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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

TERRIBLE, adj. Also tairrable (Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (July) 273); tarrible, tar(r)ble (chiefly Uls.); terriple; and reduced forms terral (Edb. 1897 Scots Mag. (July) 110), terrel (Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 376); terril (Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of Wilderness xxiv.; Sc. 1930 Scotsman (21 May) 15), terrl (Rnf. 1898 J. M. Henderson Kartdale, Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 189, Slg., Ayr., sm.Sc. 1972), terl, tirrel. [Sh. ′tærɪbl; Ayr., sm.Sc. ′ter(ə)l] Sc. usage as in colloq. Eng.: very great, tremendous, “terrific”, excessive. Also adv. and inform †terriblys, very much, exceedingly, extremely, “awfully” (Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 13; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc.Sc. 1858 Scotch Haggis 49:
He was unco' hard upon poor Jock, and misca'd him terrible.
Abd. 1845 J. Milne Essays, etc. 169:
Our modern females would have pronounced her “terrible bonnie”.
Ags. 1874 T. Guthrie Autobiography I. 331:
She [i.e. the 103rd Psalm] was aye terriblys throw by the hinder end o' the tables.
Abd. 1881 W. Paul Past & Present 29:
He was a “terrible divertin' breet.”
Gsw. 1889 J. Houston Autobiography 54:
It's some great London comic they've got, wi' a tirrel funny name.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister vi.:
The laddie was terrible against being made a gentleman.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 3:
I got a terriple bargain o' him.
Gall. a.1897 Rob Ringan's Plewman Cracks 31:
Ter'l fashed wi' the rheums.
Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 57:
Da hens wir claugin' at a tarble rate.
Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine My Frien' 23:
Dae ye think it a sin to be admirin' young lasses — if they're terrible bonnie?
Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 66:
There was a terr'le collieshangie in the joinery office.
Abd. 1927 T. McWilliam Around the Fireside 23:
She's terl bothered wi' a pain in her heid.

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"Terrible adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/terrible>

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