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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FORESHOT, n. 1. A projecting floor or window of a house overhanging the street on which it is built (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Hist.Sc. 1736 Session Papers, Magistrates Gsw. v. Gemmill (2 Feb.) 1:
Mr Gemmill and Predecessors brought out from the Stone-Wall of the upper Part of the Tenement, a Projection in Timber, commonly called a Fore-Shot.
Sc. 1752 Petition of J. Finlayson (Jam.):
The street of the town of Stirling was formerly broader than at present, the proprietors of the houses on both sides having made encroachments on the same by building small additions to their houses of about 6 or 7 feet in breadth, made of wood and supported by pillars, in the same manner that this was executed in Edinburgh, which are called Fore-shots or Forestairs.
Sc. 1839 D. D. Black Hist. Brechin 189:
The Timber Market, formerly so obstructed with foreshots covered with thatch.
Slg. 1921 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 19:
Some of the fleshers . . . killed at their own doors, under the wooden foreshot of the houses.
m.Sc. 1986 Ian A. Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 165:
The starling's nest, weel derned ablow the foreshot,
gars her eggs ligg secure.

2. The whisky that first comes over in distillation, “always the strongest” (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also furshot (Arg. 1882 Arg. Herald (3 June)). Gen.Sc.Sc. 1798 Report Distilleries Scot. 321:
The same is true with regard to the heterogeneous matters which come from the Low Wine Still towards the close of the operation, mixed with the last of the Spirits. The first is called by the Scotch distillers Fore Shot, the second Faints.
Arg. c.1850 in L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre (1936) 30:
Dohl a' Voomper had a brewing In Kilmaschenachan Glen And of foreshot strong and caochan too A greedy squeep has taen.
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff. 104:
Moff, lass, there's nae fore-shot there. It's gran'.
Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 68:
There's a bottlie o' foreshot i' the but-press.
Sc. 1950 J. M. Robb Sc. Whisky 36:
The low wines are distilled in a similar but smaller still, the first runnings or “fore-shot” being by-passed at the testing case until they have become clear.

3. In pl.: the first milk drawn from a cow after calving (Lnk. 1825 Jam.) Cf. Forebroads.

[Fore-, 2. + Shot.]

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"Foreshot n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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