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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLORIE, n., adj., v. Also flory, florrie, flor(e).

I. n. An empty-headed, dressy person (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 207).Sc. 1757 H. I. Players' Scourge 5:
A pedantic foolish flory, an ordinary companion to the prophane and graceless.

II. adj. Vain, showy (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 102), volatile (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Comb. flory-heckles, “a vain empty fellow” (Lth. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xii.:
The words “flory conceited chap” . . . began to be buzzed about.
Sc. 1834 Tait's Mag. (Oct.) 606:
Worthy, drowsy, droning Dr —, whose “style of language” she said she comprehended better than the flory flights of that young Doctor, who had turned all the leddies' heads.
Sc. 1845 Edb. Tales (ed. Johnstone) I. 172:
This is nae whilly-wha o' a love letter; it was no flory chap that wrote the like o' this.

III. v. To swagger, to strut about in a conceited way, as in showing off one's fine clothes (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 72; Cai.3 1952, flor). Hence florier, a vain, overdressed person.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 78:
He gaed awa, To fight and to florrie through wide India.
Ib. 165:
His auld scrubbing dad Left him a weighty purse to right, And set him floreing mad.
Ib. 217:
All the drinkers, floriers, cutty-gliers, and curious folks, attend from all parts of Galloway.

[Orig. obscure. It might conceivably be a reduced form of O.Sc. floren, florence, 1567 —, a kind of silk or taffeta (from Florence), with later extensions of meaning. No doubt there has been semantic and phs. also formal influence from Flourish.]

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"Florie n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2022 <>



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