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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SMORE, v., n. Also smoar and, by confusion with Smuir, smoor. Intensive form smorich. [′smo(ə)r]

I. v. 1. tr. (1) To smother, suffocate, stifle in gen. (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 266; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1970); in Sh. also, to drown; to smoke bees. Also fig. Also transf. Ppl.adj. smorin, of a cold in the head: thick, choking, heavy (ne.Sc. 1970).Fif. 1709 E. Henderson Annals Dunfermline (1879) 385:
Twentie shillings on charity to help to bury his daughter smored in the heugh.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 23:
He was like to smore us a' i' the coach wi' the very ewder o't.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 189:
Wi' Maister Laiglen, like a brock He did wi' stink maist smore him.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 97:
They maistly smoor him Amang the stoure that rows before him.
ne.Sc. 1828 Lady Diamond in Child Ballads (1956) V. 37:
Bring here to me that bonny boy, And we'll smore him right quietlie.
Per. 1835 R. Nicoll Poems 64:
Nae bee-bikes he smored.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 34:
Though I sud be smored in da blue deep.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 65:
The man More o' Vennis, the bleckie that smored his wife.
Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 45:
A'll get smored amon' haipennies an' fardins.
Ags. 1957 Forfar Dispatch (5 Dec.):
He wiz tien wounded intae Inverquiech Castle far he “wiz smorit be his wife.”
Bnff. 1967 Bnff. Advertiser (16 March) 6:
Beddit doon wi' a smorin' heid caul.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 14:
He didna unnerstaun straicht aff, fur he still thocht that, since she'd jist new-fand him, she micht mebbe wint tae smore him in bosies.

(2) fig. To suppress (one's feelings); to hush up (a rumour, etc.) (Ags. 1970).Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 187:
As well sa she coud she smor'd her care.
Mry. 1824 J. Cock Homespun Lays 128:
She striv'd a wee to smore her spleen.
Ags. 1901 W. J. Milne Reminisc. 64:
Ye needna seek tae smor't up; it'll hae to come oot.
Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heidor Hert ii.:
He's smorin a's finest thochts.

2. intr. To be smothered or stifled, to choke for want of air (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1970); to drown (Sh. 1970). Also fig. Phr. to be smorin wi the caul, to have a very bad cold, to suffer from a severe catarrh (ne.Sc. 1970).Sc. 1808 Jam.:
I was like to smore.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 30:
Shortly we were pyoch'rin' sair an' fleyed that we would smore.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 24:
Blaw oot the glim afore we smore.
Sh. 1951 Sh. Folk Book II. 66:
Dir aye a grain a water whaar da staig smores.
Bnff. 1967 Bnff. Advertiser (30 March) 8:
A'm jist smorin' wi' the caul.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 47:
The rickle o granite steps, an the blaik, spear-tappit iron railins leadin tae ilkie hoose in yon dreich, Victorian airt, war happit wi snaw an ice - a geelin claddin far aa souns smored an the treetles o watter faain frae spoots an icicles vanished inno the bosie o a wraith o a drift.

3. To extinguish a fire, light, etc., to put out, obliterate, lit. and fig. (ne.Sc., Ags. 1970). Hence smorer, an extinguisher, of a candle (Abd. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 204).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 53:
I smoar'd the flame an' thought to keep it in, But ay the mair I smoar'd it spread within.
Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes iii.:
Ye hae never broken the pitcher, to lat the lamp shine out, an' I doubt ye hae smo'red it by this time.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) 94:
It smored oot the fire.
Sc. 1924 Scots Mag. (July) 242:
A flash i' the pan, in darkness smored.
Sc. 1948 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 167:
Darklin' the cloods come doon an' smore the years.

4. (1) tr. To confine, pen up closely, to cover over thickly in snow or the like (ne.Sc., Ags. 1970). Ppl.adj. smored, obstructed with rubbish or mud, silted up (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 62).Sc. 1778 Weekly Mag. (21 Jan.) 87:
Ilka cairney's smoar'd wi' locks o' sna.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 49:
Snaw is thickly fa'in', An' smores up sheep on hill an' moor.
Ags. 1896 Barrie Sentimental Tommy xxx.:
It should be here-abouts, but it's smored in rime.
Ags. 1932 Barrie Farewell J. Logan 32:
In this white wastrie of a world. . . . The farm-towns look to me to be smored.

(2) intr. Of snow, smoke, etc.: to fall or come out in a dense stifling cloud; of atmosphere: to be thick, with snow, smoke or the like (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1970). Also smorich.Abd. 1845 T. Denham Poems 81:
Adoun the lum the reek comes smorin', An' O, the win' is courin' drearie.
Clc. 1850 J. Crawford Doric Lays 10:
Ilk sough that shook the lanely bield, The smorin' cluds sent down.
Abd. 1863 G. MacDonald D. Elginbrod xiv.:
I hae followed him through a' the smorin' drift o' the warl'.
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 55:
The night on the Slug road smoring with sleet.
Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 19:
The smorichin' blast cam' stoorin' doon.
Abd. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 29:
The smorin' reek cam' yoamin' oot.

(3) of a flame: to die out, be extinguished.Abd. 1945 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 378:
Ahin the laich funn dyke licht's hinmost lowe, A sma reid cwyle, smores in the reek o' the rime.

II. n. A thick close atmosphere, which seems to stifle one, one full of smoke, swirling snow, fine drizzling rain or mist, whirling dust, etc. (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 171). Combs. smore-drift, -thow, dense drifting snow (Ags. 1808 Jam., -thow; ne.Sc. 1970, -drift). Adj. smorie, of weather: close and drizzling (Fif. 1825 Jam., Fif. 1970).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 171:
It's naething bit a smore: a bodie canna teethe out our a door. The hoose wis jist a smore o' reek.
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 56:
In the sleet smore of the night.
Abd. 1944 C. Gavin Mountain of Light iii. v.:
It's dingin' on — it'll be a nicht o' smore drift yet.
Kcd. 1961 Dundee Courier (16 Dec.) 6:
The buffet and smore of the wind in the Howe o' the Mearns.
Abd. 1965:
A blin' smore o' snaa.
Abd. 1969 Huntly Express (28 March) 2:
Sheltered fae the frost an' the smore drift.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 48:
The gaitherin ranks o the Godly didna bide claikin ootbye, sae caul and sae quanter the day, wi gurly cloods wechty wi blin smore rowin roon the lums o the toon.

[O.Sc. smore, to stifle, suppress, a.1400, to suffocate with smoke, 1450, to be stifled, 1475, Mid.Eng. smore, to suffocate, O.E. smorian, id., cogn. with smother. The word is now chiefly in ne.Sc. usage, Smuir being used elsewhere.]

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"Smore v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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