"He’s a sleekit wee bastard": A meditation on a mystery, a dictionary, and the mysteries of dictionaries
Not that the words threw me; I'd come across some of them in my reading (William McIlvanney, Adrian McKinty, Gerard Brennan, et al.), and I knew others thanks to Hamish Imlach and a visit of my own to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Besides, I like encountering new words, creatively and skillfully used. I like the challenge of figuring out, by context, what a word means. I am not, that is, part of the Grammar Girl generation — or, rather, the Grammar Girl market.
But why thrawn and not cludgie? Do the lexicographers think American readers need the former defined for them, but not the latter? (I'll be back to complete this post after a visit to the can.)
Have you even been surprised, readers, by what a dictionary included or left out?
* thrawn adj. SCOTTISH perverse; ill-tempered: your mother's looking a bit thrawn this morning.© Peter Rozovsky 2014
twisted; crooked: a slightly thrawn neck. late Middle English: Scots form of thrown (see THROW), in the obsolete sense 'twisted, wrung'.