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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FAT, pron. Also †faht; †phat (Abd. c.1838 Battle of Harlaw in Child Ballads III. 318), and, orig. in unstressed position, fit, fut, †fout. n.Sc. forms of What, q.v. See P.L.D. §§ 122, 134.Abd. c.1692 A. Pitcairne Assembly (1722) 38:
Ruling Elder: Fat hae they deen?
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 8:
An' says, O 'oman fat makes a' your care?
n.Sc. 1819 Scott L. Montrose iv.:
If the ale be gude, fat the waur is't that another man's beard's been in the queich before ye?
Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket iii.:
Not to say fat . . . when I did not hear, but, what's yer wull.
Mry. 1927 E. B. Levack Lossiemouth 21:
He's a scolart, he kens fat he's spikin' aboot.
Ags. 1952 Forfar Dispatch (5 June):
Fit bonnie it is, especially the Bay.
Abd. 1994 David Toulmin in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 78:
Fut wi' yarkin at yon lang-handled churn, melkin kye, feedin hens and swine ... and dustin ben the hoose, a' that wark the lassie was that tired or nicht she could hardly rest in her bed.

Phrs. and Combs.: 1. fat a, ¶fat o', followed by a noun in pl., what a number of . . .! (Bnff., Abd., Ags. 1950); ¶2. fat-a-feck, ? remarkable, outstanding: app. an extended meaning of fat a feck! See Feck, n.1, 2.; 3. fatever, -iver (mn.Sc. 1950), fatoor (Cai.9 1950), whatever; 4. fat for, why (n.Sc. 1950); with no, why not? (Cai.1, Mry.1 1925); 5. fat ither, what else, implying the unlikelihood of an alternative; hence = of course (Bnff., Abd., Ags. 1950); 6. fat like, like what, what . . . like, how (n.Sc. 1950). Also used absol. in mod. colloquial ne.Sc. = How are you?; †7. fatrecks, fatrakes, what does (it) matter? See Reck, v. Also, from Reck, n., foutrack, excl. of surprise (see quot.); 8. fatsomever, whatsoever (Abd.27, Ags.2 1946); 9. fat sorra, what the devil, what on earth . . .? (ne.Sc. 1952). See Sorrow; 10. fat tarry, = 9. See Tarrie; 11. fat(t)en, fat(t)an, what (sort of), which: gen. with the indef. art. in the forms fatna, fitna (n.Sc. 1950, fatten, fatna, fitna). Also in the irreg. forms fatter, fattera (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 71). See Whatten; 12. fat time, when (ne.Sc., Ags. 1950); 13. fat wye, fit wey, how, why (n.Sc. 1950).1. Bnff.2 1929:
Fat a bairns gid up the brae tae the pic-nic!
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 114:
Losh, aw min' fat o' fairlies aw wid 'a' seen, an' fat o' pennies aw wid 'a' spent gin aw hid hid them.
2. Ags. 1867 G. W. Donald Poems 32:
The weather's nae that fat-a-feck, But Summer will be in.
3. Abd. 1789 A. Ross Helenore 14–15:
Fan she came up, he never made to steer, Nae answer gae, fatever she wad spear.
Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 9:
Fatoor 'ey thocht 'ey said neethin,.
4. Per. 1773 in Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 244:
But fatfor did ye yon way blaw, An me sae fine and souple ca'?
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Fat for sudna ye gies a word?
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 71:
“There are sweethearts on board, I see.” “An' fat for no?”
5. Bch. 1832 W. Scott Poems 98:
The cozey wooer's just at hame, Fat ither can he think.
Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 23:
Andie — A wis jist . . . winnerin' fu she'll tak' wi't. Elspet — Like a peesie tae fleein', fat ither?
6. Abd. 1928 Abd. Weekly Jnl. (18 Oct.) 6:
Fat like are ye wi' the wark?
Abd.27 1951:
“Ay, ay, Geordie, fine day! Fat like?” “Nae bad.”
ne.Sc. 1991 Elspeth Barker O Caledonia (1992) 116:
One of her eyeballs was rolled upwards so that only the white showed; the other swivelled sharply towards Janet. 'Fit like, hen?' she enquired. 'I'm very well, thank you,' responded Janet.
ne.Sc. 1994 Herald 27 Oct 12:
Several sources maintain that they were told not to address the prince with "Fit like?" - the universal greeting in these parts - and that they were specifically instructed to answer his questions with "yes" and not "aye."
ne.Sc. 1998 Aberdeen Evening Express 5 Dec 17:
Apparently as comfortable in Aberdeen as in his Kirriemuir birthplace, the much-loved fairytale takes on a whole new look with the Silver City as its backdrop. Ken fit like... the Duthie Park replaces Kensington Gardens, Captain Hook and Smee walk straight from the Rab C Nesbit mould and the Lost Boys are about as Fittie spoken as, well, a Fittie speaker.
ne.Sc. 2000 Herald 27 March 28:
"Fit like? Fit can I get you?" "I'll hae a mug o' espresso, a rowie, a twa-bar electric fire, and a shot of yer Crombie coat please."
7. Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 12:
“Fatrecks!” quo' Will, “it needs nae badder”.
Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 106:
Fatrakes o' that, there's naething tint, Tho' ye ware fairly hought.
n.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
One who hears any unexpected news exclaims Foutrack! i.e., “Indeed! Is it really as you say?”
8. Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb vii.:
The Presbytery hae been prohibited fae takin' ony forder steps fatsomever to induct this “stranger”.
9. Kcd. 1796 J. Burness Thrummy Cap (1819) l. 96:
Fat sorrow gars ye look sae blate?
Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales 177:
That 'ill never doo. Fat sorra gart ye tak' a wife, ye idiot?
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 60:
“To soun' the Kirk? Fat sorra's that?” Speir't Robbie, sair perplext.
11. Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 116:
Fatna lang toonie's this?
Abd.15 1925:
Fattan een o' yon twa byue stots made the big siller?
Abd. 1932 J. Leatham Fisherfolk 35:
A landward visitor . . . asked a little girl to direct him to the abode of Sandy White. “Fatan Sanny Fite?” asked the little lass.
12. Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 15:
The tappit hen, fat bonny eggs she laid, Fat time she clockit, an' fat time she laid.
13. Bnff. 1885 Banffshire Jnl. (8 Sept.) 6:
Ye widna hiner his in this pairt o' Her Majesty's domains frae winnerin' fut wye the Coonty Justices is picket.
Abd. 1925 A. Murison Rosehearty Rhymes 164:
I've fun' oot noo, Maister Scribe, fat wye oor place is ca'd picturesque.
ne.Sc. 1991 Ken Morrice in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 60:
Fit wey hiv you come tae see me?

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"Fat pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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