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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MAIRRY, v. Also ma(i)ry, mer(r)y, mairray. Gen.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. marry. [′mere, ′mɛre]

1. Sc. form of Eng. marry (mairry Sh., Cai., Bnff., Abd., Ags., Fif., Edb., Gsw., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb.; merry Ork., Edb., Arg., Gsw., Ayr. 2000s). Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 17:
"Shae's gaun tae mairry Barnabas Sabeeston. She telt me shae hid come tae the conclusion that him an' her wis made for wen anither."
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 17:
To live the virtuous life is awfy chancy
When a lassie's merrit tae a man she disnae fancy.
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 22:
Ah'm tellin ye, Lorraine, when ah broke it tae ma maw that ah wiz gonnae merry a communist she says tae me, "It could be worse, hen. He could be a soldier!"
ne.Sc. 1991 Ken Morrice in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 61:
I canna mind the date or foo mony
years I wis mairrit.
Abd. 1992 Press and Journal (10 Oct) 4:
"Then we got mairriet. Ae day, she wis as sweet a lassie as the howe's seen. The next ...BOWF. What a change come ower her efter the waddin. ..."
m.Sc. 1994 Mary McCabe Everwinding Times 344:
"Course ah mind. Who waants tae be merried an a Dad at my age?"
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 158:
Kevin. Kevin Scott. Poor fuckin doss cunt Kevin. Mairrays intae the Strangs. What a total fuckin radge of the highest order.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 33:
I am, as we say hereaboots, merriet but nae kirkit, tae ma dearie. He sailed for the New Warld tae makk wir fortune, an gied me a crookit bawbee as a keepsake afore he set aff.

With on (Gen.Sc.), upon or with = Eng. to. Also mairry ontae. Sc. 1705 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) I. 76:
She was maried on that worthy and usefull Christian and elder here.
Sc. 1707 Seafield Corresp. (S.H.S.) 431:
I beleeve he will be marryed before wee goe to London with Major Genll Ramsayes daughter.
Sc. 1728 Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 152:
He had so much sympathy with Mr M'Millan that he travelled 50 miles by sea and land to Edinburgh, to marry him upon his present wife.
Sc. 1813 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) III. 275:
Her daughter is married on an uncle of my neighbour.
Abd. 1877 G. Macdonald M. of Lossie v.:
God forbid she sud be merried upon ony sic a bla'guard!
Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 76:
Da lass 'at he wis mairried on, Wis oy-in-law ta Maaly.
Ags. 1932 Barrie Farewell Miss J. Logan 89:
Christilly is married on a provision merchant in Ireland.
Gsw. 1977 Alan Spence in Moira Burgess and Hamish Whyte Streets of Stone (1985) 142:
'Tommy Brady's lassie.'
'Gettin merried at Martha Street themorra.'
'Merried oantae a Proddie tae.'
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 45:
merrit A local version of married: 'Is she the wan that merrit ontae the McLeans?'
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 72:
'Frae the man that's mairrit on Lord Abbotshall's dochter,' Eleis said, laughing, 'that must come frae the hert.'

2. Fig. in phrs.: (1) mairriet tae the kirk, of a divinity student: ordained (Abd.27 1951); (2) wha to be married first, a card-game once popular in Gall. (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 458).

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"Mairry v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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