Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ILL-FAIN, adj., v. Also ill-fen (Jak.). Cf. Fain, adj.1, v.1

I. adj. Ill-disposed towards, having a dislike of (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1958), gen. in phr. to be illfain o', to dislike. Ork. 1929  Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 79:
Dan gin da ane he waas illfain o' waas awa wi' a horse, he jeust hed tae ca' da nail intae da mark o' ane o' da cackers, an' . . . da breut wadna budge a bit fill da nail waas taen oot.
Ork. 1931  J. Leask Peculiar People 128:
Whit tinks du, boy, illwhinnered neebors o' 'is ain waar illfain o' 'im for ha'in sae muckle siller.

II. v. To show unkindness towards, repulse; to look unfriendly or unpleasant (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh., Ork. 1958).

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"Ill-fain adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



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