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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Fle, n.1 Also: flee, flea, flie. [ME. fley(e, fleȝe, early fleoȝe, ONhb. fléᵹe, OE. fléoᵹe.] A fly. a1500 Bk. Chess 172.
The lyon … Sum tyme is fude to megis & to fleis
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 54.
As attircop fechtis to fang a fle
1513 Doug. xiii. Prol. 57.
The litill mygeis, and the vrusum fleys
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 1008.
Watand, lyke houngre fleis
1562-3 Winȝet II. 31/25.
Filthy verming and fleis
1602 Colville Parænese Ep. 22.
In proportion as a flee is to ane elephant
a1651 Calderwood VI. 48.
To make an herbe [into] flesh, that would dissolve in flees
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. i. 91.
Some faults … not so big As rotten flees
attrib. a1500 Henr. III. 151/44.
Fyve vnce of ane fle wing

b. Used to denote something of no value. c1420 Wynt. iv. 771 (W.).
I … set nocht by my lif a fle
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2277.
But lawté All other vertewis ar nocht worth ane fle
1535 Stewart 58313.
Nocht worth ane fle he tuke into his gait
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 173.
Quhais flyting I feir nocht ane fle
a1605 Montg. Son. xix. 4.
Their feckles flyting is not worth a flie [: be, me]

c. Fleis of Spenȝie, see Spanȝe n.

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"Fle n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Feb 2024 <>



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