Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FELL, v.2, n.5

I. v. To befall, be the lot of, esp. in impers. construction weel fells . . ., lucky is. . . . Cf. Fa, v.1, n.1 Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 28:
Well fells the lad, that's farthest i' your books.
Ib. (1778) 71:
I think I never saw a better sport. But dool fell'd Tam, for sadly he paid for't.
Mry. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 164:
Weel fells ye, honest carle.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 199:
Well fells me now, my ain gude lord; These words do cherish me.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ii.:
Aye, aye, the fader o' 'im was a lang-heidit schaimin' carle, an' weel fells the sin for that.

II. n. Lot, fate, destiny (Abd.. Kcd., Ags. 1825 Jam.). Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 43:
He kens the word, and says, alake my fell!
Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 115:
Ah! wae's my fell! My manhood, now, gaed clean awa.

[Of uncertain origin but prob. developed by back formation from fell, pa.t. of Fa, v.1 1., in such expressions as “weel fell me,” being taken as a subj. and producing a new present stem fell. The n. would then be a later development from the v. The word appears to be confined to n.Sc.]

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"Fell v.2, n.5". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Feb 2020 <>



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