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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.

FLOURISH, v., n. Also floorish, †fleurise, †fluris-. The form fleerish is also found in Abd., either O.Sc. floris or by confusion with Fleerish, n. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. flourish. [′flu:rɪʃ]

I.v. 1. To blossom, to be in flower, esp. of fruit trees or hawthorn (Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 164; Mry., Abd., Fif., Gsw., Slk. 1952). Obs. in Eng. Ppl.adj. †flourished, in blossom; vbl.n. flourishin, fruit- or May-blossom (Rxb. 1942 Zai; Fif. 1950).Sc. 1731 J. Moncrief Poor Man's Physician 86:
Dim Eyes are cured with the Juice of the Bark of Willow-tree, cut when flourishing.
Sc. 1789 Shepherd's Wedding 22:
Her face was fair as dewdrops hing Upo' the flourish'd thorn.
Ags. 1854 Arbroath Guide (6 May):
An' o' ilka fruit tree that is flourish't, The flourish is like to expire.
Bwk. 1875 J. A. H. Murray Thomas of Erceldoune (E.E.T.S.) lxxxv.:
I' the spring it [a hawthorn] was a solid sheet o' white flourishin', scentin' the whole toon end.
Fif. 1912 Rymour Club Misc. II. 115:
Ye couldna see the sky for the driven snaw o' scented “flourishin'” and the green bushes o' birk.

2. To embroider (Mry.1 1925; Ork.5, Abd.9, Ags.19 1944). Vbl.n. flourishin, embroidery (Id.; Dmf. 1950). Cf. Flour, v. 1.Abd. 1867 Mrs Allardyce Goodwife xii.:
We leet the damishell awa To get a raith o' lair. She tuke a dint o' fleerishin.

3. In vbl.n. flourishing, a surfeit, excess, plethora. Slg. 1763 Indictment of W. Kirk (1 Aug.):
The said Janet Pow had died of a Flourishing or Pleurisy of Blood.

II. n. Blossom, esp. on fruit- or hawthorn-trees. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. and n.Eng. dial. Also fig. Rarely in pl. Combs.: (1) dog-flourish, see Dog, III. 2.; †(2) flurisfever, scarlet fever (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.), from the red eruption on the skin. Jak. gives the form flora-fever for Sh. as = an epidemic, esp. among dogs, which may be an extended meaning of this word.Sc. 1700 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 67:
Our cherry trees here 8 days since are breaking and the flourish fairly out.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxxi.:
Fruit-trees, so many of which were at this time in flourish.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxiii.:
Raised into public life for a better purpose than to prey upon the leaves and flourishes of the commonwealth.
Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 80:
The berries will be ripe or lang; The fading fleurise rains around thee.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 123:
The flourish on the tree that hings.
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 26:
The gairden round about the villa is just over-grown with trees, and you never saw the like of the flourish on them, parteeclarly the lily-oaks!
Sc. 1935 D. Rorie Lum Hat 40:
An' the flourish o' the aipplc-trees Cam' floatin' doon like snaw.
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 22:
The mist was risen afore him, mixed in
wi the floorish o gean and blackthorn.
Edb. 1991 J. K. Annand in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 19:
A kirkyaird was my gairden,
A grave my bed o flouers,
And frae my green tree's brainches
The flourish fell in shouers.

[O.Sc. floris, flouris, fluris, to blossom, a.1400, flourisching, blossom, 1593, fluris, id., 1461.]

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"Flourish v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2022 <>



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