Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

SMURL, v., n. [smʌrl]

I. v. 1. Of persons or animals, esp. in sickness: to eat little and slowly, as if without appetite, to nibble in a half-hearted or furtive manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 171; ‡Abd. 1970). Ppl.adj. smurlin, eating in this way, esp. of one who is fond of dainties (Gregor). Sc. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Sc. 53:
It was the worms wha wrocht ye wrang And smurl upon their shame.

2. To waste away imperceptibly or by slow degrees (Id.).

II. n. 1. The act of eating in little mouthfuls or secretly, nibbling (Id.).

2. An imperceptible wasting away (Id.).

[From Murl, with prothetic s-. See S, letter, 5.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Smurl v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2021 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: