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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

FARKAGE, n., v. Also fa(i)rkish, fairkeesh, ferkish (s.Sc.); fargis (Ork.).

I. n. A confused, untidy, ravelled heap or bundle, e.g. of rope (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 202), of clothes, etc. (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork.5 1950, fargis); odds and ends, miscellaneous articles.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 265:
Pack'd up in coffins ane, twa, three, A most infernal farkage.
Ib. 469:
Having a farkage o' claise about her.
Ags. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.:
To go to town for farkish, i.e. messages, shopping.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
It was a' lyan in a fargis. He pulled a whole fargis o' cloots oot o' the sack.

II. v. Only in vbl.n. fairkishin, fairkeesheen, ferkishin, a large amount (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ferkishin), “frequently implying in an untidy mess” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., fairkishin, ferk-, occas. fairkish), a crowd, a seething mob.s.Sc. 1856 H. S. Riddell St Matthew iv. 25:
An' ther folloet him grit ferkishins o' fouk frae Galilee.
s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws v.:
We're just ower-qualled wi' beasts. There's a whale [sic] ferkishin' o' them the noo in the park.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 10:
Thae scones ir weel heirt; A pat a guid fairkeesheen o butter inti thum.

[Origin doubtful. Phs. an -age deriv. of Ferk, q.v. Cf. Eng. dial. firk, a commotion, stir, to clean out, O.E. fercian, to bring, supply, feed. For the -ish forms, cf. Daimish and damage.]

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"Farkage n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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