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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FANTOOSH, adj., n., v. Also fantoush. [fɑn′tu:ʃ]

I. adj. Over-dressed, over-ornamented; flashy, showy; ultra-fashionable (wm.Sc. 1920; Rs., Abd., m. and s.Sc. 1951); exotic. Hence fantoosherie, fuss, pretentiousness, “swank.”Ags. 1947 People's Journal (29 Nov.):
There are quite a number who consider it more fantoosh to do their shopping in Perth.
Sc. 1948 Bulletin (29 June):
A fantoush card from the Ministry of Fuel and Power.
wm.Sc. 1949 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 366:
When he tried sangwiches an' fantoosh cakes ye never kent what the end would be.
Gsw. 1951 H. W. Pryde M. McFlannel's Romance 135:
They asked us a' doon to Kilmacolm, but Ah knew fine you couldnae be bothered wi' a' thon fantoosherie.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 45:
Proodlie he bure the wee croun on his heid,
an on the wale o corn an meal wad feed,
o aw the gentrie thare the maist fantoosh.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 4:
Bit Bruce, their brither, hid wyled a wife like ye'd chuse a gee-gaw fur yer hoose - a flichtertie craitur, Sassenach, wi lang crammasie fingernails, a fantoosh, bleached-blonde wummin wi a vyce that tore ben Belle's lugs like the pouer saw the widsmen used at Dinnet.
Edb. 1999:
Ah like fantoosh vegetables.

II. n. An over-dressed person (Slg.3 1930).

III. v. Only in ppl.adj. fantooshed, flashily dressed (Ib.).

[The word seems to have been coined during the 1914–18 War under the influence of colloq. or dial. Eng. fanty-sheeny, n., adj., a marionette, showy, fanciful, ad. It. fantoccino, a puppet. Cf. Fr. fantoche, n., id.]

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"Fantoosh adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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