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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.

FLENCH, v.1 Sc. form and usage of Eng. flinch (Sh.10, Bnff.2, Abd.27 1946). [flɛnʃ]

1. As in Eng. Sometimes used tr.Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 96:
Knock down a' that flenches or flees.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xliii.:
Ou, weel, I winna flench a hair's breid for nedder man nor 'oman.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 30:
“Doo'll be learned dat bi da time 'at doo gets da job,” Willa said, 'ithoot flenchin' her grund.

2. Sc. usage, of weather: to be unreliable, to give a deceitful promise of improvement, esp. in phrs. a flinchin Januar; a flinchin Friday (Bnff.12 1951). Cf. Flatterin' Friday.Bnff. 1887 Trans. Bnff. Field Club 67:
A “flinchin” Friday was sure to be followed by a bad week.
Abd. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.:
If the week had been all wet and no drying days for the washing, the saying was — “Never mind, we will get Flinchin' Friday to dry the priest's sark afore Sunday.” The phrase was heard from an old woman, born in the beginning of last century.
Abd. 1930 D. Rorie W.-L.:
A flinchin' Januar, A reid-wud Februar, A March that would pierce the horn o' an ox.

[This form became obs. in Eng. in 17th cent. Cf. O.Fr. flenchir.]

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"Flench v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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