Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

FIRTH, n.1 Also firt (Ork.), furth. An arm of the sea, often constituted by the broad estuary of a river (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 120). Orig. Sc. but now St.Eng., esp. with reference to Scotland.

Hence firth-built, see 1865 quot. Edb. 1710 R. Sibbald Fife & Knr. 36:
The two Firths which encompass this Shire [Fife] upon Three Sides.
Sth. 1747 C. Bentinck Dornoch (1926) 303:
A sea fight that happened this day and yesterday in this furth.
Fif. 1865 J. G. Bertram Harvest of Sea 440:
The Buckhaven men delight in their boats, which are mostly “Firth-built” — -i.e. built at Leith, on the Firth of Forth.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 6:
Ye den no tell till they hae taen you ower the Firt'.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped ii.:
Ships moving or lying anchored in the firth.

[O.Sc. firth, id., 1375. O.N. firð-, stem of fjrðr, a fjord.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Firth n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Aug 2021 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: