Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HAIRSE, adj. Also hearse; herse; haerse (Kcb. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 56); hairsh, he(a)rsh, hyirse, hyirsh (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); hersche (s.Sc. 1859 J. Watson Bards of the Border 106); haiss (Cai. 1902 E.D.D.); harse. Hoarse, used of both voice, etc. and person. Gen.Sc. Also used fig. and adv. [Sc. he:rs, herʃ; Cai. he:s]Ayr. 1786 Burns Earnest Cry ii.:
Alas! my roupet Muse is haerse!
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxix.:
Weel, Jeanie, I am something herse the night, and I canna sing muckle mair.
Slk. 1874 Border Treasury (19 Sept.) 96:
Then his voice fell low again, an' I could hear what he said, altho' he was quite hersh an' roopit.
Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 51:
I'm haerser noo, bit still I hae A wy — I'm hed hit aa my time.
m.Sc. 1902 J. Buchan Watcher by the Threshold i. vi.:
I threepit till I was hairse.
Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 9:
Sma' winner Dooglie's throat's hairse — he's sic a yabbin' crettur.

Hence hairs(e)ly, hairselie; hearslie, hoarsely (Sc. 1825 Jam.); and hairseness, hoarseness (Ib.).Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 1:
Whan hearslie coos, in dell forlorn, The cuckoo just departin.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 62:
But Daith spak hairsely in a sair alairm, “That chap'll jouk me in the warl' below.”

[For development from O.E. hās, hoarse, see P.L.D. § 32.3. Forms with r are not recorded in either Sc. or Eng. before 1400 but may be due to an O.E. *hārs. O.Sc. hace, hais, hes, c.1470–a.1585, hers, 1513, hairsnes, a.1568.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Hairse adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: