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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GROWTHIE, -Y, adj. [′grʌuθi]

1. Promoting growth, esp. of the weather; warm and moist (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 58:
An' neist the sun to the hill heads did speal, An shed on plants an' trees a growthy heal.
Bnff. 1812 D. Souter Agric. Bnff. App. 58–59:
Sandy fields, . . . being . . . warm and growthy, soon entertain the communications of the dung.
Edb. 1888 Sc. Leader (3 May) 2:
We have had a week of good “growthy” weather, which has given a new appearance to the country.
Bch. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 1:
A growthy season blessed my seeds Wi' warm rains an' sun an' dyowe.
Sc. 1941 W. Soutar in Gsw. Herald (5 July):
Atween the gowdan licht And the guid earth's growthy hour The fractious nations fu' o' fecht Swurl by in stour.
Abd. 1954 Abd. Press & Jnl. (10 May):
With mid-May now so near, farmers are wondering if ever the more “growthy” weather for which they have been sighing for weeks will come.

2. (1) Of vegetation: growing fast, luxuriant, of abundant growth; weedy (Abd.15 1928; Ork., ne.Sc., Ags., m.Lth., Bwk., Arg. 1955). Rarely applied to youths. Also fig. Also in n.Yks. dial.Ags. 1857 “Inceptor” Tom of Wiseacre 69:
It's no right to overwirk growthy creatures.
Sc. 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah xvi. 10:
An' the daffin, it's dune; an' the glee, it's gane by, i' the growthy field.
Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-head 302:
If anything, perhaps, the braird was a little too growthy and exuberant.
Edb. 1917 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xi. 28:
But the richteous'll be growthie like the leaves o' the spring.
Sc. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Scots 39:
And aye the growthy tree outflang Its fullyery afore the sin.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 18:
There wis a kailyaird forbye, weel-delled and growthie, wi aa kin o crap, frae green kail tae ticht pirls o sproots.

Hence (a) growthilie, adv., luxuriantly (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (b) growthiness, n., luxuriance (of vegetation) (Ib.; m.Lth., Bwk. 1955); also fig., prosperity; (c) growthy-tastit, adj., of potatoes: “having a taste peculiar to their beginning to sprout in spring” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1955).(b) Edb. 1917 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xii. 12:
Ye maun tak a skance at the growthieness o' the richteous.

(2) Of persons or animals: capable of good growth, well-grown, thriving (Ork., Ags., Per., Fif., Arg., Kcb. 1955).Abd. 1839 J. Robertson Bk. Bon-Accord 91:
A rough, ragged, humle-headed, long, stowie, clever boy (by which is meant a growthie boy).
Sc. 1886 C. Scott Sheep-farming 166:
Such [lambs] are not desirable, and neither are those that do not appear to be growthy.
Per.4 1950:
Ye've some growthy young stirks there.

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"Growthie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2024 <>



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