Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SPEERIT, n. Also sperit (Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie v.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. spirit (Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 76; Lnk. 1838 J. Morrison McIlwham Papers 19; Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 168; Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 11; Abd. 1879 G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie xxvii.; Ags. 1887 Brechin Advert. (25 Oct.); Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 52; Kcb. 1894 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet vii; Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 161, Ork. 1904 Dennison Sketches 21; Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 58). Ppl.adj. speeritit (Abd. 1888 D. Grant Keckleton 44.) See P.L.D. § 45. [′spirɪt]

1. Sc. combs. and deriv. (1) speerit-bund, under the influence of some supernatural power, bewitched, spell-bound; (2) speerity, spirited, vivacious, full of energy; of animals: mettlesome. Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Hence speerity-like, speerity-looking, having a spirited, lively appearance. (1) Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 40:
Sheu was speerit-b'und, or gotten what some ca' the g'aist cramp.
(2) Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize xxxviii.:
He was of a spirity disposition, and both eydent and eager in whatsoever he undertook.
Sc. 1867  N. MacLeod Starling xxviii.:
She's no strong, but extraordinar speerity.
m.Lth. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 205:
Says she, gettin mair speerity-like.
Per. 1896  I. Maclaren Kate Carnegie 36:
She's a weel-faured lassie, an' speerity-lookin'.
Gall. a.1897  Rob Ringan's Plewman Cracks 8:
My mither was a speerity body, that gar't a'thing gang cheery at hame.
Kcb. 1913  G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin' 15:
Davy, tho' speerity eneuch was gettin' auld an' frail.
Abd. 1930  Abd. Univ. Mag. (March) 103:
A've kent young speerity chiels never ca'ower the birstin' at they got that wy.
m.Sc. 1932  O. Douglas Priorsford i.:
He's a steerin' callant. . . . Speerity too.

2. An inquisitive person (Dmf. 1971), with a pun on spier it (see Spier).

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"Speerit n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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