Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
FECHTER, n. Sc. form of Eng. fighter.
1. As in Eng., one who fights, a champion. Phr. a bonnie fechter, an intrepid fighter, often applied to a zealot, a disputatious person. The phr. seems to have originated in the Stevenson quot. below.
Lth. 1768 W. Wilkie Fables 120:
A Hare's nae fechter ye maun mind. Ayr. 1848 J. Ramsay Woodnotes 46:
Newmilns' dog-fechters hae come down. Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped x.:
“O, man,” he cried in a kind of ecstasy, “am I no a bonny fighter?” Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xvii.:
Ye are a braw lad an' a bonny bit fechter, but ye want the judgment. Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 43:
He was a left-haunded fechter. Bnff. 1917 E. S. Rae Pte. J. M'Pherson 1:
He wis famous as a fechter Fin the skweel wan oot at nicht. Sc. 1946 Scots Mag. (May) 137:
Sir James Douglas — man, he's a bonny fechter. He is to take the King's heart to the Holy Land.
2. In pl.: the flower stems of the ribgrass, Plantago lanceolata, struck against one another by children in a contest to knock the flower-heads off (sw.Sc. 1896 Garden Wk. No. cxiv. iii.; Ags. 1950). Cf. Eng. dial. fighting-cocks, id., and Fechtie.
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"Fechter n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Aug 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/fechter>
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