Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HAIRY, adj., n. Sc. usages:

I. adj. 1. Combs. and phrs.: (1) hairy brotag, a large hairy caterpillar (Cai. 1902 E.D.D., Cai.8 1934). Cf. Brotag, id.; (2) hairy bummer, the wild bee, Bombus muscorum (Bnff., Ags. 1956); (3) hairy-bummler, “a name applied to several species of crabs” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 73); (4) hairy-cum-stairy, n., a game played with a knotted handkerchief (Slg., Lth. 1919 per Slg.3); adj., harum scarum (Edb. 1919 per Slg.3); (5) hairy Davie, round-leaved mint Mentha rotundifolia (Ags.20 1956); (6) hairy eel, see Eel, n.1; (7) hairy granda, -faither (Ayr. 1956), -grannie (Arg. 1931; Abd., Per., Clc., Slg., Ayr., Dmf., Wgt., Kcb. 1956) = (1). Cor. dial. has granfer; see Grannie, n., 3.; (8) hairy-heid, the red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator (Ork. 1957 B.B.C. Broadcast); (9) hairy-hoomed, = (16) (Mry. 1956). See Hoam; (10) hairy hutchin, hairie hutcheon, -hurtcheon, (a) a sea-urchin, one of the species Echinidae (Mearns 1825 Jam., hairie-; Fif. 1830 A. Stewart Dunfermline (1889) 164, Fif. 1956); (b) a hedgehog (Ayr. 1956); (11) hairy man, = (18) (Arg.3 1956); (12) hairy Mary, (a) a fish pie made with mashed potatoes and flaked boiled fish (Abd. 1956); (b) a cocoanut (Fif. 1952), hence an “Aunt Sally” (see quot.); (13) hairy-meenister, the woolly bear caterpillar (Abd., Kcd. 1956); (14) hairy Meg.? id.; (15) hairy moggans, -moogans (Cai.), hose without feet (Fif. 1808 Jam.; Cai., Abd. 1956). See Moggan; (16) hairy-moulded, -it, -ie, covered with mould, mouldy (Sh., n.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Dmf. 1956, -it; Abd. 1956, -ie). Orig. a deriv. of Hair, adj. but confused with Hair, n. Cf. Hair, adj., 3; (17) hairy oats, see quot.; (18) hairy oobit, -oubit, -woobit, the woolly bear caterpillar (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., -(w)oobit); Clc., Peb., Wgt., Dmf., Rxb., Slk. 1956). See also Woubit; (19) hairie Rab, id. (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 312); (20) hairy-Tam, = (12) (a) (Abd. 1956); (21) hairy tatties, a dish composed of mashed potatoes and flaked dried salt fish (Mearns3 c.1928; ne.Sc. 1951 Hotch-Potch 9, ne.Sc. 1956). Cf. (12) (a), (20) and (22) (b); (21) hairie Willie, (a) = (18) (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 312; Abd. 1956); (b) = (21) (Abd. 1956); (23) hairy woobit, see (18); (24) hairy worm, = (18) (Abd., Ags., Fif. 1956). Phr. to ging roun the hert like a hairy worm, to delight, gratify, give great satisfaction. (7) Abd. 1922 G. P. Dunbar Doric 18:
A sappy “hairy granda” on his boo't preen was stuck fast.
(12) (b) Ags. 1956:
Hairy Mary: A kind of “Aunt Sally” seen at Fairs, consisting of a woman's (or occas. man's) head and part of body, stuffed with “coconut hair”, shavings or sawdust and fixed on a swivel, the head being adorned with horsehair.
(14) Mry. 1851 D. Paul Poems 3:
Next daunders down amo' the craigs That common haunt o' hairy Megs.
(16) Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood 255:
Yer wits is hairy-moulded if ye suppose I cudna see a thing like that aboot ma ain lassie.
Abd.29 1952:
Oor kitchen press is that damp at the cheese an jam are hairy-mouldit in nae time.
(17) Abd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 II. 533:
The species of oats used for this last [fauchs], and partly for the outfield, is called small oats, hairy oats, or shiacks.
(18) Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 56:
The hairy oubits hid frae view.
Bnff. 1876 S. Smiles Sc. Naturalist 191:
He lifted up his hand to wipe something off his cheek. It was a hairy oobit.
Rxb. 1913 Border Mag. (15 Jan.):
The larva of the small “Hairy Oobit” develops into the Ruby Tiger Moth.
Lth. 1945 Weekly Scotsman (14 April):
The hairy caterpillar that I had always known as a “hairy father,” he called a “hairy oubit.”
(21) Abd. 1922 Banffshire Jnl. (5 Dec.) 5:
Mountains of “chappit tatties,” “hairy tatties,” and “stovies” . . . were more acceptable than the “fushionless” pickles present on society's tables.
(22) (b) Abd. 1955 Abd. Press & Jnl. (7 April):
I never think of home-grown mustard but I associate it with salt codfish pie — the “Hairy Willie” of the old farmhouse kitchen which was so popular in the Laich of Buchan, as elsewhere in our youth.
(24) Abd. 1950 Huntly Express (8 Dec.):
It wis a perfeck hairbor for hairyworms an' forkytails.

2. Unkempt, untidy, rough, slovenly. Kcb., Dmf. 1956:
A hairy job is a rough job, a piece of work badly and crudely done.

II. n. A young woman living in the slums of Glasgow who habitually goes about without a hat. Obsol. Gsw. 1935 McArthur & Long No Mean City x.:
Lizzie Ramsay, before her marriage, would have scorned to wear a shawl — the very badge of “the hairy”, the very uniform of the “poor class” woman slum-dwellers.

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"Hairy adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jul 2020 <>



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