Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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THRIVE, v.1, n. Also I.Sc. trive, tryve. Sc. forms and usages:

I. v. A. Forms. Pa.t. thrave (Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 86; Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 222; Bwk. 1863 A. Steel Poems 225; Ayr. 1879 J. Service Dr. Duguid 124; Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 312; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Cai., m. and s.Sc. 1972) [θre:v], trave (Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 32); threeve (Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 51, 1909 C. Murray Hamewith 25, Abd. 1972), †throove (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 13) [θri:v]; ¶thruve (Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 52). Pa.p. thriven (Gen.Sc.), triven, triv(ve)n, -an (I.Sc.); †threin (Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 208), thryne (Gall. 1905 E.D.D.), †three'n (s.Sc. 1912 N.E.D.). [θrɪvn; †θrɛin]

B. Usages: 1. As in Eng. Sc. combs., derivs. and phr.: ¶(1) gerss-thrivn, grass-fed; (2) ill-t(h)riven, badly-nourished, not well-developed, lean, scraggy (Sc. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Gen.Sc. See (8); (3) ill-tryvin, bad-luck, ill-success, used imprecatively in quot. = the devil, the mischief (I.Sc. 1972). (4) sae hae me trivan, sae micht I trive, used in strong asseverations, = upon my word, as I live, etc. (Ork. 1972); ¶(5) thrivance, prosperity, success; (6) thriver, one who thrives, a prosperous person. Obs. in Eng.; (7) thrivy, prosperous, thriving; (8) weel-t(h)riven, well-grown, well-developed, fat, plump (Sh. 1972). Compar. better thriven. (1) Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms cvi. 20:
The gerss-thriv'n knowte.
(2) Sc. 1806  R. Forsyth Beauties Scot. IV. 58:
Short, ill-thriven furze.
Sh. 1901  Shetland News (1 June):
Drink dy mylk, doo ill-triven lipper.
Sh. 1937  J. Nicolson Restin' Chair Yarns 23:
Instead of the ‘ill-triven' child, he saw a well-built young man.
(3) Sh. 1815  Sh. Advertiser (6 Jan. 1862):
Goanie boy, what ill-tryvin kam o' dee yisterday, efter doo wis gotten dee hedd klippit.
(4) Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 8:
That wus his vero words, sae micht I trive.
Ork. 1904  Dennison Sketches 6:
An', sae hae me trivan! some o' the men wur no' muckle better.
(5) Sc. 1913  H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ ii. ix.:
I' my thrivance I said, I sal never be steer'd.
(6) Edb. 1720  A. Pennecuik Helicon 82:
Let us who stay at hame, study to be Thrivers.
Sc. 1825  Jam. s.v. Reeze:
A farting bairn is ay a thriver.
(7) Abd. 1917  Rymour Club Misc. II. 203:
Huntly is a borough toon, a kirk without a steeple; A midden stance at mony a door, and very thrivy people.
(8) Gall. 1905  E.D.D.:
“A weel-thryne beast” is one reflecting credit on the breeder.
Rxb. 1955  Abd. Univ. Review (Aut.) 140:
His lambs weel-got, nane better thriven.

2. To grow larger or bulkier, to swell. Hence thriving, of a woman: pregnant. Dmf. 1822  Scots Mag. (March) 362:
Weel ken I what's gude for a thriving wife.

II. n. Prosperity, thriving state, a boom. Hence phrs. aff or on the thrive, in a poor or prosperous state, (un)prospering, in a declining or flourishing condition (sm.Sc. 1972). Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail iv.:
Howsever, cousin, ne'er fash your thumb, Glasgow's on the thrive.
Ayr. 1836  Galt in Tait's Mag. (June) 393:
When the thrive of the late war began to sprout.

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"Thrive v.1, n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2019 <>



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