One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adjectiveEnglish Regional, Scottish, Northern
1Of water or other liquid: turbid, not clear; discoloured with matter in suspension; murky, muddy.
2Figurative and in extended use: murky, unclear; dirty.
3Specifically. Muddle-headed, confused, giddy.
4Of the sky, the weather, etc.: gloomy, dark, cloudy, troubled. Also figurative of prospects, a person's looks, etc.
Early 16th century; earliest use found in Gavin Douglas (c1476–1522), poet and bishop of Dunkeld. Perhaps a variant of drubly; compare later drummle.
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