One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Dismal, gloomy; cheerless; miserable as a result of cold, illness, etc.
2Scottish. Of a thing: uncanny, disquieting; = "eerie".
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Robert Burns (1759–1796), poet. Origin uncertain. Sc. National Dict s.v. ourie adj. suggests derivation ultimately from a variant of owl or owl; compare also Scots oor to huddle with cold, shiver, oorit cold, shivery.
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