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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.

FAE, prep. Also fee (Cai.) and unstressed form fa (Bch. 1930 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 108). Gen.Sc. Variant of Frae, from, orig. n.Sc. and still infrequent in s.Sc. (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 201; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 43; Cld. 1880 Jam.). Used ellipt. as a conj. = from the time that (I. and n.Sc., Ags., Fif., Dmf. 1952). The form fee also represents a contr. of fae ee [see Ee, def. art.] (Ags.19 1952). [fe:]Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 82:
I wandert, wissing, that I were at hame; Bat wist na whither I made till't or fae't.
Sc. 1873 J. A. H. Murray D.S.C.S. 229:
Frae must be a difficult combination, for the Central and Northern Scottish is fae.
Fif. 1879 G. Gourlay Fisher Life 133:
The ringing cry, “There's word fae Steenson.”
Edb. 1893 W. G. Stevenson Wee Johnnie Paterson (1914) 3:
They're seven miles fae onybody.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 35:
He couldna keep fae cursin him somewey.
Ork. 1907 Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 62:
The Stenness men waar plannan tae geong ower tae Irelan' an' press twa fae dere.
Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 3:
An' 'id's nee for me . . . t' pit tee'd nor tak fee'd.
Uls. 1924 Northern Whig (18 Jan.):
On a favourit horse to try a little on chance, Wud be a change fae ither things.
Lnk. 1926 W. Queen We're a' Coortin' 9:
Dinna bother risin, f'ae the table.
Sh. 1949 New Shetlander No. 16. 43:
Some a da sheep hedna seen a dug fae dey wir lambs.
Ags. 1951 Forfar Dispatch (22 Feb.):
“By fee, fat, far and fan, Ye'll aye ken a Farfar man.”
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 33:
' ... until the time comes when the sma' boats comes in no more wi' fish or when big ships put oot to great oceans fae the harbour here.'
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 42:
The lads f'ae the Mairt
wi sharn on their feet ...
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 226:
There were women wi bairns in prams, loons and lassies trowing fae the school, a puckle o teachers and retired men o worth, and in the van the campers.
Gsw. 1993 Margaret Sinclair Soor Plooms and Candy Balls 27:
Mammy puts oan her toffy air
Come back fae there noo Chuck
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 18:
Bit fyles yer birss begins to rise
An rummlins fae yer thrapple birl
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 112:
'That's where we cam fae this mornin, Andra. Oot o sicht awa yonder.'

Phrs.: 1. fae't and till't, up and down, in health (Abd.27 1950); 2. to draw fae, to draw an inference (Sh.10, Ork.1 1950): also rarely to draw a fae.1. Abd. 1920 M. Argo Makkin o' John 3:
Ou, jist fae't and till't, bit braw kneef maist days.
2. Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 132:
Jenny begood tae draw a fae.

[The loss of r prob. arises from the fact that the word is usually in an unstressed position. The Cai. form fee may be altered on the analogy of tee.]

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"Fae prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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