Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FLEERISH, n. Also fleeris (Mry.1 1925); flourice (Abd. 1825 Jam.); flourish; fleurish (Abd. 1892 Blackwood's Mag. (Oct.) 486); †fleerishin. A short piece of steel, curved to go round the knuckle, used for striking sparks from a flint-stone to ignite tinder or match-paper (ne.Sc. 1945, fleerish; Ags., Fif. 1945, flourish). Freq. in phr. flint an fleerish. [ne.Sc. ′fli:rɪʃ, em.Sc. (a) ′flʌr-] ne.Sc. 18th cent.  Greig and Keith Ballads (1925) 16:
He's taen his flint an' fleerishin, An' kindled up a fire richt seen.
Ags. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 XI. 297:
An iron instrument resembling the flourish of a flint or steel.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xi.:
The male parishioners . . . (who cared not to carry “fleerish and flint” in their “Sunday claes”) had availed themselves of a “het sod” to light their pipes.
Kcd. 1900  “W. Gairdner” Glengoyne I. ii.:
Mony a day afore thae lucifer matches cam' in, there was nae ither way o' lichtin' yer pipe or kinlin' an oot fire than wi' a flourish and a bit o' sharp-edged flint wi' paper match on't.
Ags. 1920  D. H. Edwards Men and Manners 89:
Worn-out steel rasps — rough files — were converted by the blacksmith into a flourish, with which was struck fire from a piece of flint.

[Curtailed and dial. forms of O.Sc. furisine, id., 1530, ad. M.L.Ger. vūrisern, or M.H. Ger. vuirisen, id., lit. “fire-iron.” The fl- has developed under the influence of the associated flint. Cf. also Frizzel, n.]

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"Fleerish n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2018 <>



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