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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

FLAW, n.2

1. A gust, a spell of wind, esp. one bringing rain; “a thin, misty sort of shower” (Bch. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.; Abd.9 1942); a whiff, aroma. Also in Eng. dial. Fig., rage, passion (Ags. 1808 Jam.).Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary viii.:
Skirling that gate like an auld skart before a flaw o' weather?
Peb. 1817 R. D. C. Brown Lintoun Green 93:
Whane'er you budge, you send a flaw As strong as Moffat wells!
Sc. 1823 Scots Mag. (June) 682:
I see the flaw o' reek's fashin' you sair; an' you like we'll stap out a wee.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 25:
There was a sough, like flann or flaw, As in he whihher'd throu' the wa'.
Sc. 1830 Scott Journal (1890) II. 345:
I returned after two, with a sousing shower for companion . . . I rather like a flaw of weather.
Sc. 1892 Stevenson Across the Plains 212:
Scouring flaws of rain.

2. A fall of snow. Only in phr. in quots.Ags. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 I. 422:
The falls of snow, which generally happen in March all over Great Britain, is [sic] in this neighbourhood called St Causnan's Flaw.
Ags. 1850 N. & Q. (1st Ser.) I. 88:
Snow showers in March are locally called “St Causlan's flaws.” The parish church of Dunnichen was dedicated to St Causlan [Constantine], whose festival was held in March.

[O.Sc. flaw, a squall, 1513, Mid.Du., L.Ger. vlage, id.]

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"Flaw n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Jun 2022 <>



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