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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FOOST, v.1, n.1 Also foosht, fous(h)t, fu(i)st. [Sc. fu:st, ne.Sc., Ags. + fu:ʃt, s.Sc. + føst]

I. v. 1. To become or smell mouldy, to mildew (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Abd., Peb., Ayr., Dmf. 1952). Freq. in ppl.adj. foos(h)tit, musty, mouldy, mildewed. Gen.Sc. Also fig.Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 13:
That's nae yer fuisted kind of stuff, It's gueed Kilgour.
Rnf. 1815 W. Finlayson Rhymes 57:
Wi' this kneeve I'll Gar your dull, foostit brains Jaup on Heaven's causie stanes!
Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poet. Effusions 72:
'Mid rotten cheese and bacon foostit Syn Christenmas was past a year.
Lnk. 1856 Deil's Hallowe'en 11:
Auld Satan swore, with foostin breath, He'd haud the nicht as sure as death.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 51:
The hoose is damp an' the brehd's ill for fooshtan.
Gall. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 120:
It was said to have a kind of fuisted smell about it.
Hdg. 1902 J. Lumsden Toorle 10:
Gae awa hame, ye glaiket, fuisted, gray-green, auld stock!
Abd. 1928 Abd. Weekly Jnl. (27 Dec.) 6:
Gin that time they're fooshtit an' ull tastit, an' the toon fowk wunna hae wir eggs.
Gsw. 1987 Peter Mason C'mon Geeze Yer Patter! 34:
Yon Efter 8's they dished up wur definately fuisted. Those after-dinner-mints we were served were slightly mouldy.

2. By extension: to hoard up (money). With up.Abd. 1900 E.D.D.:
He has fooshtit up a hantle of siller for himself.

3. To break wind in a suppressed manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 51; Bnff.2, Abd.27 1946).

II. n. 1. A mouldy condition or smell, mildew, fustiness (Sc. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Ayr., Dmf. 1952). Adj. foos(h)tie, -y, fous(h)tie, fu(i)stie, -y, musty, mouldy (Sc. 1825 Jam., fustie). Gen.Sc. Also fig. Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 78:
Tho' lang he's lain mould'rin' in death's foustie biel.
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 122:
But it's gettin' foosty noo.
Kcb. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 202:
It's damp tae begin wi, an it verra sune gets foosty, an haes a mouldy smell aboot it.
Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 19:
An' files wi' a fooshty cloot she gied Her face an anterin dicht.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 27:
The langest day's been and the nichts come doon
mair quickly noo. Ay, the dairk's back,
there's foost on the blast.
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 27 May 12:
... Scots ... is evidently seen by her to have a foustie kailyard image redolent of the language of grannies, and not with youth, sex and modern living.
Edb. 1991 Irvine Welsh in Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway New Writing Scotland 9: Scream If You Want to Go Faster 147:
Get the fuck oan or fuck off and die ya foostie auld cunt.
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 174:
Ah still hud the fuckin pool cue in ma hand; a mingin rat-muncher who had been left behind in his mates' retreat tried to block my swing as I heard the bone in his arm crack and his shrill squeal fill the foosty Weedgie air ...
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 48:
Duncan Simpson guffed like a fooshtie drain an wis kent bi the bye-name o "Futterat" ...
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 50:
Henry wis a bit o an orral, wi bladdit teeth an fooshty braith that rikkit o garlic.

2. Anything in a mouldering, decaying state, rubbish, “junk” (m.Lth.1 1952).Abd. 1900 E.D.D., s.v. fust:
What a lot o' stech an' foosht there is in that house.

3. A suppressed breaking of wind (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 51; Bnff.2, Abd.27 1946). Transf.: a dirty fellow, a person of disagreeable habits (Id.).

4. An odd or eccentric person (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., fuist).

[Sc. variants of obs. or dial. Eng. fust, foist, mustiness, to grow mouldy, Eng. fusty, foisty, mouldy, E.M.E. foist, fust, a wine cask, O.Fr. fust, id. O.Sc. has foistit, musty, 1566. In meanings 3. of v. and n. the word may be an assimilation of a different foist, id., now obs. in Eng. See Feist.]

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"Foost v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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