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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

FOR-, pref. Also fore-, fur-, fer-, fir-, ¶fair-. [fər-, always unaccented.] Used much as in Eng., in the following usages:

1. As an intensive = completely, quite, with marked effect, to some purpose: (1) with finite verbs, and nouns derived from verbs, e.g. Forfluther, Forlaithie, and, with weakened force, Forbear, Forgaither; (2) with pa.p., freq. implying exhaustion, great weariness, e.g. Forfairn, Forfleeit, Forfochten, Forjeskit, Forwandert;

2. Implying harm, hostility, or severity, somewhat like mis-; e.g., with verbs, Forca, Forlat, Forspeak, Fortak; with nouns, Forfeffis, Fornacket.

3. Implying to abandon, forsake, neglect: e.g. Forhoo, Forleet, Forsee.

4. Implying to undo, reverse, do the opposite of, the action of the simple verb: e.g. Forthink.

5. The prefix is freq. confused with Fore-, pref., as in the variant forms foragainst, forbear, fornent, with the resultant tendency to throw the accent forward on the second element of the compound.

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"For- prefix". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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