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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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.

FORELAND, n. Also -lan, fourland, forlane.

1. A house fronting the street, as opposed to one in a side lane or behind another or facing a back yard.Sc. 1722 R. Wodrow Sufferings II. 286:
Her House was upon the East-side of the Saltmarket . . . in a Timber Fore-land.
Abd. 1750 Abd. Journal (24 April):
Three Tenements of Foreland, and two Tenements of Inland.
Edb. 1772 Edb. Ev. Courant (6 Jan.):
A Dwelling-House, presently possessed by Mr Sinclair, beingthe 5th story of the foreland.
Sc. 1777 Caled. Mercury (26 May):
All and hail that Tenement of Foreland, with the Tenement Inland and Backland, Close, Gardens, and Pertinents, lying upon the west side of the street of Montrose.

2. (1) The foreshore or beach. Used attrib. in quot. “The name of a row of houses on the shore at Ballantrae” (wm.Sc.1 1953).Sc. 1702 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland Vol. XI 5 21 Sep 202:
And for their greater conveniency to have the free use of all ports, harbours, shoars, fore-lands and others for bringing in, pickeling, drying, unloading and loading the same upon payment of the ordinary dues where harbours are built...
Sc. 1735 Steuart Letter-Bk. (S.H.S.) 394:
You are to pay the Couper, and to have the cask well packed, fitt for shipping at a convenient fourland.
Sc. 1744 Session Papers, Petition Creditors W. Ross (16 July) 3:
These Herrings . . . were carried over to Shandwick's Foreland, and mixed with his own Herrings.
Sc. 1753 Rec. Conv. Burghs (1915) 409:
The proprietors of some of the isles make each boat pay no less than one guinea, under the title of foreland dues, for the use of their shores, without which the fishermen cannot cure and pack their herrings.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 58:
Dour-hunched in a drizzle
o dreich November
or smoort in haar
frae bitter North Sea
this toon's forlane.

‡(2) Hence, the long trough into which herrings are emptied for gutting, an operation orig. carried out on the open beach (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 52, forelan). The mod. form is Farlan, q.v.Abd. 1886 Chambers's Jnl. (May) 329:
On being brought into the yards, the herrings are emptied into large square wooden boxes called “forelands.”

[O.Sc. foreland, = 1., 1491. See Land.]

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"Foreland n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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