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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

COWER, COUR, COWR, Caur, Ca'ower, v., intr. and tr. [′kʌuər, ′kɑ′ʌuər, ′ku:ər]

1. intr. To recover, get well (Abd.4 1930, ko-ower). Also used with up (Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 116). Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 (cour, cowr) 1940.Ork. 1908 J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 323:
Willick's hoose waas seevan mile awa, sae da neebar deudna see Sibbie fill Tiesday whin sheu couldna bit spier gin Willick was coweran.
Abd. after 1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd (S.H.S. 1938) 175:
The lady kind some halesome things apply'd, So that untill he caur'd, wi' her he stay'd.
Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 48:
“Guid save's, 'oman,” he exclaimed, “ye're nae weel. I wis' ye may cour.”

2. tr. To get over, to recover from (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940). Abd.19 says: “commonly used with it as obj.” Also used with up.Bnff. 1856 J. Collie Poems 73:
Hoo they gat hame I canna tell, I scarce ken hoo I wan mysel'; But noo I'm here an' soun' an' hale, An' fairly coured the spree, O.
ne.Sc. 1996 W. Gordon McPherson in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 61:
Noo, this Lame Emmert wis a peer bauchled little craitur o an Emmerteen. She'd fa'en oot o her crib fin she wis a littlin an hurtit hersel sair an nivver cowrt it.
Abd. 1928 Abd. Weekly Jnl. (9 Aug.) 6/3:
I cam' awa' doon tae see foo ye hid cowert up yer veesit tae the show, Mains.
Bch. 1930 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 105:
Bit A never ca'owert that accident richtly, an' A've aye been some dweeble-like amo' the legs sin' seen.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 5:
Cauld winter's bleakest blasts we'll eithly cour, Our eldin's driven, an' our har'st is owr.

[Eng. dial. (Cum., Yks., Der.) has cover, to recover (E.D.D.). O.Sc. cover, cower, to recover from illness, 1375 (D.O.S.T.); Mid.Eng. (a)cover, cogn. with O.Fr. covrer, from Lat. (re)-cuperare.]

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"Cower v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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