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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TOUR, n.1, v.1 Also toure, toor (Bwk. c.1830 Minstrelsy Merse (1893) 168: Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders ii.; Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 44), tooer (Abd. 1877 G. MacDonald M. of Lossie xx., 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 48); tooir, touer. Dims. tourie, toorie, tourack, -oc(k), -ick, toorack(ie), -ock, tourriky, tow(e)rick(ie). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. tower (Sc. 1709 Household Bk. Lady G. Baillie (S.H.S.) 237). [tu:(ə)r]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Sc. forms: Sc. 1990 Robert Crawford in Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway New Writing Scotland 8: The Day I Met the Queen Mother 5:
Rooky ur-stanes, nesh
Wi deid weans' haunprents, sclimmin
Salvatour's tooir.
Sc. 1991 Kenneth Fraser in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 101:
We could bigg up a touer again wi stane,
But aince the leid is lost, for aye it's gane.

Sc. combs. and derivs.: (1) tower-bolt, a type of barrel bolt (Sc. 1946 Spons' Practical Builder's Pocket Bk. 443); (2) tour-house, a high, somewhat narrow, rectangular tower, gen. having only one apartment on each floor and used as a residence by the local landowner, but equipped for defence in troublous times, esp. common in the Border Country, a peel or keep. See Peel, n.4, 2. Most tower-houses date from the period 1330–1600; (3) tourock, toorackie, etc. (i) a little tower; (ii) anything rising high or to a point (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Gen.Sc.), a small pile, heap, stack, of sand, dust, etc. (Edb. 1910 Scotsman (6 Sept.); Per., Slg., Lnk. 1972), a pinnacle of rock, cairn of stones (em.Sc. 1972); (iii) an ornamental top, tuft, knot, crest or the like, surmounting an object (Sh. 1972). Also attrib.; ¶(iv) a spiral column (of smoke); (4) tourie, toorie, (i) (a) = (3) (Sh., Abd. 1972). Also attrib. Comb. toorie-tap, a pinnacle; a fir-cone (Fif. 1958); (b) specif.: the ornamental knot of wool on the crown of a Scottish bonnet or tam o' shanter; sometimes the bonnet itself. Also a close-fitting woollen hat with a pom-pom. Gen.Sc. Also transf. jocularly to the cork of a champagne bottle; †(c) an old woman's cap or Mutch (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (d) a top-knot or bun of hair (Sh., Cai. 1972); (ii) a spirit supposed to haunt ruined towers; (5) tour-sneck, in masonry: a sneck or wedging stone which is too high and so breaks bond (Per. 1972). See Sneck, n.1, 3. (1).(2) Sc. 1720 Sheriffdom Lnk. & Rnf. (M.C.) 136:
It is ane old tour house; the walls are of a prodigious thickness.
Peb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 602:
Tower houses are met with in a ruinous condition at the mouth of every defile.
Sc. 1924 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 3) II. 57:
During this [14th] century, the type of castle in vogue among the needy Scots barons was a simple square tower-house, to which a walled court or “barmkin ” was appended.
Sc. 1960 S. Cruden Sc. Castle 128:
Many existing tower-houses were added to during the fifteenth century and became the nueleus of a more expansive establishment ranged round a courtyard.
(3) (i) Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister 165:
A bell to hing in their bit tooroch.
(ii) Dmf. 1848 Edb. Antiq. Mag. 117:
It is now a ‘kail-yard,' and a ‘tourock' of stones marks it out.
Lnk. 1873 J. Nicholson Wee Tibbie 57:
Sic a touroc o' guid things to glow'r at!
Kcb. 1900 Crockett Stickit Minister's Wooing 237:
The grey whinstane tourocks and granite cairns on the hilltaps.
em.Sc. 1913 J. Black Gloamin' Glints 52:
A toorackie o' san' I'll mak', An' gie' the wee ba' sic a whack.
