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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TEER, adv. Also tier, tear, in phrs. (1) a' by teer, a' the teer, all that ever . . .; as little as matters, as much and no more, barely, by the skin of one's teeth, to denote an action that comes within an ace of success or failure (wm.Sc. 1930); (2) a teer tae him, her, etc., used in speaking of a person determined to get his own way at all costs (see quot.).(1) Ayr. 1821 Scots Mag. (April) 352:
Gin I cou'd hae ony ou'rance o' you, I wad egg you a' the teer that I cou'd.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
“Can you lift that?” “It's a' the teer.”
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 48:
'Twas just a' the tier I had ony ava.
Gsw. 1925:
“I beat you that time!” “Oh, aye, it was aa by tear” i.e. it took you all your time.
Kcb. 1928:
It was a' by tear that I was not killed.
(2) Ayr. 1948:
A tear tae him, he'll wreck the hoose. A tear tae him, he wad win his point.

[Reduced or corrupted forms of (1) a(ll) that e(v)er, freq. with ellipsis of succeeding clauses “that one could . . .” or the like; (2) whate(v)er (one says or does) tae him.]

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"Teer adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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