Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
‡SMURL, v., n. [smʌrl]
I. v. 1. Of persons or animals, esp. in sickness: to eat little and slowly, as if without appetite, to nibble in a half-hearted or furtive manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 171; ‡Abd. 1970). Ppl.adj. smurlin, eating in this way, esp. of one who is fond of dainties (Gregor).Sc. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Sc. 53:
It was the worms wha wrocht ye wrang And smurl upon their shame.
2. To waste away imperceptibly or by slow degrees (Id.).
II. n. 1. The act of eating in little mouthfuls or secretly, nibbling (Id.).
2. An imperceptible wasting away (Id.).[From Murl, with prothetic s-. See S, letter, 5.]
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