Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

TERIBUS, n. Also teeribus(s), terribuss, terrybuss, t(a)iribus, tyribus, and in comb. teribus and teriodin, teeriodin, terriodin, terryoden, tiriodin, — ye Teri Odin, — ye Tairiodin. The slogan or war-cry of the town of Hawick in Roxburghshire (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); a local popular song incorporating these words in its chorus and sung esp. at the Hawick Common Riding festival (see quots.). [′tirɪbəs (ən ′tiri ′odɪn)] Rxb. c.1800 R. Wilson Hist. Hawick (1825) 343–4:
Tiribus and Tiriodin, We are up to guard the common . . . Now Tiriodin blaws the chanter.
Rxb. 1837 in R. Murray Hawick Songs (1897) 30:
Teribuss, ye Teri Odin, Sons of heroes slain at Flodden.
Rxb. 1873 J. A. H. Murray D.S.C.S. 18:
The accredited method of arousing the burghers to any political or civic struggle is still to send round the drums and fifes “to play Tyribus” through the town.
Rxb. 1898 Craig and Laing Hawick Trad. 38:
The Hawick slogan, “Tairibus ye Tairiodin”, gives us phonetically, if not orthographically, some old battle cry or chorus of a very dim and very distant past.
Rxb. 1949 Scotsman (11 June):
The followers, accompanied by the Provost and Magistrates, sang “Teribus”.
Rxb. 1965 Hawick Express (21 July) 4:
“Haaick for ever an independant” — words that are immortalised in the last verse o' Teribus.

[The source of the phr. has not been traced back to much before the beginning of the 19th c. and its orig. is obscure. The explanation given by Jam. and accepted by Murray in D.S.C.S. 18 that the words represent O.E. Týr hæbbe us, ȝe Týr ȝe Oðinn, “May [the god] Tyr keep us, both Tyr and Odin”, fails on the grounds that the gods' names are given in their O.N. forms, not the O.E. Tīw and Wōdan, that the normal phonological development would not result in the modern pronunciation and that in any event the survival of a supposed O.E. sentence in its near orig. form for more than 700 years is barely conceivable. The explanation seems to be a piece of dubious 18th c. antiquarianism. The phr. may well be a succession of meaningless syllables meant to represent the sound of a march played on drums and bagpipes as some of the quots. suggest and as may be paralleled in the sim. Hey tutti tatie as the title of an old military march.]

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

"Teribus n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: