Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

FIAR, n.2 Also †feer, †fier, †fieiar, †fear(e). [′fi:ər]

1. A general average or standard, as regards gauge, measure, price, etc. Bnff. 1703  Records Bnff. (S.C.) 249:
The Justices names James Wood in Doune, Alexr. Mill at Mylne . . . to go to ffordyce on the last Tuesday of May instant to make the ffieiar of shoes pryces conforme to the last act.
Rxb. 1825  Jam.:
Yarn is said to be spun by, i.e. past or beyond, the fier, when it is drawn smaller than the proper thickness. It is also applied to a very tall person, who has not thickness proportioned to his height.

2. Now always in pl.: the average prices of the various types of grain fixed annually in early spring for the current year by the Sheriff in the Fiars Court; originally fixed to ascertain the money value of Crown Rents, later to settle the value of grain sued for at law and, since 1808, only to determine the amount of a parish minister's stipend, as regulated by Teinds. To fix these amounts is technically called to strike (strick) fiars and the procedure is regulated by Acts of Sederunt, 1723 and 1728. Also attrib. in fiars price(s), id. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1714  Earls of Cromartie (ed. Fraser 1876) II. 145:
I receiv'd your lordship's of the 11th instant, with the exchequer fiars for crops 1711 and 1712.
n.Sc. c.1730  E. Burt Letters (1754) II. 150:
The Sheriff's Regulation for the Year is called the Feers-price, and serves for a Standard whereby to determine everything relating to Rents and Bargains.
Dmf. 1757  Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. (1928–9) 24:
The Baillie, before further procedure, appointed the following to strick the Fears for Crops, 1755 and 6.
m.Lth. 1795  G. Robertson Agric. m.Lth. 177:
The fiars are settled every year in March, by a jury of 8 landed gentry, and 7 traders, summoned by the sheriff for that purpose.
Cai. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 XV. 9:
There being no barley fiars struck in the county, the barley is paid according to the fiars' price of bear.
Fif. 1898  “S. Tytler” Mrs Carmichael's Goddesses viii.:
At that “striking of the fie'ars”, or settling the current price of grain, which forthwith fixed the clerical revenues.
Abd. 1900  Misc. New S.C. II. 41:
The Jury did not strike a Bear Fiar.
  Ib. 8:
The first recorded Fiars Court was held on 19th April, 1604.
Kcd. 1933  “L. G. Gibbon” Cloud Howe (1937) 37:
The old minister had died of drink, . . . and his last words were, “And what might the feare's [sic] prices be today?”
Sc. 1952  Scotsman (10 May):
In 1925 by the Church of Scotland (Property and Endowment) Act, the ministers agreed to have their stipends from teinds fixed or standardised at the average grain fiars prices of the county for the 50 years 1872–1922.

[O.Sc. feir, 1513, fiar, 1615, fixed price of grain for the year, O.Fr. feor, feur, fixed price, from Lat. forum, a market.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Fiar n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down