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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

FLOCHT, n., v. Also floucht, †flowcht, †flought, flucht, †flught. [flɔxt, flʌ(u)xt]

I. n. 1. A flutter; a palpitation (Sh.10, Abd.27 1952); fig. a fright, scare (Mry. 1916 T.S.D.C. II., flowcht). Phrs.: a-flought, in a floucht, upo(n) the flought, in a flutter, in a state of dread or anxiety.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 81:
Then Nory . . . began to free Her sell to them, the best way that she mought, Saying the dreary news set me a flought.
Ib. 18:
But yet her heart was ay upo' the flought, Sleepin' an' wakin', Lindy fill'd her thought.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 23:
Sae mony won'ers an' sae muckle thought, Dee what I like, I'm aye upon the flought.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 92:
Ta hear William's story sets me heart in a floucht.

2. Bustle, excitement, stress (Abd.27 1952); a sudden gust of anger or change of opinion (Sc. 1818 Sawers). Adj. flochty, erratic, excitable, jumpy (Abd. 1825 Jam.); easily angered (Sc. 1818 Sawers).Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 2:
Few herds are out; what mak's ye'n sic a flught? An' Adie's sheep's a' bleating i' the bucht.
Abd. 1910 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. III. 224:
Ye'd think that de'ils wir at their heels They're sae byord'nar' flochty.
Abd. 1921 R. L. Cassie Doric Ditties 16:
Oh, the steer an' flocht o' flittin', Tears saut my een are dittin'.
Abd.1 1929:
The flocht o' the business wis owre muckle for him.

3. “A bustling, bouncing or gaudy person; a flirt” (Cld. 1880 Jam.).

II. v. 1. To flutter, to palpitate, esp. in vbl.n. flochtin, -en (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh.10 1952).Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 590:
I tuik hit fur a trow, an ma hert tuik a flochtin an a whiskin hit wiz unmoderit.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 4:
Atween da hard wark, broonkidnis, an' a flouchtin' i' da mooth o' my stammik.

2. tr. or refl. To excite, flurry; to startle, frighten. Ppl.adj. flochtit, fluchtit (Mry.1 1925; ne.Sc. 1952), flochtid (Cai.9 1952), excited, flurried, harassed. Hence flochter, a person or animal that is easily excited or scared, e.g. a broody hen (Cai. 1911 John o' Groat Jnl. (17 March)).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 50:
He cam in wee a fause-face on, an' fluchtit the bairn.
Abd. 1898 J. R. Imray Sandy Todd xi.:
She was sae fluchtit kin' the haill foreaneen that I didna ken fat tae mak' o' her.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 108:
I canna help bein' flochtit files, fin there's nae ae penny tae rub abeen anidder.
Bnff.2 1930:
Jean flochts hersel aboot the loon in America.

3. To give oneself airs, to show off; to flirt (Rnf. 1825 Jam.).Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 17:
Tae shew we're gentle, whan we wauk on fit, In passin puir fouk, how we'll flucht an skit.

Hence flochter, flughter, a pompous individual, “a person looking extremely big and wishing all eyes to observe” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 207, flochter). Cf. flee-up, s.v. Flee, v.1, n.1, II. 19; a bustling, showy person, a flirt (Cld. 1880 Jam.). Cf. n., 3. Adj. fleuchtersome, pompous, blustering (Kcb.4 1900).

[O.Sc. flocht, a flutter, a state of perturbation or excitement, from c.1480, O.E. or O.N. *floht(e). Cf. O.N. flótti and cogn. O.E. flyht, flight.]

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"Flocht n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jun 2022 <>



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