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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCORIE, n. Also scorrie, scor(e)y, scaurie, scurrie; scourie, scowrie (Sh. 1821 Scott Pirate v., xxvii.), skoray, skori(e), -ye. [′skɔre, ′skʌre]

1. The young of any species of gull while still in its brown-speckled plumage (Ork. 1795 G. Low Fauna Orcad. (1813) 122; Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 193, 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 207; Cai. 1907 J. Horne County Cai. 394; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I. and n.Sc. 1969).Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 25:
The Orkney name scaurie, is applied to this gull only while it is young and speckled.
Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Sh. 418:
At this place, scories and kittiwakes are caught, by lines being let down perpendicular cliffs, and jerked into the young birds.
Sh. 1849 Chambers's Journal (22 Sept.) 183:
Most of the gull tribes, for example, are indiscriminately of mottled gray in their first year, and are called vernacularly by one name — scorie.
Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 125:
I mind haein a tame scorie an a tame scarf whin I wis a boy.
Cai. 1958 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc.:
Where 'e scorries go ascreaming.
Abd. 1960 People's Jnl. (12 March):
The awfa scraichin' o' the scurries.
Sh. 1992 Bobby Tulloch A Guide to Shetland's Breeding Birds 53:
In Shetland generally an immature gull is called a Scorie. The species is usually identified e.g. a Swaabie Scorie is a young or immature Great Black-backed Gull. In Lerwick no such distinction is normally made and any gull of any age is called a Scorie.
ne.Sc. 1994 Press and Journal 7 May 20:
"... aboot the time fan ye were thirtenn at the Broch and a scurry landit on a roof and a slack slate came aff and crackit ye on the heid and ye endit up in the bandages in the hospital for twa wikks. I think I've heard that story afore, aye."

2. The cormorant, Phalocrocorax carbo, or shag, P. aristotelis (Kcd. 1825 Jam.).Kcd. 1956:
Aye, a scarth's a cormorant, but that's mair the Hielan wey o't; we aye ca't a scurrie.

3. Transf. an avaricious, quarrelsome person (Cai. 1969).Cai. 1961 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc. 21:
Hid'll be left til a lok o' scorries o' nephews an' nieces, fa'll be fechtan lek a lok o' bantan cocks eboot dividan 'e money.

4. A nickname for a native of Papa Stour In Sh. (Sh. 1969), or Wick in Cai. (Cai. 1969).

[Norw. skåre, O.N. skàri, = 1.]

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"Scorie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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