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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.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLAUCHT, n.1, v.1 Also flaught, flought, flacht, flocht, flauch. [flɑxt, flǫxt]

I. n. ‡1. A flake, esp. of snow (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Ags. c.1930; Slg.3 1909); “a broad flake of anything spread out so that it looks as if it were going to fly” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., flocht; Sh.10 1952).Sc. 1778 Weekly Mag. (21 Jan.) 87:
Sair pinch'd for food, they lick the flaughts o' snaw, An' loudly bleat till a' the storm's awa'.
Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 324:
Bonny lasses tripping through the dew-flaughts.
Clc. 1860 J. Crawford Doric Lays 34:
To roam amang the snowy flachts That spairged the speckled lift.
Slg. 1885 A. Murray Poems 8:
Sma' wind wad blaw them east or west Like flauchts o' chaff!

2. A lock or tuft of hair or wool; “a handful of wool before it is carded” (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 72, flacht).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 50:
A mournfu' ditty till her sell she sang, Roove out her hair in flaughts, her hands she wrang.
Sc. 1806 R. Jamieson Ballads I. 20:
He's sent to you what ye lo'ed maist, A flaught o' his yellow hair.

3. A flash, as of fire or lightning (Ayr. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Sh., ne.Sc. 1951); a gleam, a tongue of flame. Cf. fire-flaucht, s.v. Fire. Also fig. and in a transf. sense, a glance, a fleeting glimpse (Sc. 1887 Jam.).Sc. 1724 Ramsay Evergreen I. 212:
The Thunder crakt, and Flauchts did rift Frae the blak Vissart of the Lift.
Sc. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (Nov.) 202:
There was neither moon nor stars — naething but a flaught o' fire every now and then to keep the road by.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 205:
Why blazes yon beacon, with flame flaring high — Why mixes its flaughts with the clouds of the sky?
Gsw. 1877 J. Young Prose and Verse 53:
When civil discord's fiery flacht Set Europe in a lowe.
Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 207:
Wi' a blink o' sense, an' a flaught o' wit — Ay, that's the gear keeps me living yet.
Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-Head 59:
Bright as a star flaucht, I spoot up on hie.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 82:
I wis aff like a flaucht te tak some stock O' this latter-day ferly.
Sc. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Scots 13:
There cam a flaucht o' levin That brocht nae thunner ca'.
m.Sc. 1986 Ian A. Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 165:
Noo ye maun dree the same weird as your minnie
tholin the blash o stangs
to lowse the smeddum that's swith wi the flaught o life
frae your ain ingangs.
Sc. 1994 Brent Hodgson in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 69:
Puir Tam wis asleep on his torn blanket, his coat of ginge bricht-lit by the flauchts of the fire.

4. A hide or skin (Fif. 1825 Jam.).

5. A turf (Sc. 1900 E.D.D.). Also in Eng. dial. †6. A piece or division of ground (Ags. 1808 Jam., flaucht o' land; Fif. 1825 Id., flauch). †7. Anything broad (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 205); a slab.Per. 1900 E.D.D.:
A flat of confection about a foot and a half square was exhibited in a shop window. A ploughman entered, threw down sixpence, and demanded “a flaucht o' that red stuff.”

8. In pl. = instruments used in preparing wool (Rxb. 1825 Jam.), ? a wool-card. Cf. v. 2.

II. v. 1. To fall in flakes, as snow. Mostly in ppl.adj. floughting, and vbl.n. in forms flauchin (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ags., Per. 1951), flachan, -en (Slg. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.), flaughin, flaughten; fleuchan, flew- (Abd. 1900 E.D.D.), fleuching, a flake, as of snow, a fleck of dust, meal, soot or the like (Kcb.10 1945); a piece of fluff (Ags. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.), chaff (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 206, fleuching).Rxb. 1811 A. Scott Poems 43:
His locks seem'd white as new fa'n snaw That fleecy pure in flaughins fa'.
Sc. 1824 R. Douglas Poems 154:
And far south the lift the cauld sun, dimly shawin' Through thick floughting snaw, scarcely lightens the air.
Slk. 1831 Hogg Poems (1874) 429:
Man's micht is nae mair than a flaughten o' tow.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 55:
Some fell big flauchins o' snaw began to gently settle doon on the dry pavement.

2. To card (wool) into thin flakes (Per., Rxb. 1825 Jam.). Hence flauchter, one who cards wool (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.).Sh. 1923 Shetlander No. 3. 2:
Girzie wis sittin at da idder side o' da fire, flauchtin a aer o' oo' aff da catmuggit twayerild hug ta fit me bits o' socks.

3. To strip off the skin (Fif. 1825 Jam., flauch). Hence flauchter, a skinner (Ib.).

4. To pare turf from the ground (Ib.). Hence flauchter, flaughter, one who does this, a turf-caster (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.).

5. To flash, gleam. Pa.t. flaucht. Cf. I. 3. Liter. Abd. 1923 Swatches o Hamespun 66:
A safter licht flaucht in's skelly e'e.

[O.Sc. has flaucht, a flash, 1499, flachtit, carded, of wool, 1593; Mid.Eng. flaȝt, a flake of snow, fire, etc.; a sod; O.E. *fleaht, n., from flēan, to flay. Cogn. with flake and Flaw, n.1]

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"Flaucht n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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