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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.

Fore, Foir, n. Also: foore, foyr. [App. reduced from Afore or Before.]

1. Offore, before. (Cf. Of before.) c1475 Wall. xi. 293.
In my mater, as I off for began, I sall conteyn
1491 Acta Conc. 169/1.
That all thir landis … remane with the King … nochtwithstandin ony giftis maid of fore in the contrare

2. A front part or portion. 1578 Edinb. Test. VI. 103.
Tua pair of garnesingis of gold with bak & foir

3. To the fore, to fore. a. Present, on hand, in reserve. 1596 Dalr. II. 325/25.
Thair gouernour skairslie knew gif he had to the foir aucht hunder futmen
1612 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 307.
The sowme of aucht hundreth pundis, presentlie to foir at the heiring of the comptis of the last thesaure
1632 Red Bk. Menteith I. 357.
The principal sal be keepit safe and to the foyr whenever your Lordship sal have ado therewith
1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 50.
Quhill the tyme that the payment … may exhaust the full soume of the bookes quhilk as yit is to the foir
1652 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 243.
The moneyis to be brocht in that is to the foire

b. Of persons: Alive. c 1624 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 363.
God grant that we may have yow long to the foir
1638 Baillie I. 31.
I blessed God that ye were to the fore … to your friends and to me
1695 Earl Cromarty Vindic. Robt. III 14.
The said Lord John … being to the fore, and on life

c. In an advanced state; in advance. 1608 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 137.
As weill to the foir to be producit unto your maiestie
1636 Rutherford Lett. (1862) I. 181.
Therefore my wages are going to the fore up in heaven
1641 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 46.
That account may be had … how the books ar keeped to the fore from yeir to yeir
1646 Baillie II. 386.
I am now two to the fore with you, albeit I wrote none the last post

d. In a solvent state. 1639 Baillie I. 151.
He had a good estate, and well to the foore

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"Fore n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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