Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
FLIST, v., n.
I. v. 1. To explode with a sharp hiss or puff (Cai., Abd., Ags. 1952). By extension, to snap the fingers (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.).
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
A bottle is said to flist, when the confined air forces out the cork, and ejects the liquor. Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 128:
Their bleezing breath, like cannon powther, Will flist and blaw.
2. To fly into a rage (ne.Sc. 1952). Sometimes with up. Phrs. to flist and fling (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); to flist out on, to lose one's temper with (Abd.27 1952).
Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 106:
Ben comes a flistin cankert wife. Fif. 1843 Whistle-Binkie V. 45:
At times she wad flist an' wad casten the band. Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 108:
And flists to think she sud aspire To vent a spark poetic fire. Ags. 1893 “F. Mackenzie” Cruisie Sk. xi.:
Ou ay, flist up noo. Ye're no a bit better i' the temper than i' the days when ye broke my man's sister's heart.
†3. Impers.: it is raining and blowing (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Vbl.n. flistin, a slight shower (Ayr. 1825 Jam.).
4. To boast, brag, swagger (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 48; Cai., Bnff. 1951); to exaggerate, to fib (Id.). Hence flister, a boaster, a fibber (Cai. 1951), an exaggeration (Cai.3 1951).
Cai. 1932 John o' Groat Jnl. (22 Jan.):
Far bonnier flooers than 'e women flists aboot at their W.R.I. shows.
II. n. 1. An explosion (Cai., ne.Sc. 1952). Also fig., a flash (of wit), an ebullition. Hence adj., adv. flisty, in a flash (of inspiration); dim. n. flistie, a squib that does not go off properly (Abd. c.1900–53), a subdued breaking of wind (Abd. 1952).
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 99:
Ilk canty body Wad mak as happy flists o' wit As owre their toddy. Bnff. 1888 in J. S. Skinner Logie Collection 95:
Noo, hae ye prentit that braw tune, Ye made to me so flisty, O? Abd. 1931 Abd. Press and Jnl. (11 Feb.):
An' noo an' than we hear a flist, A reerd wud deeve Van Winkle. Abd. 1951 :
If ye're nae canny fan ye're fillin it [duralumin], it'll ging up in a flist.
2. A sudden outburst of rage, a fit of temper (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Abd. 1952) or impetuosity, a flurry. Adj. flisty, irascible (Ags. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1952).
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 8:
Fin he saw it he wiz a'-oot, he geed intill an unco flist. Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xv.:
He oot at the door in a flist, an' “Nae anither copper o' mine will she see.” he says. Abd. 1935 J. White Sea Road x.:
In she comes wi' a flist and says to the dubs beneath her feet, meanin' me; “I'm for Germany.”
†3. “A keen blast or shower accompanied with a squall, a flying shower of snow” (Ags. 1808 Jam.). Adj. flisty, stormy, squally (Ib.).
4. A brag, boast, fib (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 49; ‡Abd.27 1950); a braggart, boaster, a fibber (Id.; Cai. 1951).
Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 29:
Big flists and bigger at their back Made up the feck o' Jamie's crack.
5. A blow, a smack (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.). Gen. adv. in phr. to let flist, to let fly (a blow) (Mry.1 1930; Cai., ne.Sc. 1952), to hit out, lit. and fig. Deriv. flister, a slap on the face or head (Cai.4 1920).
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 49:
Fin ye see a' thing gaun t' potterneeshin, ye canna help lattin' flist.
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"Flist v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Nov 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/flist>
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