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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

FEGS, n., int. Also faigs; faiks, faix, fakes (mostly s.Sc. and Uls.); faags (Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums vii.), faggs; †faik, †fecks, †feggs, †figs, †feg, and full forms †faikins (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.), †feggins (n.Sc. Ib.). [fɛgz; fe:gz; fe:ks]

I. n. A shortened form of faikins (Eng. fay, faith + kins) obs. or dial. in Eng., only used in exclamations with by; my (Gen.Sc.), guid (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Abd.27 1951), i(n) (Dmf. 1825 Jam., in faik), o'; upon my (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 202) to express emphatic assertion or surprise.Abd. c.1750 R. Forbes Jnl. from London (1755) 15:
Guid feggs I wis fley'd that she had taen the wytenon-fa.
Abd. 1813 W. Beattie Parings 9:
An' aunty's whisky, by my fakes, Is nae a sham.
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Trad. Tales II. 43:
A gallant young lad, quo' I, by my feg, He's welcome here to wooe.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Miscellaneous Pieces 96:
And he wha loups highest in faikins, Shall hae the right-han' o' the reel.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
My faiks. A minced oath, signifying by my faith.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 117:
He raise on feet an hans — gid fegs — Maist like a baest on fower legs.
Ags. 1898 A. H. Rea Divot Dyke 74:
By fegs, I'll hae that troot.
Lnk. 1928 W. C. Fraser Yelpin' Stane 38:
My faigs! they'll set off the kitchen dresser; that will they.

II. int. Used absol. with the same force as I. = indeed, truly, faith! Gen.Sc.Sc. 1752 Scotland's Glory 65:
And fegs and 'aith is nought but faith.
Ayr. 1786 Burns What ails ye now v.:
But, fegs! the Session says I maun Gae fa' upon' anither plan.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 166:
For faix! should e'er a faeman daur To drive a nail into her timmer.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 100:
Faigs thu gae me sic a f'are.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister viii.:
“Tell me where you got the cloak.” “Na, faggs,” replied the gypsy.
Sc. 1925 “H. M'Diarmid” Sangschaw 22:
Fegs, God's no blate gin he stirs up The men o' Crowdieknowe!
wm.Sc. 1954 Robin Jenkins The Thistle and the Grail (1994) 5:
"Fegs," piped old Tamas Dougary, frail and saintlike with his wispy white beard and mild, purblind eyes, "it would provoke a saint to swear."
m.Sc. 1982 Douglas Fraser in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 8:
The flush upon my broo.
And, fegs, it's lang sin' lass or sang
Has gart me catch my breith.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 6:
Fegs, I'm owerlanesomelike the nicht
I'd raise a tune?
But frae Ruberslaw tae Warbla Knowe
Oor trysting days are dune.

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"Fegs n., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2022 <>



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