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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.

Fule, Fuil, n. Also: fwle, ful, full(e; fol(e, foll, foill, foyll; foule, foul(l, fowl(e; fuile, fuille, fuyl(l, fwyll, fwil(l. [ME. full(e, foul(e, fole, fol (c 1275), OF. fol.]

1. A foolish person; one lacking in wisdom.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xliv. 137.
Sic wordis suld thu nocht say ws, Bot erare lyk thé til a fole
c1420 Wynt. v. 1480.
[Scho] coveryt well off hyr malady, And lefft hyr folys fantasy
a1500 Peblis to Play 44.
The ȝoung follis wer ful bald
(a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. lii. 36.
Thir follis that vtheris demis
1573 Cath. Tr. 4/19.
He man … in dyde esteme him self fole
c1590 J. Stewart 60/127.
To dant the daftnes of ane fole maling
1600 Crim. Trials II. 174.
The said deponar bad the said Alexander to ‘gang his away, and that he wes ane foill’
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xix. 406.
Thu arte a foule [: stule] That tuk to théthat manis name
Ib. xxiv. 109.
That thare barne suld be na fowl, Thai set hyme ayrly to the schule
1456 Hay II. 104/14.
God may mak … a foule unlikly quhilum full mychty
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 334.
Than was thar present ane that before was haldin for a foule
(a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. li. 25.
The nichtingale said, ‘Foull [B. fule], remember thé [etc.]’
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 164.
Thu ful, ethe ware answere to ma To thi questione
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 763.
The foly of the ful [is] in his kere hand
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 474.
Thir ar the thewis … Quhilkis fullis oys comonly
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 219 b.
Thar was twa brethire, ane wys and ane vthere a full
(a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. ii. 50.
I cry him lord off euere full
Ib. ix. 8.
That fulle dismemberit hes my meter
(d) 1375 Barb. i. 582.
Oft failȝeis the fulis thocht
1456 Hay I. 291/18.
He that makis lawis, and syne is transgressour himself … , he schawis him self to be a fule
a1500 Rauf C. 507.
I war ane fule gif I fled, and fand nane affray
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 205.
Quhen he was blynd, the fule wyth hym thay playit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2496.
In tymes bygane an auld fule thow hes bene
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxiv. 36.
Off all fulis maist fule he is That … Causis the saull to tyne the lestand blis Off paradyce
(e) c1420 Wynt. viii. 1666.
Now may yhe se, that a fwle swne Here a fwlys deid has dwne
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 345.
The foly of fwlys thai had leuer here Na ga to preching of a frere
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4452 (B).
I haif heir gud chaffray Till ony fwle that listis to by
(f) c1475 Wall. x. 220.
Nay, quhy, fuyll, wald thow do sa?
1513 Doug. ix. xii. 17.
A fuyll he was, and wytles in a thing
1522 Douglas Corr. 86.
Ȝon ȝoung wytles fwyll has runnyn apoun his avne myscheyf be continewall persuasioune of wyly subtile men
1535 Stewart 1109.
Oftymes fair hechtis makis fuillis fane
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 358.
Thow art ane gret fuill, … Thyng to desyre quhilk may nocht be
a1585 Maitland Maitl. Q. xi. 15.
Thow art ane fuile gif thow with fuillis deillis
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 814 (T).
Fleyit fwill, mad mule, die in duil on ane aik

2. One deficient in intellect; a weak-minded person or imbecile. Also with adjs., esp. natural.(1) 14.. Acts I. 380/2.
Nane that is out of his wit as lunatik na naturale foyl
1475 Ib. II. 112/2.
Alienacioune of … landis throw ydiotis and natural fulis, furious and wodmen
a1500 Colk. Sow 57.
Scho callit to hir cheir … A fond fule
a1570-86 Kennedy Maitl. F. cxxxi. 5.
Ane ageit man … I hard … makand grit dule Rycht as he wer ane furious fule
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 294.
As wis woman ay I wrought, et not as wod fule
Id. xiv. 21.
So mony lordis, so mony naturale fulis
1567 Sat. P. viii. 15.
Nocht bot ane carlingis pett, Ane daft fule or ane drukin dastard
1585 Acts III. 396/1.
The nearest agnettis and kinsmen of naturall foulis, ideottis, and furious
(2) 1449 Acts II. 36/1.
Gif thar be ony that makis thaim fulis that ar nocht
1567 Liber Dryburgh 403.
Geven … to ane fuill in Thirlstane manys
1567 Treas. Acc. MS. 275.
To Nichola the fule and hir keipar
1581 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 1/1.
James Hammylton … was knawin to be ane ædiott and ane foull
1617 Ellon Presb. 99.
Counterfeit bards and fuills that ryues athort the countrey

3. A fool by profession; a jester. 1488 Treas. Acc. I. 95.
To Inglis Johne the fwle, at the Kingis commande, thre royse nobillis
1489 Ib. 119.
To Gentil Johne the Inglis fule, that brocht japis to the King
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 577.
The king … Vnto his fuill gart mak ane semely seit
1538 Treas. Acc. VI. 435.
Grene burge satyne to be the quenis fule ane goune
1566–7 Fleming Q. Mary. 506.
[Cloth] to be ane garmond to ane fuille callit Georde Styne
1593 Acts IV. 43/1.
Thevis … sumtymes disagysit … in lynning claithis or in fuillis garmentis

b. Fulis hude, a fool's cap. 1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 198.
The play geir vnderwritten … , viz viij play hattis, … ane fulis hude [etc.]

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"Fule n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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