Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLIST, v., n. Also fleest-.

I. v. 1. To explode with a sharp hiss or puff (Cai., Abd., Ags. 1952). By extension, to snap the fingers (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.).Sc. 1808 Jam.:
A bottle is said to flist, when the confined air forces out the cork, and ejects the liquor.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 128:
Their bleezing breath, like cannon powther, Will flist and blaw.

2. To fly into a rage (ne.Sc. 1952). Sometimes with up. Phrs. to flist and fling (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); to flist out on, to lose one's temper with (Abd.27 1952).Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 106:
Ben comes a flistin cankert wife.
Fif. 1843 Whistle-Binkie V. 45:
At times she wad flist an' wad casten the band.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 108:
And flists to think she sud aspire To vent a spark poetic fire.
Ags. 1893 “F. Mackenzie” Cruisie Sk. xi.:
Ou ay, flist up noo. Ye're no a bit better i' the temper than i' the days when ye broke my man's sister's heart.

3. Impers.: it is raining and blowing (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Vbl.n. flistin, a slight shower (Ayr. 1825 Jam.).

4. To boast, brag, swagger (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 48; Cai., Bnff. 1951); to exaggerate, to fib (Id.). Hence flister, a boaster, a fibber (Cai. 1951), an exaggeration (Cai.3 1951).Cai. 1932 John o' Groat Jnl. (22 Jan.):
Far bonnier flooers than 'e women flists aboot at their W.R.I. shows.

5. To dash off, rush away. Sc. 1819 M. S. Maskell Old Tapestry I. x.:
I houp your honour winna flist awa sae fast.

II. n. 1. An explosion (Cai., ne.Sc. 1952). Also fig., a flash (of wit), an ebullition. Hence adj., adv. flisty, in a flash (of inspiration); dim. n. flistie, a squib that does not go off properly (Abd. c.1900–53), a subdued breaking of wind (Abd. 1952).Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 99:
Ilk canty body Wad mak as happy flists o' wit As owre their toddy.
Bnff. 1888 in J. S. Skinner Logie Collection 95:
Noo, hae ye prentit that braw tune, Ye made to me so flisty, O?
Abd. 1931 Abd. Press and Jnl. (11 Feb.):
An' noo an' than we hear a flist, A reerd wud deeve Van Winkle.
Abd. 1951:
If ye're nae canny fan ye're fillin it [duralumin], it'll ging up in a flist.

2. A sudden outburst of rage, a fit of temper (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Abd. 1952) or impetuosity, a flurry. Adj. flisty, irascible (Ags. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1952).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 8:
Fin he saw it he wiz a'-oot, he geed intill an unco flist.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xv.:
He oot at the door in a flist, an' “Nae anither copper o' mine will she see.” he says.
Abd. 1935 J. White Sea Road x.:
In she comes wi' a flist and says to the dubs beneath her feet, meanin' me; “I'm for Germany.”

3. “A keen blast or shower accompanied with a squall, a flying shower of snow” (Ags. 1808 Jam.). Adj. flisty, stormy, squally (Ib.).Per. 1830 Perthshire Adv. (11 Feb.):
The quantity of snow considerable, and by occasional flists gradually accumulating.

4. A brag, boast, fib (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 49; ‡Abd.27 1950); a braggart, boaster, a fibber (Id.; Cai. 1951).Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 29:
Big flists and bigger at their back Made up the feck o' Jamie's crack.

5. A blow, a smack (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.). Gen. adv. in phr. to let flist, to let fly (a blow) (Mry.1 1930; Cai., ne.Sc. 1952), to hit out, lit. and fig. Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 49:
Fin ye see a' thing gaun t' potterneeshin, ye canna help lattin' flist.
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 15:
I could stand it nae langer, so I let flist at him.

Deriv. flister, fleester, a slap on the face or head (Cai.4 1920).Ork. 1930:
Gae that cat a fleester wi' the clout; she's lickin the milk.

[O.Sc. flist, a sudden puff, to puff, c.1590, to whizz, c.1650. Imit. in orig.]

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

"Flist v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: