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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FEEZE, v., n. Also feese, fease, fiese, fieze; veeze (Ork.). [fi:z Sc., but Ork. vi:z]

I. v. 1. To twist or turn, to cause to revolve, to screw (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Nai. Gl.; Cai.4 1920; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh.10 1951), freq. in regard to the adjustment of a spinning wheel (Cai. 1940 John o' Groat Jnl. (29 March)). Used with aff, on, etc. Vbl.n. feezin, a turn, a whirl, a circular movement in a dance.Abd. after 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 172:
As well's I can, I strive to keep them in, An' still am feezing down the saucy pin.
Abd. a.1784 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 170:
He dances best that dances fast, . . . And furls about the feezings o't.
Ags. 1818 Anon. Gentlemen of the North 19:
The startin' note o' catgut's tweedle-dee or the feesin o' the hand-organ.
Bch. 1832 W. Scott Poems 4:
Syne fae the cock she feezes roun' the pail, An' fills a bicker o' the starkest ale.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse of Mearns 102:
He quickly gied the bags a hease, The chanter round did gently fease.
Sc. 1847 in Whistle-Binkie (1890) II. 165:
How aft out o' tune gaes our feckless machine An' for feezin' an' oilin' we've little respect.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxvi.:
Tibbie made maist praiseworthy exertions to feeze her fingers oot o' my loof.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 129:
I feezed da bung o' da tank widdergaets an' coaged in.

2. To wag or wriggle (a part of) the body (Mearns 5 1944). Hence intr., and tr. with up, to work hard, to rub (at), and in an obscene sense (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 45). Vbl.n. feezan, hard rubbing, great energy (Ib.).Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 156:
The carls, atween the wham he squeez'd, Felt na, as down his frame he feez'd.
Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rambling Rhymes 119:
Auld Carlo then his tail wad feeze Sae keen an' frisky.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 45:
Fin a geed in, a got her feezin' up the washan.
Abd.8 1917:
To wriggle and work hard as a woman in the washing tub or at baking. “She wis feezin an' sweatin at it.”

3. Fig.: to fawn, insinuate (oneself) into another's favour (Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Nai., Gl.; Mearns 5 1944). With up: to flatter (Sc. 1808 Jam.); also to work up to a passion (Ib.). Vbl.n. feezin, flattery, fawning.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
One feezes himself into the good graces of another.
Sh.11 1951:
Efter wir wharrel, he cam back da neist day tryin ta feeze aboot me; bit I wisna haein ony o his feezins.

4. With about: to move to and fro in a restricted space, as of a clock pendulum, etc. (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rambling Rhymes 134:
Tick for tack she feezed about, Baith day an' night.

II. n. A twist, a turn, a revolving or stirring motion. Dim. feezie.Lnk. 1838 J. Struthers Poetic Tales 82:
The seal I pick'd bedeen in flinders, And strew'd them 'mang the ause-hole shiners, Wi' wanton feezie.
Sc. 1847 Whistle-Binkie (1890) II. 165:
Then Lizzie wad coax her, as I've heard her tell, Wi' a lick o' sweet oil an' a feeze o' her hand.

III. Combs.: †1. feeze-nail, a screw (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); 2. feeze-, feesing-pin, a threaded (wooden) pin, a screw, esp. of a spinning-wheel (Sh.10; Ork.5 1951, veeze-pin); of fiddle-string pins (Ork. 1929 Marw., veeze-); †3. feezie-ozie, a small paper packet closed by twisting the ends of the paper tightly. For the form cf. Easy-osy; †4. fiese wilk, the striated whelk, Buccinum striatum (Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fif. and Knr. 55; Sc. 1808 Jam.).2. Ork. 1747 P. Ork. A.S. XII. 48:
Ane oaken knappel, an oaken veese pin of a Dyers press, the pump roan of a smal boat.
Sh. 1901 Shet. News (28 Dec.):
The corn was getting low in the hopper, and he had just put his hand to the feeze-pin to lower the shöe when the mill stopped.
3. Slg. 1898 W. Drysdale Old Faces 248:
The clerk . . . had been making “feezie-ozies” of gunpowder, and burning them on the top of the desk.

[O.Sc. fize, a screw, 1621, fizenail, 1692, Flem., Du. dial. vi(j)ze, Mid.Du. vise, id., ultimately from the same root as Eng. vice, O.Fr. vis, Lat. vitis, a vine, with ref. to the spiral, coiling tendrils.]

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



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