airish adj Pronc-spp arrish, arsh
1 Chilly, windy, drafty. [Scots, nEngl dial; OED3 a1642→ ] chiefly Sth, S Midl
1757 (1965) Carter Diary 1.140 VA, A clear day but airish till night and then excessive Cold, Stormy and a Smart Snow for about an hour at night. 1859 Louisville Daily Courier (KY) 15 Nov 1/3, Yesterday morning was rather airish, but during the day there was marked moderation in the atmosphere. 1878 Beadle Western Wilds 609, Going westward on any line one will find the winters growing dryer, also more ‘airish.’ 1888 Dallas Morning News (TX) 19 Sept 7/3, The weather is not so airish as it was yesterday and it is still bright and pleasant. 1912 Green VA Folk-Speech 63, Airish. . . Chilly: “It is right airish this morning.” 1918 DN 5.39 VA, Arsh . . cool, brisk (of the air). 1926 DN 5.397 Ozarks, Airish. . . Cool, damp. Used with reference to the weather. 1932 Monroe News–Star (LA) 30 Mar 1/2, Sunday afternoon the weather was rather airish out at Casino park. 1947 Hench Coll. VA, Conversation . . with a Negro workman . . at an auto store and filling station: The Negro said to me, ‘a bit arrish this morning.’ . . I later realized he was giving his own pronunciation of ‘airish.’ c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, It’s kinder airish [ˈærɪš] this morning. 1972 Atlanta Letters 22, “It’s getting airish” means the weather is getting cooler. 1983 DARE File nwMS, In these parts when we close a door, we “push it to,” not necessarily fastening the mechanism fully, but just enough to keep the room from being “too airish.” 2000 Shores Tangier Is. 237 Chesapeake Bay, It’s right airish today, isn’t it? (chilly). 2002 DARE File csOH, Here’s one I heard from my eye doctor’s receptionist—airish for windy. This was in Fairfield County in Ohio. She’s in her 70s and told me she learned it from her parents who grew up in the same county. 2017 DARE File—Internet cnAL, Sunday will [be] breezy and much cooler with showers especially during the morning. Lows Monday morning will be airish, in the 40s in most locations.
2 Conceited, self-important, arrogant. formerly widespread, later chiefly Sth, Midl See Map formerly in general use, later esp among Black speakers; now old-fash or obs Cf airified adj, airy adj 1, arnchy n
1829 Schenectady Cabinet (NY) 30 Sept 1/4 sePA, Here again, we gaze at the would-be thought patrician, whose ample dress, rich jewels, airish carriage, affected superiority . . are paradingly displayed. 1836 Atkinson’s Casket 3.124, Miss Livingston!—that proud airish creature, that thought the world was made only to worship her. 1854 Natl. Aegis (Worcester MA) 25 Jan /1 ceNY, She is, in fact, “an airish young woman”—to use a homely phrase and deserves to be censured most severely for her conduct. 1871 NY Commercial Advt. (NY) 2 May 2/4, We felt that we had a right to be a little airish, when John Bull caved in so much as . . to treat with us upon our own soil. 1896 Trenton Sun. Advt. (NJ) 20 Sept 10/2 sePA, If “pa-pa” and “ma-ma” should be thought high sounding or airish, there are always the words father and mother to be employed. 1943 Writers’ Program NC Bundle of Troubles 26 NC, Miss Muskrat got so airish ’cause Mr. Bullfrog pay her mind that she act like none the other woods folks good enuf for her to ’sociate with. 1947 Ballowe The Lawd 240 LA [Black], Ah sees huccome them quarters frawgs [=work hands on a French-speaking plantation] so airish. The quality done showed ’em. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. HH35, A woman who puts on a lot of airs: “She’s too _____for me.”) 18 Infs, chiefly Sth, Midl, Airish. [10 Infs Black]
‡3 also airy: Effeminate in manner.
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