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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.

FLICHT, n.2, v.2 [Sc. flɪçt. Bwk. flɛçt]

I. n. A flake, a small speck, of soot, dust, snow or the like, a mote in the eye (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1952); anything small, e.g. an insect. Cf. Eng. dial. flight, a light fall of snow.Lnk. 1877 W. McHutchison Poems 87:
But you, ye flicht [a flea], Afore we get yae button loose Ye're out o' sicht.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 28:
Bitter frosty win's did blaw, Mix'd here an' there wi' flichts o' snaw.

II. v. 1. To fall in flakes, as snow. Only in vbl.n. flichan, -en, -in, flighen (Lth., Dmf. 1825 Jam.), flechan; flechin (Sc. 1825 Jam.), flaichin, floichen, -an, †fleghing, a flake of snow, any small light particle or speck, as of meal, fluff, soot, chaff (Fif., Bwk., Kcb., Dmf. 1951), or flax tow (Ags. 1825 Jam., fleghing); anything very small, an atom (Dmf. 1825 Jam.); a small, light person (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 206; Kcb.9 1937). Hence ppl.adj. flichtened, flecked, sprinkled.  Pa.t. ¶flach (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.). Ayr. 1821 Scots Mag. (April) 352:
What's the reason that the beucks whilk hae Scotch charicters are sae muckle tane tent o', whan them that hae nane fa' unsocht for like a floichen o' snaw on a red het aizle.
Per. 1872 Per. Constitutional (1 April):
It flew up the lum just like a flichan o' pob.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 278:
Plants growin' in the sky, an' tumlin' like flaichins o' snaw.
Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 263:
Owre weel does he ken the flechans o' meal, That a lassie maun use for her coggie.
Dmf. 1891 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 83:
A “flichen” on the grate or the tongs falling foretells the coming of visitors.
Per. 1893 Harp of Per. (ed. Ford) 385:
The frost is nippin' shairp and keen, The hill-taps a' are flichten'd grey.
Kcb. 1905 Gallovidian VII. No. 25. 28:
There were flichins o' snaw settling doon gey uneasily on Jamie's big braid hat.
Sc. 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Scots 32:
As yont the hill the floichans flew Mair snell the yammerin' blufferts blew.
Gsw. 1999 Suhayl Saadi in Moira Burgess and Donny O'Rourke New Writing Scotland 17: Friends and Kangaroos 139:
Heich above him rose the great dark bulk ae the beinn, its shooders so sheer that no snaw, no even a flichan wis able tae cling tae the hard rock-face.

2. tr. To cover or smudge with flakes, smuts, etc. (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 52).

[Mid.Eng. flyghte, a flake, of snow, phs. from *O.E.fliht (cogn. with Flaucht, n.1, v.1, q.v.), but prob. confused with Mid. and Mod.Eng. flight, from fly.]

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"Flicht n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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