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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LEERIE, n.2 Orig. a meaningless word or element used for rhythmic purposes in children's rhymes and as a suffix in such words as Bummeleerie, Fitakaleerie, Gowmaleerie, Heeligoleerie, Whigmaleerie, to denote sprightly, bustling motion, fanciful appearance or the like.Abd.30 1960:
A child's word for bouncing a ball under one leg. From the rhyme: One, two, three, a leerie, Four, five, six, a leerie, Seven, eight, nine, a leerie, Ten, a leerie, postman.

[Orig. echoic, but there may possibly be some association with the various collocations of syllables, riri, tiriri, hiriri, diri, etc. used as a kind of notation in bagpipe-playing. O.Sc. has lierie and larie, id., a.1568.]

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"Leerie n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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