Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BIGLY, adj. and adv.

1. adj. Commodious, habitable, pleasant; handsomely wrought. Sc. 1904 Gay Goshawk in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 96 A xxvi.:
Lay down, lay down the bigly bier, Lat me the dead look on!
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 36:
And has he broke your bigly bowers, Or has he stole your fee?

2. adv.

(1) Of large proportions. w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (2nd ed.) 3:
My mither, like my faither, was bigly made, but, unlike him, was inclined to stootishness.

(2) Very much. Uls. 1908 A. M'Ilroy Burnside iii. 26:
From a' I can hear she's a forby thrifty, sensible wench, an' bigly inclined to dae weel.

[Bigly occurs in O.Sc. as an adj. (15th cent.) = pleasant to dwell in; prob. from O.N. biggiligr, habitable. As an adv. it appears both in O.Sc. and Mid.Eng. in the sense of strongly, which approaches the mod. adv. bigly = in a big way, pompously, derived from big, adj.]

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"Bigly adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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