Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

TORY, n., adj. Sc. usages:

I. n. A term of disparagement or disapprobation, often jocular, applied specif. to a child, = Eng. rascal. Common in Ir. dial. from which it was prob. borrowed. Also attrib. s.Ayr. 1825  Jam.:
A term expressive of the greatest indignation or contempt; often applied to a child; as, “Ye vile little tory.” It is used especially in the higher parts of Kyle.
Dmf. c.1902  A.E.M. Lilts frae the Border 19:
Eh Jamie, ye wee Tory loon.

II. adj. Appar. = non-committal, indeterminate, humming and hawing, as a supposed characteristic of a Conservative. Fif. c.1900  Readings and Dialogues 39:
Patie was rale tory owre't, an' asked if I cud leave it for a day so as he cud mak' a thorough examination.

[The n. usage harks back to Tory in its orig. sense of an Irish outlaw, an Irish Royalist soldier of the Civil War period.]

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

"Tory n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: