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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

THEWLESS, adj. Without energy or spirit, dull and feeble, insipid (Lth., wm.Sc., Rxb. 1972). More commonly in form Thowless, q.v. [′θjuləs]Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (Rogers 1905) 213:
My sang's o' nae sic thewless themes.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags l.:
A quiet, thewless, pleasantly conforming man.
Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 85:
Like some puir dwinin' thewless wicht Wi' death in view?
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Smugglers xxxiii.:
A tribe of thewless, bloodless, bakers'-bread eaters.
ne.Sc. 1928 J. Wilson Hamespun 71:
Whaur maukins thewless hirple like to freeze.

[O.Sc. thewless, immoral, 1513, Mid.Eng. theweles, id., O.E. þēaw, a characteristic, an attribute, Mod.Eng. thew, bodily strength, vigour, + -less. Cf. Thowless and Thieveless.]

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"Thewless adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Feb 2023 <>



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