Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FLICHT, n.1, v.1 Also †flecht; flich. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. flight. [Sc. flɪt, Cai. flɪ, Sh. fləɪ()t, s.Sc. flct]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Phr. to be at the flicht, to be in rags and tatters (Abd.7 1925). Cf. Flaucht, n.2 I. 1. Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 216:
Frae the tap step o' the flicht to the causeway.
Hdg. 1896 J. Lumsden Battle of Dunbar 10:
[He] pat baith sheep and kye to flicht!
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 10:
But he tell't me o' the huntin' lan's ayont the eagle's flicht.

Hence ¶(1) flichtfu, flitting, fitful; (2) flichtie, -y, flighty, capricious. Gen.Sc.; ¶(3) flichtmafleathers, finery, gewgaws, from the notion of feathers and fluttering ribbons and frills; (4) flichtrife, flichteriff, unsteady, fickle, changeable (Abd.6 1913), flichtriveness, fickleness. (1) Lnk. 1883 D. Thomson Leddy May 12:
Trying tae quench her burnin' love, But only fannin' the flichtfu' breeze.
(2) s.Sc. 1835 J. M. Wilson Tales of the Borders I. 401:
Feathered creatures are flichtie.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Men of the Moss-Hags iv.:
She's not like a flichty young lady aboot a hoose.
Abd. 1928 “P. Gray” Making of a King 69:
Annie's been a flichty kin' o' crater for a score o' years back.
(3) Kcb. 1894 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet iv.:
'Deed I'm nane sae unbonny yet, for a' yer helicat flichtmafleathers, sprigget goons, an' laylac bonnets.
(4) Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 47:
He's but a glomin flichteriff gnat, Can bang nor win', nor wather.
Bch. 1861 J. Davidson Poems 121:
Fortune, in her flichtriveness, has laid my lot so lowly.
Abd. 1932 R. L. Cassie Scots Sangs 20:
Flichtrife mengies hae forgot The nation's saul sae gran'.

2. Gen. in pl.: the fly of a spinning-wheel, which guides the thread to the spool (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1951). Mearns 1825 Jam.:
The flechts of a spinning wheel are the pronged or forked pieces of wood in which the teeth are set.
Abd. 1900 Scots Mag. (March 1934) 439:
With both hands the spinner drew it [flax] on to the “flichts” which, revolving rapidly, both twisted and rolled up the yarn on a spool.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 157:
Girzzie . . . took da whaarles aff o' da flicht an' pat a foo pirm apo' da sweerie pin.
Bch. 1932 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 105:
The flichts an' the cyards an' the reel are a' ta stew lang seen an' flung furth.

3. In pl.: the whirling arms or awes of a binder (Abd.27 1951). Deriv. flichters, that part of the fanners which generates the wind (Cld. 1825 Jam.).

II. v. 1. intr. To flutter; to palpitate, to get excited or angry; tr. to perturb, excite. Ppl.adj. flichtit, angry, disturbed (Bnff.4 1926). n.Sc. c.1830 H. Miller Scenes and Legends 465:
O mither deir! mak' ye my bed, For my heart it's flichtin' sair.
Sc. 1926 K. Parker My Ladie Dundie 88:
Nae doot but they flichted him at the first, but he's quick in the up-tak, and keepit his ain counsel.
Bnff.9 1947:
He flichtit at that.

2. intr. To take to flight, to fly, flee (Cai.7, Ags.19 1952). Also fig.; tr. to desert by flight. Sc. 1752 Scotland's Glory II. 85–7:
The followers of John divine In Scotland when they flighted And published here the Gospel news.
Bnff. 1889 Banffshire Jnl. (31 Dec.):
The rage wis a' for sodgers' dreel But that seen flichtit aff the reel.
Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (July) 274:
Ay! mony a weary day hae I sat there And heard him drone and flicht awa' in prayer.
Cai. 1934 John o' Groat Jnl. (25 Oct.):
A'm stride-leygs on's back an' he is doon 'e reegs at 'e flichin' gallop.
Sc. 1949 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 293:
The birdie's flichtit its nest.

Hence †flighter, a flighty, vaunting person, a “high-flyer.” Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 152:
I mean Flighters who has gotten a little of the means of Mammon, more silver than sense, more gold than good nature, haughtiness for humility, value themselves as a treasure incomprehensible.

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"Flicht n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2020 <>



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