Draggled sae 'mang muck and stanes, They looked like wirry-cows
The word is derived by John Jamieson from worry (Modern Scots wirry), in its old sense of harassment in both English and Lowland Scots, from Old English wyrgan cognate with Dutch wurgen and German würgen; and cowe, a hobgoblin, an object of terror.
Wirry appears in several other compound words such as wirry hen, a ruffianly character, a rogue; wirry-boggle, a rogue, a rascal; and wirry-carle, a snarling, ill-natured person, one who is dreaded as a bugbear.
- SND: worricow
- The Online Scots Dictionary: wirry
- Jamieson, John (1808) Jamieson’s Dictionary of the Scottish Language p. 620
- Online Etymological Dictionary
- DOST: wirry
- Onions, C.T. (ed.) (1966) The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology Oxford, p.1013
- The Online Scots Dictionary: cowe
- SND: cowe
- DOST: wirry hen
- SND: worry[dead link]