Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FURTHIE, adj. Also -y, forthy, firthy. [′fʌrθe]

1. Forward in disposition, bold, unabashed (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 215), also in Eng. dial.; go-ahead, enterprising, energetic; impulsive (Abd. 1953). Fif. 1806 A. Douglas Poems 102:
In he cam' fu' blythe an' furthy.
Kcb. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 53:
Less furthy dames, (wha' cou'd resist them?) Th' example take.
Ags. 1820 A. Balfour Contemplation 260:
A clean-houghed, weel-made, forthy callan.
Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane Trad. (1887) 96:
In her younger years, about 1745, Maggy is said to have been a “clever huzzy, an' a furthy quean.”
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 83:
Himsel was ance a pleughboy, a furthy rovin' blade, An' sae weel's he kens the value o' his pleughman lad.
Ags. 1879 A. L. Fenton Forfar Poets 138:
A furthie callant, bauld an' gleg, But troth he got an awsome fleg.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) 131:
Shoosie's twa laddies landit at their mither's . . . an' firthy-like chaps they are.
Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 210:
She no longer was the furthy, managing, hither-and-thither housewife she had been.
Kcb. 1912 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin' 3:
It bein' aye the way wi' the McSplargs til boast o' the ken't folks they was freens til — a furthy lot they aye were.

2. Frank, friendly, affable, jolly (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also adv. Sc. 1712 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 141:
His mother was fonder of Patrick. He was more furthy.
Rnf. 1806 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 105:
Thy furthy, kindly, takin gait; — Sure every gude chiel likes thee.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 17:
Nae mair ye'll hear him i' the spring, Ahint the plew sae blythesome sing, Or see him stauk, an' furthy fling Athwart the seed.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxvi.:
He was not liked, having none of that furthy and jocose spirit.
Gsw. 1863 W. Miller Nursery Songs 55:
Gi'e me the warm an' furthy heart.
Sc. 1894 S. R. Whitehead Daft Davie 206:
She was aye of a free and furthy nature.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 25:
For leal o' heart is she, an' fu' o' furthy glee, As the miller's ain girnal's fu' o' meal.

†Hence (1) furthilie, forthily, frankly, freely, without reserve (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (2) furthiness, frankness, affability (Id.). (1) Gsw. 1763 W. Thom Donaldsoniad 23:
A' the Lads tauked Philosophy then just as forthily as the Hiland Lads tauk Greek now.

3. Generous, hospitable, kind, liberal (Rnf.1 1920, firthy; Fif. 1953). Sc. 1717 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 20:
Furthy was she, her luck design'd her Their common Mither, sure nane kinder Ever brake Bread.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish xx.:
But Mrs McVicar . . . was withal a gawsy furthy woman, taking great pleasure in hospitality.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 58:
She was in the main a frank, furthy, kindhearted, good sort of woman.
Sc.(E) 1873 D. M. Ogilvy Willie Wabster 5:
He was . . . A forthy fere to spend and drink, And wi' a freend was no perjink.
Kcb. 1885 J. S. McCulloch Poems 103:
Ragouts, an' stews, an' turtle soups, An' furthy wines in plenty.
Sc. 1899 Mont.-Fleming:
The term, “A furthy buddy,” is generally applied to an elderly woman, and conveys the idea of a good housewife, careful and well-to-do, but not niggardly — a kindly motherly buddy. . . . I think it also conveys the idea of a certain “sedateness” rather than “giddiness.”

4. Of animals: advanced in growth, in prime condition (Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 148, forthy); of land. etc.: producing early or plentiful crops. Also transf. Lth. 1885 “J. Strathesk” Blinkbonny 230:
The “stackyard” of straw hives which stretched along the back of her furthy garden.
Ork. 1930 Orcadian (13 Feb.):
The word furthy . . . was applied sometimes to a man who obeyed the command to multiply more than to replenish.

5. ? Cosy, comfortable. m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 47:
His furthy coat o' tup's 'oo spun at hame.

[O.Sc. forthy, c.1420, furthy, a.1568, forward, bold, enterprising. From Furth + -ie, adj. suff.]

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"Furthie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Aug 2020 <>



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