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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Fer, adv. Also: fere, ferr. [ME. ferr(e, fer, OE. feorr. See also Ferrar, Ferrest.]

1. At a (great) distance; a long way. = Far adv. 1. 1375 Barb. iii. 411.
It wes fer about to ga
Ib. xiv. 277.
We ar fra hayme to fer to fle
a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 171.
I sal nocht be fere away
c1420 Wynt. iv. 242.
The stoure fere owre thare hewydis stude
Ib. viii. 3770.
Swme off thame war fere hym fra
1456 Hay II. 92/27.
It efferis wele to a prince to have a hye voce that he may be herd ferr off
a1500 Rauf C. 69.
Fer furth in the forest, amang the fellis hie
a1500 Colk. Sow 112.
I hald the folk best fure That stud fer without the dure
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 487.
Mony blenkis ben our, that but full fer sittis
1513 Doug. i. vi. 129.
I seik Itale and our auld cuntre fer [: Jupiter]
fig. a1500 Bk. Chess 1557.
In dreid so am I set To get a wer thocht it be fer to get
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 123.
The rycht sentens perchance is fer to seik

b. In the phrase fer and (also or, na, nor) nere. 1375 Barb. viii. 257.
Thar is nane then, fer na ner, In all thys land that us thar doute
Ib. xvii. 283.
He gert bath fer and neir His host haly assemblit be
a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 134.
Assay He wald gyf men mycht fere ore nere Of hyre ony tything heyre
c1420 Wynt. v. 1095.
He wes als sa liberale, … Till all abowt hym, fere and neyre
a1500 Henr. III. 97/42.
The king gart seik baith fer and neir, Beth be se and land
a1500 Rauf C. 411.
He saw na thing on steir, Nouther fer nor neir
1513 Doug. vii. xi. 150.
Of thar bruyt resoundis the ryveir, And all the laik of Asya fer and neir
1519 Buccleuch Mun. II. 136.
Landis … fer and neir, als weil nocht nemmit as nemmyt
1550 Rec. Earld. Orkney 239.
Land in muyr and dail, witht auld marchis and new, fer and neir

c. A long time; late. c1420 Wynt. v. 922.
Fra are none off the evyn beforne … Quhill the day fer efftyre nowne

2. To a (great) distance. = Far adv. 2. a1400 Leg. S. i. 191.
He send twa, at worthy ware, Twenty iornais fer and mare
c1420 Wynt. vii. 48.
The Kyng and that lord … Togydder rad, … Fere in the wode
?1438 Alex. ii. 1412.
Als fer as ane bow mycht draw, Durst nane approche
Ib. 10169.
Porrus dushit with that fer by
c1475 Wall. iv. 218.
He … thocht to assaill it, fer by or he wald pass

3. To a great extent; in a high degree. = Far adv. 3. Freq. with comparative adjs. and advs.(1) 1375 Barb. iv. 22.
It wes fer wer than tratoury
Ib. viii. 457.
He wald ysche fer the blithlyer
a1400 Leg. S. i. 638.
His face thane the sone fer brichtair wes
c1420 Wynt. v. 827.
Ane Empryowre suld ay … Than the erde fere hyere be
1456 Hay II. 61/18.
Fors of humilitee spirituale, that is fer mare vertuouse [than corporal force]
c1475 Wall. ii. 212.
For thou till hir was fer derer than gold
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvii. 95 (A).
Quhilk style to kepe thai had fer levire Na ony armes beire
1592 Reg. Privy C. V. 19.
With fer gritair rigour nor with forayne inemeyis
(2) 1375 Barb. xvii. 273.
That, quhill thame likit thair to ly, Thai suld fer out the trastar be
1456 Hay I. 81/32.
With mony examplis that lang war to compt and fer fra the purpos
c1460 Thewis of Gud Women 42.
[A woman should] Nocht our fer pres hir till avans
a1500 Bk. Chess 379.
Am I nocht set to fer in sic misdeid?
1531 Soc. Ant. II. 390.
The towne is pur and fer in det
1533 Bell. Livy II. 135.
Howbeit he wes waik, and fer run in yeris
1533 Boece viii. xiv. 284.
In this tyme, or nocht fer by, haly men schynyng in doctryne war liffand
1587 Reg. Privy C. IV. 203.
Nevertheless, fer by his expectatioun, Patrik Leslie … come … and dang ane servand

b. Als fer, sa fer, to such an extent. Also freq. in als, or sa, fer. = Far adv. 3 b.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xli. 169.
The bordale wes … The place of haly prayer mad Sa fer that [etc.]
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2603.
Als fer as he did him scaith
1440 Antiq. Aberd. & Banff IV. 192.
The quhilkis … sal be jugeit and admittit als ferre as thai arre of force
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1509.
With syn thair sicht sa fer is now ourset
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 261.
Surmounting ewiry tong terrestriall, Alls fer as Mayes morow dois mydnycht
1513 Reg. Privy S. I. 383/2.
Without prejudice of the said Williamis rycht sa fer as he ma optene be justice frelie
1516 Ib. 441/2.
Dene Thomas proponis … to supple as fere as it may be to him possible the rest of the placis
1562-3 Winȝet I. 7/31.
Sua ȝe nobilis hes destroyit the trew religioun … sa fer as ȝe mycht
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 940.
The crown … Till the Ballyoll suld fall off law, In als fere as thai couth knawe
1442 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 307.
In alsfere as in ȝow is [ȝe sal] kepe the saide Castele … vnhurt
1466 Acta Aud. 4/1.
The hale thrid of the saide landis … in sa fer as hir husband deit vest and sesit
1533 Bell. Livy II. 89/17.
In safer as les effray and danger wes … , in safer was the more aduertence tane
1562-3 Winȝet I. 82/27.
In sa fer as ȝewald punis sin, We dissent nocht fra ȝou

c. This fer, to this extent, thus much. c1500 Fyve Bestes 241.
As thai war talkand this fer thaim amang
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 219.
This fer, deir brether, … for the first heid

4. Quasi-n. (Cf. Far adv. 4) a. Of fer, from a distance. On fer, at a distance. 1375 Barb. v. 598.
Stand on fer and behald vs to
Ib. vi. 87.
He herd … A hundis quhistlyng apon fer
a1400 Leg. S. i. 487.
Lat Symon on fer stand fra the bede
?1438 Alex. ii. 4493.
Was nane of thame durst nych him neir, Bot all on fer assailȝeit him seir
1456 Hay II. 49/11.
Sa that men … suld se him of fer
1492 Myll Spect. 281/4.
He stud on fer and schot at him
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 436.
Quhen frendis of my husbandis behaldis me on fer

b. Be fer, by far, greatly, very much. 1375 Barb. xi. 605.
Quhenar be full fer war thai Than thair fayis
a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 909.
Adriane … was mykil war To cristine men than he, be fer
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5526.
The mwne that rynnys nere Till ws than doys the swne be fere
c1420 Ratis R. 242.
Mony men … Tynis thar lyf, … that is were Than vthir tynsell is be fere
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 19.
We ar … Farar be fer than ever was Absalon
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 614.
God … sall … punysche ȝow be fer moir creuellie

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"Fer adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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