English edit

Etymology edit

The adjective is borrowed from Scots dreich (hard to bear, dreary, tedious, wearisome; interminable, long-winded; dull, uninteresting; slow, tardy; doleful, gloomy; baffling, difficult; difficult to reach, inaccessible),[1] from Middle English dregh, dri, drie (burdensome; depressing, dismal; large, tall; lasting, long; long-suffering, patient; tedious; of blows: hard, heavy; of the face: unchanging, unmoved; of a person: strong, valorous) [and other forms],[2] from Old English *drēog, drēoh (earnest; fit; sober), and then probably partly:[3]

The noun is probably partly derived:

  • from the adjective;[4] and
  • borrowed from Scots dreich (dreariness, gloom) (rare),[1] probably from Middle English dri, drie (annoyance, trouble; grief; period of time) [and other forms], possibly from dri, drie (adjective) (see above).[5]

(Compare Old English ġedrēog (seemliness; seriousness, sobriety; something appropriate or required, noun), which did not survive into Middle English.)[4]

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

dreich (comparative dreicher, superlative dreichest) (Northern England, North Midlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland)

  1. Extending for a long distance or time, especially when tedious or wearisome; long-drawn-out, protracted; also, of speech or writing: unnecessarily verbose; long-winded.
    (long-winded): Synonyms: see Thesaurus:verbose
    (long-winded): Antonyms: see Thesaurus:concise
  2. Not enjoyable or interesting; boring, dull.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:boring
    Antonyms: see Thesaurus:exciting
  3. Bleak, cheerless, dismal, dreary, miserable.
  4. Slow, sluggish; specifically, of a person: tending to delay or procrastinate (especially when paying for something).
    Synonyms: dilatory, tardy; see also Thesaurus:slow
    Antonyms: see Thesaurus:speedy
  5. Of a person: having a dejected or serious appearance or mood; dour, gloomy, moody, morose, sullen.
  6. Of a task: laborious, tedious, troublesome; hence, needing concentration to understand; intricate.
    Synonyms: burdensome, taxing, toilsome
    • [1934], Lewis Grassic Gibbon [pseudonym; James Leslie Mitchell], “Forsaken”, in Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid [pseudonym; Christopher Murray Grieve], Scottish Scene or The Intelligent Man’s Guide to Albyn, London; Melbourne: National Book Association; Hutchinson & Co., →OCLC, 4th section, page 149:
      Right above your head some thing towered up with branching arms in the flow of the lights; and you saw that it was a cross of stone, overlaid with curlecues, strange, dreich signs, like the banners of the Roman robbers of men whom you'd preached against in Zion last night.
  7. Chiefly of rain: without pause or stop; continuous, incessant.
    Synonyms: persistent, sustained, unceasing, unending, unremitting; see also Thesaurus:continuous
    • a. 1931 (date written), D[avid] H[erbert] Lawrence, “A Hay Hut among the Mountains”, in Warren Roberts, Harry T. Moore, editors, Phoenix II: Uncollected, Unpublished, and Other Prose Works by D. H. Lawrence [], Viking Compass edition, New York, N.Y.: Viking Press, published 1970, →ISBN, part I (Stories and Sketches), page 43:
      So, after two hours' running downhill, we came out in the level valley at Glashütte. It was raining now, a thick dree rain.
  8. Of weather: dreary, gloomy (cold, overcast, rainy, etc.).
  9. (obsolete)
    1. Of a person: negotiating forcefully; driving a hard bargain.
    2. Of a place (especially a hill or mountain): difficult to get through or reach; inaccessible.

Alternative forms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit

dreich (countable and uncountable, plural dreiches)

  1. (countable, Northern England, North Midlands) A tedious or troublesome task; also, the most tedious or troublesome part of a task.
  2. (uncountable, Scotland) Bleakness, gloom; specifically, gloomy (cold, overcast, rainy, etc.) weather.

Translations edit

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 dreich, adj.”, in The Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries, 2004–present, →OCLC, reproduced from W[illiam] Grant and D[avid] D. Murison, editors, The Scottish National Dictionary, Edinburgh: Scottish National Dictionary Association, 1931–1976, →OCLC.
  2. ^ drī(e, adj.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ dreich, adj.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2023; dreich, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 dreich, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, July 2023.
  5. ^ drī(e, n.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Irish edit

Noun edit

dreich f sg

  1. dative singular of dreach (front)

Mutation edit

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
dreich dhreich ndreich
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading edit

Scots edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English dregh, from Old English ġedrēog, *drēog, from Proto-West Germanic *dreug, from Proto-Germanic *dreugaz. Possibly influenced by Brythonic, e.g. Welsh drycin (bad weather) < drwg (bad) +‎ hin (weather).

Distantly cognate with English drudge, dree, and German trügen.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

dreich (comparative mair dreich, superlative maist dreich)

  1. persistent, continuous, relentless
  2. slow, tardy
  3. dismal, dowie, dreary, bleak
    • 2000, Matthew Fitt, But n Ben A-Go-Go, Luath, published 2000, page 132:
      The dreich inhuman blue on Nadia's lang-wheesht thocht-screen fizzed intae life.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  4. tedious, wearisome, drawn-out
  5. reluctant, tight-fisted, driving a hard bargain

Derived terms edit