Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FEEFLE, v. Also feiffle, feefil, fiffle; fifel (Jak.). To work in a clumsy or foolish manner (Ork. 1887 Jam.); to act foolishly (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); ‡Sh.10 1951). Now gen. as ppl.adj. feeflan, clumsy, footling (Ork. 1887 Jam., 1929 Marw.); “working slowly or listlessly” (Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 151). Hence adj. feefly, infirm, feeble, clumsy (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork.5 1951).

[O.N. fífl, a fool.]

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"Feefle v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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