Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FEW, adj. For Sc. forms see Fyow. Sc. usages:

1. Qualifying nouns which are sing. in Eng. usage, but treated as pl. in Sc., e.g. broth, porridge, soup, a little (Fif. 1909 Colville 94; Slg.3, wm.Sc.1 1951). Also in Eng. dial. wm.Sc. 1827 T. Hamilton Cyril Thornton (1848) vi.:
One of these my uncle filled to the brim with broth, and handed across the table to me, informing me, at the same time, that he had only sent me “a very few.”
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 158:
Like the sowens o' Wigg, there was owre little o' them; or, according to strict, local phraseology, “owre few o' them.”
Fif. 1899 “S. Tytler” Miss Nanse vii.:
I would recommend something lighter — a few broth, or a dish of mince collops.

2. Phr.: a good few, a good many, a considerable number (of). Gen.Sc. and colloq. Eng. Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) vii.:
We collected a good few friends to a tea-drinking.
Sc. 1865 Carlyle Fred. the Gt. V. 499:
There are still a good few Sorrows which lie wrapt in silence.
Sc. 1884 Stevenson Letters (1899) I. 328:
I have written a good few [letters] since.
Gall. 1890 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 58:
There was a good few at the kirk.

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"Few adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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