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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Scots dreich, from Middle English dregh.


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dreich (comparative dreicher, superlative dreichest)

  1. (Northern England, Scotland, Northern Ireland) Bleak, miserable, dismal, cheerless, dreary.
    • 1932, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, “A Scots Quair”, in Sunset Song, Polygon, published 2006, page 243:
      It looked a dreich, cold place as you rode by at night, near as lonesome as the old Mill was, and not near as handy.
    • 1941 January, C. Hamilton Ellis, “The Scottish Station”, in Railway Magazine, page 3:
      There are many other species of Scottish station, from geranium-hung coastal termini to dreich places in the Black Country, but a concluding note must be reached, and it shall concern Glasgow.
    • 2002 November 14, “Glasgow's ambassadors receive a dreich welcome in Havana”, in The Scotsman:
    • 2004, Susan Hill, The Various Haunts of Men, published 2004, page 4:
      but driving home at this dreich hour and at the end of a difficult shift, she found the ectoplasmic fog unnerving
    • 2020, Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain, page 336:
      On dreich days Shuggie would take Agnes's wedding album and hide at the foot of her bed poring over the photos of his father.

Related terms[edit]




dreich f sg

  1. dative singular of dreach (front)


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]



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.



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]