Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PORR, v., n. Also por(e); pur(r).

I. v. 1. To prod, poke, thrust at (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); to prod with the horns, of a cow, etc., to gore (sm.Sc. 1966). Also fig. Comb. por(r)ing-iron, purr-, a poker (‡Ags. 1808 Jam., purr-). Sc. 1702 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 307:
For a stoif chimney without back tangs, show, and poring iron . . . ¥7 8 0.
Ags. 1712 A. Jervise Land of Lindsays (1882) 426:
A chimblow, toaings, chuffel, and purring jorn.
Abd. c.1803 D. Anderson Sawney and John Bull 20:
Ay my boys, that's ploughmen for ye, That ye're kings an' a' may pur ye.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 152:
I would think shame to rin and chase thee Or yet to pur ye.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
What's she purran aboot the fire for noo?

2. To prick, stab, Jag (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 384; Cai. 1964, purr). Cai. 1900:
He got purred with a thistle. A've purred ma finger.

II. n. 1. A thrust, stab, poke, prod, the noise made by such (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 384; Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs Gl.; sm.Sc. 1966). Dim. purrie, a boys' game (see 1929 quot.). Sc. 1741 Caled. Mercury (28 May):
A Dark Gray Mare . . . very thin casten behind, with a little white Spot on her Face, and a Pore Mark on or above her right Thigh.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 155:
A simple pur wi' a bodie's fit, Maks 't rin a most prodigious bit.
Abd. 1929:
Purrie, as its name implies, is also a school game. It consists in touching one's neighbour with the hand and calling Purrie, when the insulted one makes chase and tries to secure the offender for prison.

2. A poker. Also in Eng. dial. m.Lth. 1711 J. Paterson Hist. Wauchope (1858) 79:
Item, the kitchen chimney, with tonks, raxes, with pore and shuffell.
Gsw. 1732 Gsw. Testaments MS. LI. 124:
Tuo pair smith tongs and a porr and Skivell.

3. A thorn, prickle, barb (Cai.91939); hence, by extension, a thistle (Cai. 1930). Cai. 1961 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc. 5:
Dockans, skeollag, carran, an' purrs.

[O.Sc. porr, porring irne, 1583, to prod, poke, 1598, porh(e), a sword-thrust, stab, 1589, Mid.Eng. porre, Du., L.Ger. porren, to poke, thrust, Dan. purre, Norw. dial. pora, id.]

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"Porr v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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