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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.

THRAE, adj., v. Also trae, tray (Ork.), trey (Sh.). [θre; I.Sc., †Gall. tre. See T, letter, 3., 9.]

I. adj. Backward, reluctant, unwilling (Per. 1825 Jam.; Kcb.4 1900); obstinate, stubborn, perverse, intractable (Ork. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 96, tray; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., trey; Ork. 1929 Marw.); shy, reserved, aloof and dry in manner (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) T. 113). Also adv. Comb. tray-sitten, lazy, stupefied, loath to move from weariness or inertia (Ork. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 96, 1929 Marw.).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 452:
A boy who is trae to learn, is stiff to learn and will teach himself.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 126:
'Twas drich i' tellin', tray begun.

II. v. intr. To suffer from a slow or serious and apparently incurable illness, to linger, esp. of an animal, to continue in a half-lifeless state; tr. to kill in a slow lingering way, as a cat with a mouse (Ork. 1972).Ork. 1929 Marw.:
The puir ting was just lyan trayan when I fond it, so I pot it oot o' pain.

[O.Sc. thra, stubborn, unyielding, 1375, perverse, c.1560, Mid.Eng. thra, thro, id., O.N. þrár, obstinate, persistent. The v. is an extended usage of the adj., cf. esp. tray-sitten.]

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"Thrae adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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