Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SMALLY, adj. Also smalie. Of persons: undersized, small and slight, weakly, not thriving (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 190; n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., 1942 Zai; m. and s.Sc. 1970); of things: small, slight, meagre. Also in n.Eng. dial. [′smɑle]Edb. 1764 Caled. Mercury (18 Aug.):
She is a smally girl, speaks Englified, and said she was born in Derby.
Sc. 1820 R. Mudie Glenfergus II. 267:
Two smally dry haired ponies.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xix.:
Benjie, who kept aye smally, and in a dwining way.
Clc. 1852 G. P. Boyd Misc. Poems 13:
Ye'll hae a smally wish to ken.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 116:
A wean of Nanny Forgisal's, . . . who was a smally cretur from the first.
s.Sc. 1900 Border Mag. (Jan.) 14:
Jean lookit gey little aside him, but she's a sma'lie craitir.
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness i.:
“Are ye no pinched a wee?” he asked. “No at the neck? I never saw ye look so smally.”

[From small, E.M.E. †smally, weak, of drink. The Sc. surname Smellie derives from this form.]

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

"Smally adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Dec 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: