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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLAUCHTER, v.2, n.2 Also fla(a)chter, fla(u)ghter; flaucher; flaichter; ¶flackter (m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 291). [em., wm.s.Sc. ′flǫxtər, Sh., ne., sm.Sc. ′flɑ:xtər, Sh. + ′flɔutər, Ork. ′fle:tər]

I. v. 1. To flutter, to flap, esp. of a bird beating its wings (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 242; Sh., Ork., Abd., Per., Fif. 1952); to palpitate, of the heart (Sh.11 1951).Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 195:
They lap, they flaghtered so like hens with their feet tied together.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 84:
The wild duck, roused by the fowler's tread, Fast flauchters, quacking to the farther shore.
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes xxii.:
The flauchterin' snaw began to fa'.
Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 14:
An da flaachterin laverik is settin da dim Wi' a sang as sweet as a angel's hymn.
Ork. 1910 Old-Lore Misc. III. i. 31:
He saa da uppers o' 'is sheun flaichteran aboot 'is ceuts.
Sc. 1926 “H. M'Diarmid” A Drunk Man 49:
A black leaf owre a white leaf twirls, A grey leaf flauchters in atween.
Ags. 1933-35 Willa Muir in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 (1993) 95:
She's retching and thrawing like ony ither
Uneasy mither,
While her unborn bairns, flauchtering inside her,
Are roaring Soviet and Swastika and God kens what else.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 7:
The lichtsome loup o grailse, bairn's croon o curlin hair
Flaught'rin afore the win', jinkin its ilka jawp.

2. tr. and intr.: to spread open; to sprawl (Sh.10 1951); to spreadeagle, to knock down, to “lay out.” Ppl.adj. flauchtered, flat on one's face (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Sc. 1843 Whistle-Binkie V. 118:
Wi' an auld hazle rung or a wheel-barrow tram, His muckle thick skull she would flaughter.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie 12:
[They] swore they would flaughter the queer auld man.
Rnf. 1853 J. Fraser Poetic Chimes 181:
An' fairly flachter'd, heels ower head, The dons at College.
Per. 1878 R. Ford Hame-spun Lays 108:
She wid flauchter Tam's scaup wi' the poker.
Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 196:
It sent the herring to Dunbar In myriads to get flauchter'd.
Arg. 1926 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 14:
See that fellow there flachterin in the sun like a puddock.
Abd.27 1948:
If I hid come hame at twa in the mornin, fan I wis a loon, I wad hae been flauchtert at eence.

3. tr. To fluster, put in a pother; intr. to rush about excitedly (Abd. 1951).Ayr. 1862 J. Baxter The Kirn 70:
Ye've flauchtered a' my head.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 124:
I was a little flauchtered when the Laird was flittin' awa to Edinburgh, and cam to me for “a bit line for that bottle that had dune the boy so much guid!”
Abd.15 1928:
She's a flauchterin craitur, aye fudderin an fleein aboot somegait.
Ags. 1934 H. B. Cruickshank Noran Water 29:
An' eerie skraighed the flaughtered gulls As she gaed by the shore.

Combs.: (1) flachter-golak, a flighty, excitable person (Abd. 1951); (2) flachter-lichtit, ppl.adj., flighty, giddy, changeable in humour (Bnff. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.).(1) Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 20:
Sae that wis a' the flachter-golak said, wis't?

4. Of a fire, light, etc.: to flicker, glimmer intermittently. Vbl.n. flaughterin, a light shining fitfully (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also ppl.adj.Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xxi.:
He wad hae seen a glance o' the light frae the door o' the cave, flaughtering against the hazels on the other bank.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 32:
Syne I saw the mune ... Wi her eerie skenklin
Ower tree an scaur
Ower flauchtrin een o' yowes
In their happin o' gerse i' the mirk.

II. n. 1. A fluttering, flapping (Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 242; Sh.11, Ork.5 1952). Fig. palpitation; a bustle, hurry (Sh. 1913 J. M. Hutcheson W.-L.). Used adv. in phr. to play flaucher, to flap.Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 42:
The swallows pop Wi' lazy flaughter on the gutter dub.
Ags. 1848 Feast Liter. Crumbs (1891) 34:
But bauldly gars his pock play flaucher I' your very face.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 111:
Och, there's the flachter i' me breest.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 110:
Da first 'at I saw, wis da flauchters o' da cock ower da flüer.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 51:
This unco voice, as oorie an' remote
as the laverock's cry that seems tae come
frae ilka airt. His voice wis the sum
o unkennable scauds, o joukin lauchter,
o aa that ever took a flauchter
intil the clairt.

2. A brood of chickens or other young birds (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.): prob. a confusion of Lachter, q.v. with 1.

3. A flicker, an eddying flame.Rxb. 1820 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 132:
He would in a moment consume them, with a “flauchter o' brunstane.”

[A variant form of Flochter, q.v. Some of the meanings, e.g. v. 4. and n. 3., might equally well be associated with Flauchter, v.1, n.1; cf. Flaucht, n.2, v.2, adv., Flaucht, n.1, v.1]

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"Flauchter v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Jun 2023 <>



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