Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
†FEERIE, adj.1 Also feery, fearie, feirrie. Strong, active, clever, fearless (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 202); specif. with regard to walking: nimble, smart (Sc. 1818 Sawers). Also used adv.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 164:
Ha'd your Feet, luckie daddie, old Folk are not feery. Sc. 1763 W. Thom Donaldsoniad 364:
He maintains, that a strict analogy may be observed between every one's natural manner of walking and his manner of thinking, and that to call a man eloquent or feery o' the feet, is to speak of him in synonymous terms. Ayr. 1792 Burns Deuk's dang o'er my Daddie i.:
“The fien-ma-care,” quo' the feirrie auld wife. Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 60:
Kimmer can cast owre it her cantraips an' spells, An' feerie can cross it in twa braid cockle shells. Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick ix.:
Suppose ye took a soond man, hale an' feery o' the feet, an' gar't him aye walk aboot wi' a pair o' crutches, what wad happen til him? Kcb. 1909 Gallovidian No. 44. 177:
He was on the borders o' four score, yet a fearie fell auld carle.
Hence adv. feerilie, -y. cleverly, actively, nimbly (Per. 1880 Jam.).
Sc. 1763 W. Thom Donaldsoniad 368:
I thocht it wad be better if it was a' dun bi ane that cou'd gae throw it feerily and cannily.
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"Feerie adj.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/feerie_adj1>
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