Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
SMIRR, n.1, v. Also smir, smur(r); smirn (orig. from the vbl.n. smir(ri)n). Derivs. smurrach, smurack, -agh, smirrle. [smɪr, smʌr]
I. n. 1. A fine rain, drizzle, occas. also of sleet or snow (Ayr. 1808 Jam.), freq. in phr. a smirr o' rain. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc., also in Eng. dial. Dims. smurack, -agh, id., a summer shower (Kcd. 1825 Jam.), smirrle, id. (m.Sc. 1970).
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 156:
There was a fine pirl out frae the Wast, wi' a sma' smurr o' rain. Ayr. 1866 Trans. Highl. Soc. 27:
Steady moderate showers or thick drizzling smirrs. Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man xiv.:
A smurr of rain began to fall. Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch (1935) 23:
A thin smirr of warm rains fell on the glen like smoke. Kcd. a.1914 Mearns Leader (23 June 1950):
Grey mist ayont Garvock, sma' smurr on the farran. Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 52:
In smirr an' hail an' stoor. wm.Sc. 1956 Daily Mail (12 May):
Winter was coming to Mull on the smirr from the sea. Rxb. 1961 W. Landles Penny Numbers 4:
A smir o' rain was fa-in. Abd. 1963 Huntly Express (1 Feb.) 8:
A smirr o' sleet an' sna'. Per. 1965 Perthshire Adv. (14 Aug.) 14:
The trips up the burn in the soft smirr.
II. v. 1. Of rain (or snow): to fall gently and softly in fine clouds, to drizzle (Rnf., Ayr. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1910 C. C. Russell People & Lang. 41). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Vbl.n. smir(ri)n, a fine drizzle.
Mry. 1790 Aberdeen Mag. 31:
At play, 'mid the snaw, While youden-drift smurrachs alang. Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid xxviii.:
Wherever rains are smirring. Per. 1904 E.D.D.:
‘Had we rain last night?' ‘Ay, it began to smirn aboot 5 o'clock'. We had a bit smirn last night. Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse 69:
It is smurrin' o' rain. Sc. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 65:
An' sma reid bird, when the blash smurs by. Abd. 1926 L. Coutts Lyrics 67:
Smirrin ice hid stoppt the mill. wm.Sc. 1929 R. Crawford Quiet Fields 37:
Wee drummie feet o' rain wis smirrin' On leaf an' leaf ower a' the glen. m.Sc. 1954 N. B. Morrison Following Wind xiii.:
A smirn of rain which wetted his windscreen.
2. Rarely tr.: to wet as with drizzle.
Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle iii. iv.:
A cold fine rain smirred the dripping panes.
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"Smirr n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Oct 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/smirr_n1_v>
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