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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

FUIRDAY, n. Also foor-day, furd-; fore-, †fuor-, and adv. form -days. [′fo:rde, †′før-, †′fu:r-]

1. Late in the afternoon (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); late in the morning, late in the day (Rxb. 1825 Jam.). Also in Eng. dial., obs. Phr. fuirdays dinnertime, a late dinner-hour (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).

2. Broad daylight, often in adv. form in -s esp. in phr. fair fuirdays, id. (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 75:
Be that Time it was fair foor Days.
Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 15:
An' Priam's sin, an' Pallas phizz That i' the night was stoln. For de'il be licket has he done, Fan it was fair fuir days.
s.Sc. 1807 J. Stagg Poems 17:
At last 'twas gitten wheyte fuor days, The lavrocks shrill war whuslin'.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck i.:
But the settin moon shone even in their faces, and he saw them as weel as it had been foreday.

3. The earlier part of the day, the morning, forenoon (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Gall., Dmf. 1953). Phr. †up-fuirdays, up before sunrise (Rxb. 1825 Jam.).Kcb.10 1943:
He's been at it a' fore-day, an' it'll tak him the maist o' the efternune yet.

[Origin somewhat confused. O.Sc. has fuirdais, 1535, fuirnicht, a.1646, late in the day, night, Mid.Eng. forth dayes, O.E. forþ (nihtes), id., with similar phonological development as in Fuird. The first element however seems to have been confused with Fore-, 2., in form and later semantically. Hence the uncertainty of meaning in Jam.'s time and the mod. usage.]

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"Fuirday n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2023 <>



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