Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FORPET, n. Also forpit, †fortpet, †fourpitt, †fourpeth, †four-part. The fourth part of a peck, a Lippie, in dry measure, now used mostly for the sale of root vegetables and oatmeal (Abd., Ags., Slg., Lth., Bwk., Lnk., Rxb. 1953), esp. freq. in Lth. A boll of potatoes is calculated at twice the weight of a boll of meal and as = 16 stones.

Hence a forpit is, for potatoes, 3½ lbs. and, for meal, 1¾ lbs. Also a dish holding this measure. Hence comb. forpit-, four-part dish (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 35). [′forpət] Rnf. 1708 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876) 86:
A fourpitt of corn to Blairs horse . 2s 0d.
Sc. 1729 W. Macintosh On Inclosing 123:
A Fourpeth or Lippie of Meal per Day, which commonly is these Peoples Allowance.
Sc. 1790 Sc. Musical Museum III. 253:
I hae brew'd a forpet o' ma't, And I canna come ilka day to woo.
Dmb. 1794 D. Ure Agric. Dmb. 101:
The miller's servant has besides . . . a fortpet out of every boll.
Edb. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 8:
A forpit-dish, a tatie-peck, A firlot, an' a row.
Bwk. 1809 R. Kerr Agric. Bwk. 445:
From some unaccountable singularity in Berwickshire, its customary firlot is only divided into three pecks. Hence the Berwickshire forpet is only the 12th part of the firlot, instead of the 16th part.
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel v.:
They that do not mind cornpickles never come to forpits.
m.Lth. 1842 Blackwood's Mag. (March) 304:
Retailing it [salt] at sixpence a caup — a wooden measure, the one end of which was a forpit, the other half a forpit.
Sc. 1883 Stevenson Letters (1899) I. 263:
Wogg has eaten a forpet of rice and milk.
Edb. 1917 Edb. Evening News (22 Sept.):
In the Grassmarket on the first day of the week you can get anything from a kipper to a loaf of bread or a forpit of potatoes.
Sc. 1925 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 277:
A forpit o' treckle an' a groat's-w'th o' brumstin for the Droggist?

[O.Sc. forpett, id., 1646, a reduced form of fourt pairt.]

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"Forpet n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2022 <>



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