Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
FUSSLE, v.1, n.1 Also fus(t)le, †fusel. n.Sc. forms of Eng. whistle. See P.L.D. §§ 59, 134.
I. v. As in Eng. Hence fussler, a whistler.
Abd. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 281:
He keeps a curn o' queynies and a wheen widdy-fu's, and gars them fussle, and loup, and mak murgeons, to please the grit fowk. ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 180:
The “gaadman” usually whistles to cheer the brutes in their work. Hence the proverb to signify that much exertion had been made with poor results: — “Muckle fuslan an little red-laan.” Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 5:
'Ey cried an' 'ey fustled. Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories 70:
Eh, sic a bonny fussler — jist like a mavis.
Phr. and combs.: 1. fusslebare, n., an epithet for poor hilly ground in an exposed situation (Abd.15 1880; Abd.27 1953). Sometimes found as a nickname for a farm in such a spot (Abd. 1953); ‡2. fusslin Sunday, the Fast Day, the day of the pre-Communion service (Bnff., Abd. 1930); †3. fusslt-ower, of a woman, seduced. See also quot.; 4. to fussle fair out, to speak one's mind, to be candid. Hence fussle-fair-out, attrib. phr., simple, straight-forward.
2. Bnff. 1860 Bnff. Herald (12 March 1949):
At a Communion season there was service on the preceeding Thursday and that was called the Fast Day: it was for preparation. We called it “Fustlin' Sunday,” for on it we were allowed to whistle, but not on a Sabbath day. 3. Abd. a.1897 Cal. Customs Scot. I. 68:
If in Corgarff all the crop is cut before St Michael's Fair, 29th Sept. it is called a “maiden gliack,” but if it is after this date the crop is cut, the “gliack” gets the name of “a fusslt-ower maiden” i.e. a whistled over, deluded, or betrayed maiden. 4. Abd. 1904 W. A. G. Farquhar Fyvie Lintie 129:
But ower a fussle-fair-out tune, . . . The fient a bird could ding or droon Wee Rory deid. Abd. 1929 1 :
Nae beatin' aboot the buss noo, fussle fair oot, an' lat's hae the richts o't.
II. n. A whistle (ne.Sc. 1953).
Abd. 1768 in A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 6:
And shepherd-lads, on sunny knows, Blaw the blythe fusle. Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 45:
A mither's diddlin', till her bairn can bring The sleep that flees fae fussle, trumpe or string.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Fussle v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jun 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/fussle_v1_n1>
Try an Advanced Search