Dmf. 1956:
If there was a tourock in Tynron Glen, folk wad come frae far and near tae break their necks on't.
(iii) Kcb. 1897 66th Report Brit. Ass. V. 480:
The minister commonly cuts the bride-cake. In doing so he hands the ‘toorack' — i.e., the top, to the bride.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine at Exhibition 11:
A fine tourriky feather hat.
Dmf. 1914 J. L. Waugh Cracks wi R. Doo 147:
On the table in front o' every chair was a nice white hanky, folded in a by-ordinar fancy wee tourick.
(iv) Rxb. 1858 H. S. Riddell Song of Solomon iii. 6:
Wha is this that cums owt o' the wuldirniss like towiricks o' reek?
(4) (i) (a) Rnf. 1813 G. McIndoe Wandering Muse 73:
Let mony simmer suns yet warm thy hurdies, And on thy toorie-tap lang beek the burdies.
Gsw. 1863 W. Miller Nursery Songs 55:
He that on fortune's toorie sits May fa' an' fin' the hap o't, O.
Lnk. 1890 H. Muir Reminisc. 75:
What queer biggin's this wi' the roon toorie turret?
Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep Head 220:
In the middle o' the toorie o' ase.
Peb. 1908 Gsw. Ball. Club III. 140:
The manse, by my certy, 's a braw sonsy Ha', Wi' turlies and toories and gables.
Gsw. 1931 H. S. Robertson Curdies 114:
It's the heidstane wi' the toorie.
Ork. 1938 M. A. Scott Island Saga (1968) 70:
Doon it [corn] gaed, and roond it gaed, wi' here and there a toorie.
(b) Sc. 1874 W. Allan Hame-Spun Lilts 229:
A braid Scots bannet Wi' ae red toorie centred on it.
Gsw. 1902 J. J. Bell Wee MacGreegor 69:
Wull my greengarry bunnet ha'e a rid toorie?
Sc. 1926 H. M'Diarmid Drunk Man 16:
Naethin' but the toories O' their Balmoral bonnets to tell the tale.
Sc. 1935 B. Marshall Uncertain Glory 303:
Like me to take his toorie off for ye, surr?
Sc. 1956 R. M. Barnes Sc. Regiments 304:
Uniform [of the K.O.S.B.]: Kilmarnock bonnet, blue, with diced border, red tourie and blackcock's tail.
Abd. 1989:
Tourie - in addition to meaning a pompom on a tammy, means the tammy itself in this area.
Sc. 1994 Herald (11 May) 10:
James Shepherd is Wee Macgreegor to the "t" for toorie on his "Greengarry" bunnet ...
Sc. 1994 Daily Record (11 Oct) 43:
And Knudsen - the Faroes' most experienced player at Hampden tomorrow with 35 caps - explained: "It made me look a bit silly." Fish factory worker Jens became a cult figure at home for turning out with the trademark white 'toorie'.
Abd. 1998 Press and Journal (6 Nov) 3:
The attacker is described as 16 to 20, and was wearing a black toorie hat, dark navy bomber jacket, dark blue tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe on both legs and black trainers with white toecaps.
Abd. 2000 Press and Journal (28 Apr) 3:
He had wide, protruding eyes and was wearing a brown toorie - a traditional Scottish hat with a bobble.
(d) Lth. 1888 D. Carmichael Cosietattle 231:
Blondes wi' their toories o' tow.
Ayr. 1895 H. Ochiltree Redburn iv.:
Ye canna put a bonnet abune sic an awfu' tourie o' hair as that.
(ii) s.Sc. c.1830 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1916) 101, 112:
Towries or Dunters were spirits that inhabited old castles, towers, dungeons of forts, and peels. They make a noise as if they were beating flax, or knocking barley in the hollow of a stone. . . . “And the toweries hard are thumpin'.”

2. In pl.: cumulus clouds (Mry. c.1890 Gregor MSS.).

II. v. intr. To form into a heap, to pile up; to rise high in the air, of flames.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 450:
Hay is said to be toorrin when it rises on the rake in raking; a fire is also said to be so when blazing freely.

[O.Sc. tourhouse, 1494.]

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"Tour n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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