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  • IPA(key): /ˈlɛəɹi/
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

Variation of leery, originally Cockney slang.[1]


lairy (comparative lairier, superlative lairiest)

  1. (UK) Touchy, aggressive or confrontational, usually while drunk.
    Don't get lairy with me!
    • 2001 October 14, Simon Stuart, “rush to order”, in Glasgow Sunday Herald:
      There's always been a weird duality at the heart of New Order: the fact that three druggy, lairy Mancs and the drummer's girlfriend can craft music of such awesome emotive power as to make grown neds weep.
    • 2002 July 27, “‘We wouldn′t dream of making you feel fat’”, in Glasgow Herald[1]:
      Unskinny was a self-published riot of large lasses getting lairy in northern towns, and did a reasonable trade via friends and comic shops.
    • 2002 September 24, Gareth McLean, “Live With Chris Moyles”, in The Guardian[2]:
      The show is lairy, loud and laddish; it does exactly what it says on the tin.
    • 2004, “I Predict a Riot”, in Employment, performed by Kaiser Chiefs:
      Watching the people get lairy / It's not very pretty I tell thee
    • 2005, Alexander Masters, Stuart: A Life Backwards:
      I started to get a bit lairy, agitated on drink.
    • 2005 November 20, Rowan Pelling, “Women do make the worst drunks. Maybe it's the sick'n'sequin mix...”, in The Independent on Sunday:
      Obviously, I'm not beginning to suggest women commit as much violent crime as men when plastered. But I do now concede that being aggressive, ignorant, lairy and foul-mouthed suits the ladies even less than it suits the fellas.

Etymology 2[edit]

Thought to be from leery (knowing, streetwise).[2]


lairy (comparative lairier, superlative lairiest)

  1. (Australia) Vulgar and flashy.
    • 1983, National Book Council (Australia), Australian Book Review, Issues 48-57, page 29,
      He was lairy alright, resplendent in a purple blazer and pink trousers.
    • 2008, Helen Garner, True Stories, page 255,
      They had no wedding party, only an Australian couple in their sixties, the woman in a great deal of pancake and blusher and a lairy fur jacket.
    • 2009, Sally Neighbour, The Mother of Mohammed: An Australian Woman′s Extraordinary Journey Into Jihad, page 176,
      Sungkar told Rabiah he thought of her as he rode to freedom on his motor scooter through the green wrought-iron gates, disguised in a pair of blue jeans and a lairy short-sleeved batik shirt: ‘Rabiah reckoned the safari suit was bad—if only she could see me now’.
  2. (Australia) Socially unacceptable.
Derived terms[edit]