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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

ILL-CONTRIVED, adj. Also -contrivet; and in strong -contriv(v)en, and active form -contrivin(g).

1. Tricky, mischievous, badly-behaved (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 87; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh., Cai., Abd., Ags. 1958). Also in Eng. dial.Bnff. 1880 J. F. S. Gordon Chrons. Keith 69:
All and sundry vowed vengeance on the ill-contrived loons.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xl.:
“Satisfy me whar ye are gaun sae late,” says the ill-contriving chiel, “an' maybes I'll convoy ye a bit o' the road.”
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. iv.:
“Dod dwine the ill-contriven nickums,” said he, when he saw the overflow of syrup.

2. “Contradictory, intractable, contumacious” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh., Cai., Mry. 1958); unfriendly (Ork. 1958).Sh. 1897 Shetland News (17 July):
Doo wisna sae ill contrived ta him, whin we wir a gaen ta da schule togedder.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 89:
Een o' the maist ill-contriven brats that ever I kent.

3. Awkward, clumsy (Sh. 1958, -ed, -en).Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xiv.:
The folk couldna tell whether he was giein' them guid Scots or ill-contrived Laitin.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (15 July):
I hate a lang baand, it mak's a body's burden dat ill-contriv'd.

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"Ill-contrived adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2023 <>



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