Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
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.

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

"Terrible adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: