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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FIREBORD, n. Also fire brod; ferrabirt (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); fiddabird (Angus); fidabord, fidebord, fudaburda (Jak.). A vision, warning, omen (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); “a vain hope, a delusive expectation” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.).Sh. 1886 “G. Temple” Britta 99:
He kent fine he wis deein', an' sae did huz a'. Mony wis da fudabunda [sic] dat we had.
Sh. 1947 Folk Bk. (ed. Tait) I. 61:
The older man said solemnly, “Hit's a fire brod.”

[Variant and corrupt forms from O.N. fyrirburðr, appearance, vision.]

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"Firebord n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



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