Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ILL-FAURED, adj. Also -faurd, -fared, -fa'ard, -fawrd, -farr(e)d, -fa(u)rt, -fawrt; ull- (Abd.). Compar. wa(u)r-, ¶ill-faurder, superl. warst-. [′ɪl′f:rd, -t, Abd. ′ʌl′fɑ:rt]

1. Of looks, appearance, etc.: ill-favoured, ugly, uncomely, unbecoming. Gen.Sc. Adv. ill-fa(u)rdly. Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 82:
O kend my minny I were wi' you, Ill-fardly wad she crook her mou'.
Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 13:
A gay we'll gawn fallow, right spruch, amaist like an ill-far'd gentleman.
Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Poems 90:
But twine thee o' thy trappin's a', Thou'rt war fa'ur'd than a plucked daw.
Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xiv.:
Ay, ay; a black cast to a' their ill-faur'd faces.
Slk. 1818  Hogg Hunt of Eildon (1874) 234:
She didna only change me intil an ill-faurd he-sow, but guidit me shamefully ill a' the time I was a goossy.
Ayr. 1826  Galt Last of the Lairds xi.:
But whereas is an ill-farr'd beginning to a billydoo.
Abd. 1881  W. Paul Past & Present 127:
He insisted on my looking at his leg which he said was “very ill faurt twa or three days syne but wasna that oonbonny noo.” The country people here used to call a healthy wound a “bonny sair.”
Edb. 1895  J. Tweeddale Moff 87:
There's naething worse faured than a curler comin' oot for his first spell wi' an auld scrunt o' a cowe.
Rxb. 1917  Kelso Chron. (9 Sept.) 2:
It was a shilpit, illfaured gude-for-nathing kind o' brute — he offered me tenpence for't.
Abd. 1924  Swatches o' Hamespun 62:
Wi an ull-faurt foumart o' a cat, as cankert as 'ersel.

2. In regard to behaviour or speech: ill-mannered, impudent, ill-tempered, coarse (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ork., Abd., Ags. 1958). Also used adv. Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxxviii.:
He, the ill-fa'ard loon! . . . there wad hae been little speerings o't had Dustansnivel kenn'd it was there.
Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 64:
The warst fard language at a tinkler's feast, Compar'd wi' his, for court-bred style, wad past.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxiv.:
The blacksmith, wha . . . let aff an ill-faured aith at times.
Dmb. 1894  D. Macleod Past Worthies 173:
Did ye, ye ill-faured loon, an' frail stoop o' the Kirk, gang and tell Mrs Malagrowther that I was oft'ner than ance o'erta'en wi' liquor?
Bnff. 1949  :
It's ill-faurt tae floan afore folk.

3. Of things: hateful, causing abhorrence, obnoxious, unpleasant, objectionable (Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man viii.; Cai., Kcb. 1958); of a blow: hard, severe, serious. Irreg. compar. ill-faurder. Slk. 1820  Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 191:
Yon's Jock o' the Meer-Cleuch; he has gotten an ill-faur'd flaip.
Sc. 1821  Scott Pirate v.:
Ill-fa'red tools they had in their hands, whaaling knives they ca'ed them, but they looked as like whingers as ae bit airn can look like anither.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 149:
O bleart, ill-faurt, frem'd fiend, starvation — An empty purse.
Per. 1887  R. Cleland Inchbracken 229:
It was an ill-faured trick o' ye, at ye wad expose our shame.

4. Poor in quality, unattractive, “scruffy” (Sh., Ork., Abd., Ags. 1958). Adv. ill-faurdly, -faurtly, “meanly, in a scurvy or shabby manner” (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Abd. 1787  A. Shirrefs Jamie and Bess iii. ii.:
Wha has a heart sae borne down wi' wae, Will but ill-far'dly owther sing or say.
Sc. 1806  Scots Mag. (Sept.) 696:
Trouth my dow ye'll ablins hae Some ill-faurder bodes ere beltin'.
wm.Sc. 1854  Laird of Logan 190:
Just spier at Andrew Brochan, gif I didna ken Goodie barley frae Glentirran, boiling in the Kale-pot; — aye, as it came tum'lin up, says I — there ye go, Goodie — is that your ill-faur'd frae Glentirran?

5. Of movement: clumsy, bungling (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also used adv. and in adv. form ill-faurdly, clumsily, ungracefully (Ib.). Abd. 1895  J. Davidson Old Abd. Ministers 84:
They're maybe a kin' of illfaurt honest for a fortnicht afore the sacrament and a day or twa efter, but for ony ither time I wudna lippen them wi' muckle.

6. Of colour, dress, etc.: shabby, faded (Lnk. 1919 T.S.D.C. III. 23; Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 152; Ork., Abd. 1958).

7. Unlucky, of bad omen (Sh. 1958). Rnf. 1880  W. Grossart Parish of Shotts 186:
On asking the name of the house of her birth, she said it was an “ill-faurt” name.

[O.Sc. ill-fa(i)rde, uncomely, from 1540. Ill, adv. + ppl.adj. from Faur, Eng. favoured. Cf. P.L.D. § 70.1. and Weel.]

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"Ill-faured adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jun 2019 <>



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