Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
VARIORUM, n., v. Also -im and altered forms valiorm, furiorum. Sc. usages. See also Wheeriorum. [vɑrɪ′orəm]
I. n. 1. A change, novelty, diversion; a constant variation, a variety, medley.Sc. 1761 Magopico 41:
A little chit-chat with cuttie is an excellent variorum to exhilarate a man.Ayr. 1786 Burns Jolly Beggars Air 8:
Life is all a variorum.Ayr. 1836 Galt Rich Man (1925) 40:
I cannot say that there was much variorum in my way of life for several years.Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 95:
It's a lang time since I heard ye sing't and it'll aye be a variorum.Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 37:
There's joy within our house at e'en, An' muckle variorum.
2. A variation in music.Abd. c.1760 J. Skinner Amusements (1809) 56:
Dringing dull Italian lays, . . . They're dowf and dowie at the best, Wi' a' their variorum.Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 11:
They [Cameronians] widna let the Paraphrases be sung in the kirk, or tunes wi' variorum about them.Sc. 1991 John McDonald in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 89:
lowe an tallie yin rummle
(God an chiel plet)
kythin an vainishin aw at yince:
like owrecome an variorum in a pibroch set.
3. A piece of decoration, in furniture, etc., an ornament, gew-gaw, trinket (I., em.Sc.(a), sm.Sc. 1973); a flourish in handwriting; any unnecessary appendage (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); in pl., the genitals (Abd. 1973).Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxx.:
She not havin' similar variorums in her hoose.Ags. 1880 J. Watt Poet. Sk. 21:
She had made it sae to sheen 'Mang ither variorums she'd gat.Mry. 1887 A. G. Wilken Peter Laing 11:
There was a lot of variorums on the back o't [chair] ance on a day.Kcb. 1930:
A'm guid at readin' write gin it has nane o' your variorums and whirligigs.
†4. A whim, caprice, a palaver, fuss.m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 140:
Ye needna trouble yersel' wi' ony o' yer high-fleein' variorums wi' me.Abd. 1889 Bon-Accord (19 Oct.) 20:
This ceremony wis conduckit wi' lagammachies as big's yer airm, an' a dasent sicht ower muckle furiorums.
II. v. To ornament, decorate. Rare.Sh. 1970 New Shetlander No. 93. 27:
Aa athin da kirk aye lookit weel: Shapit an valiormed, made wi skeel.
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"Variorum n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Feb 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/variorum>