Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FOOL, n. Also fewl; ful (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Gen.Sc. forms of Eng. fowl, a bird, one of the domestic breed of poultry. Cf. P.L.D. § 38. Dim. and adj. foolie, fowlie. [fu:l] Sc. 1737  in Scott H. Midlothian xviii. Note:
The Duke of Newcastle having demanded to know with what kind of shot the guard which Porteous commanded had loaded their muskets, was answered naively, “Ow, just sic as ane shoots dukes and fools with.”
Rnf. 1835  D. Webster Rhymes 6:
Wild fools beginning to squake.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xix.:
Awat they war a' richt snod, sizeable foolies.
Gall. 1877  “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 56:
“Gang and tak' yer meat decently like ither fewls” . . . continued he, shaking his stick at the djeuks.
Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xiii.:
A yaird for keepin fools, an' a deuk-pond.
Sh. 1908  Old-Lore Misc. I. vii. 272:
Dunna let da fools truck troo da grice's truss.

Hence (1) fool-fleg, a scarecrow; (2) fooling, fowling; (3) fowlie-, fowloo-bree, chicken broth. (1) Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 60:
Sheu . . . geed i' cloots; sae that sheu was mair like a fool-fleg or a human bothie.
(2) Sc. 1732  in Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine Families II. 387:
Hunting and Fooling in all his Forests.
Sc. 1827  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 13:
I howp they've nae fooling-pieces — for they may take us for gulls.
(3) ne.Sc. 1828  P. Buchan Ballads I. 264:
I gae him skink and fowlie bree, And ither cordials, twa or three.
ne.Sc. 1909  G. Greig Folk-Song, lii.:
With plenty of oatcakes and ale, With fowloo bree, and cabbage, kail.

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"Fool n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2019 <>



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