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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PORR, v., n. Also por(e); pur(r).

I. v. 1. To prod, poke, thrust at (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); to prod with the horns, of a cow, etc., to gore (sm.Sc. 1966). Also fig. Comb. por(r)ing-iron, purr-, a poker (‡Ags. 1808 Jam., purr-).Sc. 1702 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 307:
For a stoif chimney without back tangs, show, and poring iron . . . £7 8 0.
Ags. 1712 A. Jervise Land of Lindsays (1882) 426:
A chimblow, toaings, chuffel, and purring jorn.
Abd. c.1803 D. Anderson Sawney and John Bull 20:
Ay my boys, that's ploughmen for ye, That ye're kings an' a' may pur ye.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 152:
I would think shame to rin and chase thee Or yet to pur ye.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
What's she purran aboot the fire for noo?

2. To prick, stab, Jag (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 384; Cai. 1964, purr).Cai. 1900:
He got purred with a thistle. A've purred ma finger.

II. n. 1. A thrust, stab, poke, prod, the noise made by such (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 384; Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs Gl.; sm.Sc. 1966). Dim. purrie, a boys' game (see 1929 quot.).Sc. 1741 Caled. Mercury (28 May):
A Dark Gray Mare . . . very thin casten behind, with a little white Spot on her Face, and a Pore Mark on or above her right Thigh.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 155:
A simple pur wi' a bodie's fit, Maks 't rin a most prodigious bit.
Abd. 1929:
Purrie, as its name implies, is also a school game. It consists in touching one's neighbour with the hand and calling Purrie, when the insulted one makes chase and tries to secure the offender for prison.

2. A poker. Also in Eng. dial.m.Lth. 1711 J. Paterson Hist. Wauchope (1858) 79:
Item, the kitchen chimney, with tonks, raxes, with pore and shuffell.
Gsw. 1732 Gsw. Testaments MS. LI. 124:
Tuo pair smith tongs and a porr and Skivell.

3. A thorn, prickle, barb (Cai.91939); hence, by extension, a thistle (Cai. 1930).Cai. 1961 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc. 5:
Dockans, skeollag, carran, an' purrs.

4. A round stick trimmed at one end to make it easier to grip and used as a bat in the game of tip-and-run or puddocks at the Edinburgh Academy (Edb. 1975, porrie). The form porringer, prob. a corruption of porring-iron s.v. I. 1., is used at Loretto School. m.Lth. 1911 H. B. Tristram Loretto School 84:
'Puddex', often shortened to 'dex', is the Loretto name for small cricket. It is played with a tennis ball and a porringer, alias broomstick.

[O.Sc. porr, porring irne, 1583, to prod, poke, 1598, porh(e), a sword-thrust, stab, 1589, Mid.Eng. porre, Du., L.Ger. porren, to poke, thrust, Dan. purre, Norw. dial. pora, id.]

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"Porr v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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