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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.

MERVY, adj. Also marvie, and reduced form merve.

1. Of fruit, root crops, etc.: fully matured, mellow, ripe (Dmf. 1825 Jam.).Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 350:
Merve or Mervy, ripe, applied to apples when they are sweet and mellow.

2. “Savoury, agreeable to the taste” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Poet.Sc. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Scots 49:
And smool'd awa the mervy pith Wi' monie a mauchy mouth.

3. Of soil: easily broken down, friable (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminiscences (1922) 153, Ork. 1962).

[Sc. form of Eng. marrowy, full of marrow or pith, from the oblique stem of O.E. mearȝ-, Mid.Eng. mar(o)w-, with voicing of w as in Melvie. For the vowel cf. P.L.D. § 48.1.(2).]

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"Mervy adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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