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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DIRTY, adj., adv. Also durty.

I. adj.

Sc. form of Eng. dirtym.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 27:
Back tae fuckin drudgery: dummy tits, greetin, broken sleep, durty nappies...
wm.Sc. 1991 Liz Lochhead Bagpipe Muzak 18:
But - now we are talkin' here of the City I Love
That, once upon a time, wis a busy place
Wi' muck on its hauns and a durty face.
Gsw. 2000 Herald 15 Aug 21:
... the punter next to him attracted the barmaid's attention and protested loudly that his pint was cloudy. The provider of ales took a careful look at his pint then came to the conclusion: "Naw, ye're wrang. It's jist that the glass is durty."

Sc. usages:

1. Of land or crops: weed-infested. Gen.Sc.Fif.1 1928:
Awfu' dirty land thon.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xx.:
See at the thistles, an' the dockens . . .! A man has nae richt to be raisin sic dirty craps on ither folk's grund.

2. Phrs. and Combs.: (1) dirty coal, “a coal seam with thick partings of blaes or fireclay; a very ashy coal” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 24); (2) dirty dicht, an insult (Abd.4 1929), a raw deal (Abd.27 1948); (3) dirty drinker, one who drinks alone, for the love of drinking (Fif.10 1940); ‡(4) dirty luggie, a receptacle for slops and refuse (Ayr.9 1940); (5) dirty thow, see Thow; (6) dirty Willie, the arctic skua, Stercorarius parasiticus. Cf. Dirten allen.(1) Sc. 1898 People (3 April) 9 (E.D.D.):
The Lothian miners at Dalkeith have resolved to support those at Preston Grange in the dispute as to allowances for “dirty” coal.
(3) Per. 1900 E.D.D.:
He's a dirty drinker, him.
(4) Sc. a.1745 H. G. Graham Soc. Life Scot. (1899) I. 85:
On reaching the flat where lodged an advocate in extensive practice, eyes and nose encountered at the door the “dirty luggies” in which were deposited the contents, which, as St Giles' bells rang out at ten o'clock, were to be precipitated from the windows.
(6) Fif. 1832 Fife Herald (4 Oct.):
The Dirty Willies (as they are popularly and expressly named), are engaged in constant pursuit of their prey - living as they do by sheer-piracy.

II. adv. Used as an intensive (Per., Gsw. 1946 (per wm.Sc.1)). Cf. Dirt, adv. Hence dirty bate, -licket, ignominiously beaten, walloped (Fif.13 1940, -licket), schoolboy terms.Sh. 1924 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. III. 201:
Noo, hed it been men aatagedder, I micht a tried it, fur dey'll pit up wi things, an dir no sae dirty parteeklar.
wm.Sc.1 1946:
Victor, sitting on vanquished: “Are ye bate?” Vanquished: “Aye.” Victor: “Are ye dirty bate?” Vanquished: “Aye.” Honour being satisfied, vanquished was allowed to go.

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"Dirty adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2022 <>



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