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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SWEIRT, adj. Also sweart, sweert, sweir(e)d, sweer(e)d, sweard. A ppl. form developed from Sweir, lazy, sluggish, loath, reluctant (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 188; Sh., ne. and m.Sc. 1972). Also fig. Hence sweirdness, laziness, reluctance (ne.Sc. 1972). [swi:rt, swi:rd. See D, 5.]Peb. 1817 R. Brown Comic Poems 167:
Sweered, yet willing when so pat Revenge . . . thus tempting lay.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Gathering of West 280:
“We're swithering,” replied Mrs M'Auslan, “for the gudeman's unco sweart.”
s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 268:
I'm unco sweert to part wi't.
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 248:
Pride an' sweer'dness need muckle uphaudin.
Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-net 11:
She's slack, an' she's sweerd.
Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (10 Jan.):
A'm sweert to come oot ower.
Ags. 1950 C. Carswell Lying Awake 139:
Auld age disna come its lane. Gin it bring naething else it brings sweirdness.
Rnf. 1957 Port Glasgow Courier (19 Jan.):
Gey sweert to travel on the Clune Brae by bus during the present icy conditions.
m.Sc. 1979 Donald Campbell in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 68:
Ye werenae sweirt to yase your name
and aa your faimly's ill-wrocht share
m.Sc. 1982 Stewart McGavin in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 38:
sweirt, laith,
the mists skail,
an whan they dae
the fuffs,
ahent the riggs,
roun the pinnacles
mak kythans.
Abd. 1985 Robbie Kydd in Alexander Scott New Writing Scotland 3 63:
He believed me, I could see, but was sweirt to do anything about it, ...
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 33:
Fell sweirt is the man tae get hissel shiftit,
siccan a fash an a trauchle he's haen
sin the gaffer he wrocht fur his arle arrestit
for stailan sum breers that werenae his ain.

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"Sweirt adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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