Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SMALLY, adj. Also smalie. Of persons: undersized, small and slight, weakly, not thriving (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 190; n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., 1942 Zai; m. and s.Sc. 1970); of things: small, slight, meagre. Also in n.Eng. dial. [′smɑle]Edb. 1764 Caled. Mercury (18 Aug.):
She is a smally girl, speaks Englified, and said she was born in Derby.
Sc. 1820 R. Mudie Glenfergus II. 267:
Two smally dry haired ponies.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xix.:
Benjie, who kept aye smally, and in a dwining way.
Clc. 1852 G. P. Boyd Misc. Poems 13:
Ye'll hae a smally wish to ken.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 116:
A wean of Nanny Forgisal's, . . . who was a smally cretur from the first.
s.Sc. 1900 Border Mag. (Jan.) 14:
Jean lookit gey little aside him, but she's a sma'lie craitir.
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness i.:
“Are ye no pinched a wee?” he asked. “No at the neck? I never saw ye look so smally.”

[From small, E.M.E. †smally, weak, of drink. The Sc. surname Smellie derives from this form.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: