Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
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.

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

"Variorum n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Feb 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: