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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

VOAR, n. Also vor(e), voer, vohr (Ork. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 96), vour (I.Sc. 1825 Jam.). [vo:r]

1. The spring of the year (I.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I.Sc. 1973). Also attrib. Comb. voar-fool, the snipe (Sh. 1973).Sh. 1735 Old-Lore Misc. IV. iii. 121:
Alex Thomason's summer and voar fees [at school].
Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 58:
If a man and a dog land upon some of the islands in vor-time, i.e. Spring, almost all the pregnant sheep take to running, and run till they fall down dead.
Ork. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Report App. A. LIX. 270:
To take up ware — sea-weed — in Vore.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (15 May):
Fir da voar an' hairst quarters da schule wis oot o' da question a'tagedder.
Ork. 1911 Old-Lore Misc. IV. iv. 185:
The bonny lang daes o' tha voar-time.
Sh. 1931 Shetland Times (14 March) 7:
Mannir'd, dell'd, shoo, an' harroo'd him i' da koorse o' twa voar days.
Sh. 1951 New Shetlander No. 27. 6:
Flaachterin apo a crub-daek ae kaald voar day.
Sh. 1972 New Shetlander No. 99. 12:
A blackbird whistles frae da rüf o da byre, An suddenly, it's Voar.
Sh. 1975 Andrina Deyell My Shetland 47:
The pig ... was always kept for the voar.
Sh. 1976 Rhoda Bulter Shaela 5:
Bit it's dan I man mind aa da guid things in store For him at survives till da middle a voar, . . .
Sh. 1986 Robert Alan Jamieson Shoormal 30:
Lass wi dølos green een Dy voar maun ging. Lat lowse dy had o lallies.
Sh. 1986 Robert Alan Jamieson Thin Wealth 21:
It was a cycle without end; voar, summer, hairst and winter, on and on, life and birth, death and rebirth.
Sh. 1986 Robert Alan Jamieson Thin Wealth 24:
Ahead lay da voar, spring, with all its toils for the crofter, but Lowrie was tired of the long winter nights and relished the thought of it.
Sh. 1988 Shetland Folk Book 8 33:
I had heard the first of many folk-tales of this local highlight that once interrupted the rhythm of voar routine.
Sh. 1993 New Shetlander Sep 22:
So the voar came and went in an atmosphere of fragile harmony

2. The sowing of the seed in spring, the digging or ploughing and other work involved in this, seed-time (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.; I.Sc. 1973). Also attrib.Sh. 1746 Hjaltland Misc. (1937) II. 75:
To put him dayly to the school twixt and the beginning of voar.
Sh. 1856 E. Edmonston Sketches 135:
I ought to go to help our poor father and mother to get their voar finished.
Sh. 1871 R. Cowie Shetland 159:
The operations of ‘vore' do not commence until the end of March.
Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Tales 247:
We had da half o' her ta da voar, an' she haed fir her voar-fee tree shillins, twa pair o' rivlins, an her haands.
Sh. 1928 Manson's Almanac 187:
We hardly hed time ta draw wir braeth till da voar wis ower.
Sh. 1939 A. O'Dell Hist. Geog. Sh. 120:
All help at least with voar and harvest.

[O.Sc. (Sh.) voir, 1603, Norw. vår, O.N. vár, the spring. Cf. Ware, n.4]

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"Voar n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <>



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