough, an' skrech'd at ilka how, As sair as she had seen the wirry-cow. Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 138:
Warlocks loupin' round the Wirrikow. Ags. a.1823 G. Beattie Poems (1882) 189:
Wi' wirriekows to mingle, That brimstane belsh, or bock up ingle. Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders vi.:
Silver Sand kens what they're after brawly, the ill-contriving wirricows.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Worricow n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/worricow>
Try an Advanced Search