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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

COOR, COO'ER, COUR, Co'er, Co'oer, Cur(r), Kur, v.1 Sc. forms of Eng. cower. [ku:r, ′kuər, kʌr]

1. intr.

(1) To crouch, cringe, cower (Ags.1, Slg.3, Arg.1 1937; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915-26 Wilson); “to sit by leaning one's weight on the hams” (Sc. 1808 Jam., curr); “to bend down on one's hunkers when sliding on a ‘rone”' (Abd.9 1941, curr). Jak. gives the form kur for Sh. Also fig.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 28:
He wag'd his Tail, cour'd near, and lick'd my Hand.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 58:
For fear she curr'd, like makine i' the seat, An' dunt for dunt her heart began to beat.
Abd.(D) 1920 G. P. Dunbar Guff o' Peat Reek 35:
An antrin laverock warbles heich . . . Or wi' his sweethe'rt, by the burn Among the rashes, coo'ers.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 70:
but's a ferlie gien a dicht tae the glum,
tae ilka thowless squeef, tae aa we've become.
Coor nae mair, here's generations o soond
that'll roose ye or Scots - and Scotland's unbound.
Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane Traditions 69:
The little . . . huddled hamlet of . . . Bithergirse . . . curs on the brow of a muir.
Fif. 1991 Tom Hubbard in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 143:
Ill-thriven laund, eenou ti me sae deir,
Cauldrife an courin fae the daithlie drow.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 61:
... but talk o independence means
maist jouk or co'oer,
as pow'r, wi aathing else it seems,
we haund it ower.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 107:
Israel fund nae bield in a' the lan' Wherein to co'er.
w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) iii.:
I sat coorin' aneath my faither's big coat.

Hence coory, ¶curie, adj., of a cowering disposition; timid, cringing (Lnl.1 1937; Peb. 1825 Jam.2, courie; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Sc. 1927 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 160:
When speirin' day has ta'en the gait, The curie birds hae coorit doon.

(2) fig.: to bow, submit (Bnff.2 1937).Abd. 1844 W. Thom Rhymes and Recoll. 42:
E'en Blackstone's weighty art maun cour To far mair weighty woman's.

2. tr. To bend, lower, fold (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Lnl.1 1937).Hdg. 1902 J. Lumsden Toorle, etc. 131:
Aneth the Lion's tap I've coo'rd my heid And cuddled cub-like on his beildy breist.
Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter (Cent. ed.) ll. 179–180:
But here my Muse her wing maun cour, Sic flights are far beyond her power.

[O.Sc. has cour, to cower, from c.1470 (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Coor v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 May 2024 <>



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