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PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

  This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.

AdjectiveEdit

wurly (comparative wurlier or more wurly, superlative wurliest or most wurly)

  1. (Northern England (Yorkshire), Scotland) Of an object: derisorily small, tiny; of a person: puny, stunted.
    • [1825, John Jamieson, “Wurlie”, in Supplement to the Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language: [] In Two Volumes, volume II (K–Z), Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press; for W[illiam] & C[harles] Tait, []; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, OCLC 863495133, page 700, column 2:
      Wurlie, 1. Contemptibly puny, or small in size; as "a wurlie bodie," an ill-grown person, Fife, Loth.]
    • 1856, James Ballantine, “The Wee Raggit Laddie”, in [John D. Carrick, Alexander Rodger, and David Robertson], editors, Whistle-binkie or The Piper of the Party: Being a Collection of Songs for the Social Circle, new edition, Glasgow: David Robertson & Co., published 1873, OCLC 894202707, stanza 2, page 158:
      Thy wee roun' pate sae black and curly, / Thy twa bare feet, sae stoure an' burly, / The biting frost, though snell an' surly / An' sair to bide, / Is scouted by thee, thou hardy wurly, / Wi' sturdy pride.
    • [1876, C. Clough Robinson, “Wurly”, in A Glossary of Words Pertaining to the Dialect of Mid-Yorkshire; wth Others Peculiar to Lower Nidderdale. To which is Prefixed an Outline Grammar of the Mid-Yorkshire Dialect (Series C (Original Glossaries, and Glossaries with Fresh Additions); V), London: Published for the English Dialect Society by Trübner & Co., 57 & 59, Ludgate Hill, OCLC 458063535, page 158, column 2:
      Wurly [wur·li], adj. A very small portion of anything is of a wurly size; gen. 'What a wurly bit o' bread, and nought on 't!' [], i.e. no butter, or anything on. The r is often strongly trilled in this word.]
    • [1905, “WIRL, sb.”, in Joseph Wright, editor, The English Dialect Dictionary: [], volume VI (T–Z, Supplement, Bibliography and Grammar), London: Published by Henry Frowde, [], publisher to the English Dialect Society, []; New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, OCLC 81937840, page 515, column 1:
      WIRL, sb. Sc. Yks. [] A small and harsh-featured person; an ill-grown child; a stunted animal. [] Hence (1) Wirly, adj. puny, small; (2) Wirly-bit, sb. a short time; a little way; a small portion. (1) Sc. There's nae a pilchard in my creel, Nor wurlie sprat … They're firm and fat (Jam.).]
  2. (Scotland) gnarled, knotted; wizened, wrinkled.
    • [1825, John Jamieson, “Wurlie”, in Supplement to the Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language: [] In Two Volumes, volume II (K–Z) (in English), Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press; for W[illiam] & C[harles] Tait, []; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, OCLC 863495133, page 700, column 2:
      Wurlie, [] 2. Rough, knotted; as, "a wurlie rung," a knotted stick, S. It is applied to a stick that is distorted, Lanarks. As this sense, however, is considerably remote from the other, the term may have had a different origin. 3. Wrinkled, applied to a person; as, a wurly body, Lanarks.]
Alternative formsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Variant of wurley.

NounEdit

wurly (plural wurlies)

  1. (chiefly South Australia) Alternative spelling of wurley.
    • 1862 February 1, “The Burke and Wills Australian Exploring Expedition”, in The Illustrated London News, volume XL, number 1129, London: Printed & published by George C. Leighton, 198 Strand, OCLC 953800630, page 128, column 3:
      Poor [William John] Wills's remains we found lying in the wurly in which he died, and where [John] King, after his return from seeking the natives, had buried him with sand and rushes.
    • 1875, Robert Bruce, “The Black Boys’ Ride: A True Story”, in The Dingoes and Other Tales, Adelaide, S.A.: Printed at "Advertiser" and "Chronicle" offices, OCLC 82518914, stanza 10, page 74:
      And so those boys with stealthy pace / Returned the saddles to their place; / Then to their wurly quickly hied, / No doubt delighted with their ride.
    • 2012, Maggie Meyer; Joan Small, “Monsters of the Cretaceous”, in Big Foot Adventures Down Under (Spirits Alive Series; 1), [Gordon, N.S.W.]: Xlibris, →ISBN, page 164:
      Before night fell, they made themselves a shelter like a wurly by collecting large Wollemi pine fronds from the forest floor, leaning them against each other to make a peaked hut and joining them together with vines. It would offer some protection while they slept.