Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FIENT, n. Also f(e)int, fe(e)nt, feant, faint, fein(d), fien. Sc. forms of Eng. fiend. Specif., the Devil, used imprecatorily and esp. to express emphatic negation. Cf. Deil, II. 1. Gen.Sc. [fint, fɪnt]

1. As an imprecation. Phrs. fient nor, fient that = would to the devil that . . .! Sc. c.1714  Jacobite Minstr. (1829) 45:
Fient that she ride the aiver stiff, Sin' she has geck'd at me!
Sc. c.1765  in R. Chambers Hist. Rebellion (1869) 66 Note:
Fient nor they were up the lum!
Sc. 1781  Weekly Mag. (15 March) 306:
A' beggars wha are stout an' stark, But hate the very name o' wark, Fiend nor they lie without a sark.
Ags. 1790  D. Morison Poems 82:
Just bid her work, but na, fient hough her, Her head it dizzies.
Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xiv.:
“Fiend hae me,” said Cuddie . . . “if I dinna think our mither preaches as weel as the minister.”

2. As a strong neg. in phrs.: (1) (the) fient (a, the), fenta (Sh.), feintie (-y), feenty, fientie (Ork.), devil a, never a, not a blessed . . . Gen.Sc.; (2) fient a', nothing at all, not a thing (Ork., Cai.7, Abd.2, Kcb.1 1942); (3) fient belicket, see Belicket; (4) (the) fient (a) flee, not a thing; (5) fient (a, the) haet, id. See Haet; (6) fient may care, feints ma cares, an expression of absolute unconcern; (7) fient (a) perlicket, -ed, absolutely nothing (Cai. 1907 D. Nicolson in County of Cai. 71, -ed); (8) the fient, nothing at all, (the) fient o', no, none. Phr fient o' me, a very strong denial = assuredly not I. (1) ne.Sc. 1714  in R. Smith Poems 12:
Thou'll Drink, Carouse, both Swear and Curse, And fiend a Peny in thy purse.
Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 29:
The fient ane there but pays his score; Nane wins toll-free.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Twa Dogs 15–16:
But tho' he was o' high degree, The fient a pride na pride had he.
Sc. 1802  Scott Minstrelsy I. 69:
And the fiend thing dought they do but listen him to, Untill that the day began to daw.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxv.:
“The fient a bit o' that,” exclaimed the Borderer, “I'll no part wi' ye at ony rate.”
Slk. 1818  Hogg B. of Bodsbeck iii.:
I gat collied amang the mist, sae dark, that fient a spark I could see.
Ags. 1872  J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 50:
But though it were to save my skin, The fient a ane o' me could win.
Ork. 1905  Dennison Ork. Weddings 27:
She rose from a “fit-washin'” “wi' feintie dry t' read on her body.”
Cai. 1929  John o' Groat Jnl. (13 Dec.):
'E maister is sittin' 'ere; feint a muckle differ on him til 'is oor an' day.
Kcd. 1932  “L. G. Gibbon” Sunset Song 130:
It seemed to her now that she'd had feint the minute at all to stand and think.
(4) Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 25:
But, reft of thee, fient flee we care For a' that life ahint can spare.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xii.:
The fient a flee hed he leern't but a lot o' ill tricks an' lees.
(6) Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems(1925) 44:
He took shanks-naig, but, fient may care, He arselins kiss'd the cawsey Wi' bir that night.
Ayr. 1792  Burns The Deuks dang o'er i.:
“The fien-ma-care”, quo' the feirrie auld wife.
Cai. 1934  John o' Groat Jnl. (19 Jan.):
Feints ma cares, hid's for lauchin' at 'e bane pairt o' them comes 'ere.
(7) Kcd. 1822  G. Menzies Poet. Trifles (1827) 73:
I'll just rhyme on, though fient-per-licket, Sud fill my wame.
Cai. 1940  John o' Groat Jnl. (26 March):
Feint a perlicked did 'e aald skray (skinflint) lave ahint him.
(8) Sc. 1816  Scott B. Dwarf iv.:
Feind o' me will mistryst you for a' my mother says.
Sc. 1851  G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 70:
The feint he'll do but read the news.
Lnl. 1881  H. Shanks Musings 374:
She rigged hersel' frae tap to tae, . . . Left me the “little bill” to pay, But fient o' bawbees.
Kcb. 1885  A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 77:
Feint o' me's gaun to be a nicht nurse.
Edb. 1895  J. Tweeddale Moff 191:
Feint o' his belangings are hingin' where they yist to hing.

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"Fient n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/fient>

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