Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FORFECHT, v., refl. To exhaust, wear oneself out. Rare. Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxx.:
Fat needs fowk forfecht themsells fan they hae plenty?

The word, however, is regularly found only in ppl.adj.: forfochten; also forfo(u)ch(t)en, -in, -an, -foochen, -fuchan; -faichen, -fachten; -feuchen, -an (mostly s.Sc.); -fough(t)en, -on, -faugh(t)en, -foghan; variants with fer-, fur-, and fore-; -fo(u)cht, for(e)fought (mostly ne.Sc.), -feucht (Sc. 1849 A. Bell Melodies Scot. 4), and irreg. form ferfaughaned (Uls. 1931 Northern Whig (11 Dec.)). For forms cf. Fecht, v., A.

1. Exhausted with fighting, fought to a standstill; 2. Hence in gen., played out with any kind of effort, extremely fatigued; sorely harassed; puffed. Gen.Sc. [Sc. fər′foxən, ′fɔx-, -′fx-, occas. -tən, ne.Sc. + -′fɔxt, s.Sc. -′fjux(ʍ)ən] 1. Lnk. c.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 16:
They stood a' round about like as many breathless forfoughen cocks.
Sc. 1784  Hobie Noble in
Child Ballads No. 189. xxviii.:
I'm but like a forfoughen hound, Has been fighting in a dirty syke.
Ayr. 1787  Burns Letters (ed. Ferguson) No. 112:
I'm sitten down here, after seven and forty miles ridin', e'en as forjesket and forniaw'd as a forfoughten cock.
Edb. 1791  J. Learmont Poems 167:
Till F[ox] for-foughen, quat the field, An' peghin', low did wear his shield.
Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy xxviii.:
This good little gentleman, that seems sair forfoughen, as I may say, in this tuilzie.
Slk. 1835  Hogg Mary Montgomery (1874) 594:
I was sair woundit an' forefoughten.
Rxb. 1901  W. Laidlaw Poetry and Prose 63:
The Veitches, though forfouchen sore, And sev'ral wounded in the fray.
Wgt. 1912  A.O.W.B. Fables 27:
An', while they focht, he bore the prey awa'. Baith Tods, forfouchen, gree'd to tak a share.
Sc. 1923  R. A. Taylor Fiammetta 76:
For quhat, ye, sair forfoucht and leal, Sic arles o' bluid wad pay?
2. Abd. 1754  R. Forbes Jnl. from London 27:
I hae been sae eident writin journals that I hae been quite forfoughen wi' them.
Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 48:
My friend, thir hunder years and mair, We've been forfoughen late and air.
Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Tales 98:
Till sair for-fought wi' grief and pinin', She finds a nest ayont your kennin'.
Sc. 1823  Wilson Marg. Lyndsay xxxi.:
Aiblins I might be oure sair forefeuchan wi' the seven year auld lying lea.
wm.Sc. 1827  T. Hamilton Cyril Thornton (1848) vi.:
It's nine hours since a morsel has passed my thrapple, and I'm sair forfachten for want o' something.
Bnff. 1856  J. Collie Poems 72:
I trow he was a jovial blade, But sair forefought was he, O.
Abd. 1863  G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod x.:
Gin ye tyauve at it aboon yer strenth, ye'll be clean forfochten.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 131:
We . . . arrived forfochen, spent, and drookit to the skin.
Kcb. 1893  Crockett Stickit Minister 136:
I'm sair forfoughten wi' the wun.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 16:
Whan yince A'd gotten ti the top o the rig, an — forfeuchen a weilock — hed hoakkert doon on ti ma hunkers till A gethert back ma braith.
Abd. 1940  C. Gavin Hostile Shore vii.:
Sax mile o' traivellin' on top o' sic a day! Ye must be fair forfochen — tired oot, I ocht to say.

[For-, 1. + Fecht. O.Sc. has forfochtin, from c.1420, forfocht, 1560, Mid.Eng. forfoughten, forfohte, id. The finite v. is not found, except as above, and is a back formation from the ppl.adj.]

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"Forfecht v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Mar 2018 <>



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