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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

INNERLIE, adj. Also -ly; -li (Sh.).

1. In-lying, not exposed, in the interior (of a district) (Slk. 1825 Jam.; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 150; Rxb. 1958); hence of land: fertile (Cld. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1868 E. Minto Hugh Elliot II. 73:
We live on a drier soil and in a more “innerlie” country.
Dmf. 1950:
Tynron's an innerlie place — an inbye bit.

2. Fig. Sociable, of a neighbourly disposition, intimate (Slk. 1825 Jam.); kindly, sympathetic, affectionate, friendly (Rxb., Slk. Ib.; Kcb.4 1900; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); e.Dmf.2 1917; Ork. 1929 Marw.; s.Sc. 1958). Also used adv. Hence (1) innerly-hearted, of a sympathetic disposition (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 280); (2) innerliness, compassion, sympathy, kindliness (s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 247; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Sc. 1866 J. Brown Horae Subs. (Ser. iii.) 286 (Cent.):
So mature, so large, and so innerly was his knowledge.
Rxb. 1888 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XI. 294:
Johnie's queer bits o' says, An' his innerly ways.
Sc. 1897 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 454:
He has sic an innerly way; naebody, bairn or grown-up, culd help liken him.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 4:
A feelin-herteet yallih-yorleen . . . cheepeetin rale kaif an innerly.
s.Sc. 1938 Border Mag. (Oct.) 154:
He was a rale innerly laddie, Eleck; I canna think o' ony I ever likit better.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 140:
A fine, kindly, innerly body.

3. Of a ship at sea or of fishing grounds: near the shore, far in to land (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1958). Also used adv. (Id.).Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 87:
“Don't ye tink men,” Robbie cried frae da for head, as he wis rowin' up da sail, “'at we're innerly?”
Abd. 1928 Abd. Press & Jnl. (1 Nov.) 6:
The lines wis ower innerly the day, lad, for your gettin' onything upo' them.
Bnff.2 1946:
Lowrie hid a gweed shot, bit we wir innerly, an' got verra fyow.

[Inner + adj.suff. -lie. Cf. Dan. inderlig for sim. developments of meaning.]

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"Innerlie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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