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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

FOOST, v.1, n.1 Also foosht, fous(h)t, fu(i)st. [Sc. fu:st, ne.Sc., Ags. + fu:ʃt, s.Sc. + føst]

I. v. 1. To become or smell mouldy, to mildew (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Abd., Peb., Ayr., Dmf. 1952). Freq. in ppl.adj. foos(h)tit, musty, mouldy, mildewed. Gen.Sc. Also fig.Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 13:
That's nae yer fuisted kind of stuff, It's gueed Kilgour.
Rnf. 1815 W. Finlayson Rhymes 57:
Wi' this kneeve I'll Gar your dull, foostit brains Jaup on Heaven's causie stanes!
Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poet. Effusions 72:
'Mid rotten cheese and bacon foostit Syn Christenmas was past a year.
Lnk. 1856 Deil's Hallowe'en 11:
Auld Satan swore, with foostin breath, He'd haud the nicht as sure as death.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 51:
The hoose is damp an' the brehd's ill for fooshtan.
Gall. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 120:
It was said to have a kind of fuisted smell about it.
Hdg. 1902 J. Lumsden Toorle 10:
Gae awa hame, ye glaiket, fuisted, gray-green, auld stock!
Abd. 1928 Abd. Weekly Jnl. (27 Dec.) 6:
Gin that time they're fooshtit an' ull tastit, an' the toon fowk wunna hae wir eggs.
Gsw. 1987 Peter Mason C'mon Geeze Yer Patter! 34:
Yon Efter 8's they dished up wur definately fuisted. Those after-dinner-mints we were served were slightly mouldy.

2. By extension: to hoard up (money). With up.Abd. 1900 E.D.D.:
He has fooshtit up a hantle of siller for himself.

3. To break wind in a suppressed manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 51; Bnff.2, Abd.27 1946).

II. n. 1. A mouldy condition or smell, mildew, fustiness (Sc. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Ayr., Dmf. 1952). Adj. foos(h)tie, -y, fous(h)tie, fu(i)stie, -y, musty, mouldy (Sc. 1825 Jam., fustie). Gen.Sc. Also fig. Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 78:
Tho' lang he's lain mould'rin' in death's foustie biel.
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 122:
But it's gettin' foosty noo.
Kcb. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 202:
It's damp tae begin wi, an it verra sune gets foosty, an haes a mouldy smell aboot it.
Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 19:
An' files wi' a fooshty cloot she gied Her face an anterin dicht.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 27:
The langest day's been and the nichts come doon
mair quickly noo. Ay, the dairk's back,
there's foost on the blast.
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 27 May 12:
... Scots ... is evidently seen by her to have a foustie kailyard image redolent of the language of grannies, and not with youth, sex and modern living.
Edb. 1991 Irvine Welsh in Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway New Writing Scotland 9: Scream If You Want to Go Faster 147:
Get the fuck oan or fuck off and die ya foostie auld cunt.
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 174:
Ah still hud the fuckin pool cue in ma hand; a mingin rat-muncher who had been left behind in his mates' retreat tried to block my swing as I heard the bone in his arm crack and his shrill squeal fill the foosty Weedgie air ...
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 48:
Duncan Simpson guffed like a fooshtie drain an wis kent bi the bye-name o "Futterat" ...
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 50:
Henry wis a bit o an orral, wi bladdit teeth an fooshty braith that rikkit o garlic.

2. Anything in a mouldering, decaying state, rubbish, “junk” (m.Lth.1 1952).Abd. 1900 E.D.D., s.v. fust:
What a lot o' stech an' foosht there is in that house.

3. A suppressed breaking of wind (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 51; Bnff.2, Abd.27 1946). Transf.: a dirty fellow, a person of disagreeable habits (Id.).

4. An odd or eccentric person (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., fuist).

[Sc. variants of obs. or dial. Eng. fust, foist, mustiness, to grow mouldy, Eng. fusty, foisty, mouldy, E.M.E. foist, fust, a wine cask, O.Fr. fust, id. O.Sc. has foistit, musty, 1566. In meanings 3. of v. and n. the word may be an assimilation of a different foist, id., now obs. in Eng. See Feist.]

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"Foost v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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