Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FOWER, num.adj. and n. Gen.Sc. form of Eng. four. Also fowr(e); fuwr (Gall. 1931–3 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 253). Also in combs., as in Eng., fower-fa(u)l(d), fower-fittet, fowerpence, etc. [Sc. ′fʌu(ə)r, Gall. fuwr]

Sc. phr. and combs., mostly (orig.) attrib.: †1. fower-baste, drawn by four animals, of a plough (Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 108); 2. fower-darg, of a piece of land, capable of being ploughed in four days (Dmf. 1950 per Fif.17); 3. four-ewe, see quot.; †4. four foot, a four-footed girdle; †5.fower-hours, -(h)oors, foorouse, a (light) meal taken (at four o'clock) in the afternoon, the nature and time of the meal differing at different times and places (e.Lth. 1912 Scotsman (26 Jan.); Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ayr.4, Kcb.3 1929). Now mostly hist.; “the term is now vulgarly appropriated to tea, although the hour is changed. Formerly it denoted some stronger beverage” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); “a substantial meal, cheese and butcher-meat being added to the usual accompaniments of tea” (wm.Sc. 1868 Laird of Logan 501); “a hearty repast partaken of by farm workers at lowseen-teime” (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 11). Cf. E'enshanks. [f(ʌu)ər′u:rz]; 6. four-neukit, -nuickit, -nooked, four-cornered, square or rectangular. Gen.Sc.; †7. four-part, a quarter-peck, a Forpet, q.v.; †8. fower quarters, the body, the person. Cf. the four parts into which the body of a traitor was divided; also fig. the presence, the personal influence or authority; ‡9. four ways, a crossroads (Abd.27 1953); 10. (up)o(n) one's fowers, on all fours (Cai., ne.Sc., m.Lth., Arg., Kcb. 1953). 3. Sc. 1840  Library Useful Knowledge, Brit. Husb. III. Rep. 78:
Nos. 1, 7, 4 of Strathnaver and Morvich were called four-ewe and ewe-hog herdings.
4. Ags. 1738  Valuation in MS. per Fif.1:
In the kitchen — a drapping pan and a fourfoot.
5. Sc. 1705  Papers Rev. John Anderson 73:
I gave Matthew Lindsay a fourteen-pence and his four hour's drink.
Sc. 1726  W. Starrat Pastoral (Broadsheet):
Syne, on my four Hours Luncheon chew'd my cud.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxiv.:
Seeing Dumple, and giving him welcome home with part of their four-hours scones.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie xii.:
A mutchkin of strong yill and a cooky . . . will . . . serve me for four-hours and supper.
Sc. 1829  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 215:
Breakfast, noony, denner, four-hours, and sooper, a' in ane.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxvi.:
A chack o' four-oors consistin' o' mashlie-bannocks an' sweet-milk cheese, wi' a dish o' tea to synd them ower wi'.
Abd. 1868  G. Macdonald R. Falconer xvi.:
[They] syne come hame to their fower-hoors whan the schule's ower i' the efternune.
Kcb. 1894  Crockett Raiders xliv.:
The Archangel Gawbriel . . . is waitin' to tak' his fower-'oors wi' him.
m.Sc. 1927  J. Buchan Witch Wood i.:
The three ministers took their leave . . . he of Kirk Aller to take his “four-hours” with Chasehope at Lucky Weir's in the clachan.
6. Fif. 1807  J. Grierson St Andrews 117:
The steeple, from its form, has obtained the name of the square steeple, or, in the dialect of the place, the four-nooked steeple.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man III. xi.:
Dinna quit this great four-nooked fauld till I come back again.
Sc. 1824  Scott St Ronan's W. xiv.:
A substantial, four-nooked, sclated house of three stories.
Fif. 1875  A. Burgess Poute 8:
Yer too “Four-nuickit” i' the maik — and too much lyke a Brick.
8. Edb. 1772  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 16:
Till his four quarters are bedeckit Wi' gude Braid Claith.
Sc. 1822  Scott Pirate viii.:
If it had not been for his four quarters, it's but little you would have said to ony body, sae lang as life lasted.
Sc. 1896  Stevenson W. of Hermiston iii.:
Na, there's no room for splairgers under the fower quarters of John Calvin.
9. Knr. 1891  “H. Haliburton” Ochil Idylls 72:
Peasants flock in from the fields to the four-ways.
10. Ags. 1880  J. E. Watt Poet. Sk. 63:
Like puss ye loup upo' yer fours.
Sh. 1901  T. P. Ollason Mareel 80:
Laand! says da skipper, scramblin' up da cabin stairs upon his fowers.

[O.Sc. has fourhouris, = 5., 1600, four-nukit, c.1515, fourfuttit (girdill), 1586.]

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"Fower num. adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/fower>

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