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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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.

FASH, v., n. Also †fach; †faush (Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 44); †fosh (Ayr. 1703 Session Bk. Dundonald (1936) 541).

I. v. †1. tr. To make angry, enrage; intr. (from refl. usage) to fret, be angry. With wi: to interfere with, molest (Ork., Ags. 1975).Sc. 1703 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine Families II. 18:
I am more fached with your groome J. Douglas than I can tell.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xxvi.:
The dinner was a little longer of being on the table than usual, at which he began to fash.
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 18:
Ye're a guid beast; ye'll no let ony body fash wi' Maggie.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 42:
They asked him what it was, but he seemed fashed and impatient.

2. tr. To trouble, annoy, bother, inconvenience, vex (Cai., Bnff., Abd., Ags., Edb., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.Inv. 1715 Steuart Letter-Bk. (S.H.S.) 3:
I am very much fashed with the Earl of Murrays farm of Pettie.
Sc. 1757 Smollett Reprisal ii. i.:
We should na be fash'd with a' this din.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian i.:
They are like wasps — they stang only them that fashes them.
wm.Sc. 1868 Laird of Logan 298:
I was sair fashit with the dounricht lies that were told against me.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 101:
They tormented him sair, but they'll fash him nae mair.
Fif. 1899 “S. Tytler” Miss Nanse x.:
It is not what is honourable or dishonourable, it is the world's judgment which fashes Thomas.
Ork. 1912 Old-Lore Misc. V. ii. 67:
Pity thee wit, Bruicie (at was da factor) 'ill never fash thee for a ting.
Abd. 1928 Abd. Weekly Jnl. (29 Nov.) 6:
He pores mair ower a dictionar' nor I can be fasht deein'.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 140:
But deil tak' the thowless pretender's assumption That says he could dae things, but canna be fashed!
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 31:
You must be awfy fashed wi' flesh tae fire
Yir appetites sae quick wi' Base Desire.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 13:
catched in a swither, whiles shair o the richt,
whiles thrawed wi doot ... this maitter's fasht me lang,
th' uprisin o Scots, och, I micht be wrang.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 44:
I canna mind him bein owre fasht
for onie moose he howked oot wi the couter
but aften wunner if he ever wearit
for aw the yokit mice he left ahin.
Abd. 2005:
I canna be fasht wi is Harry Potter books.
Edb. 2005:
A cannae be fasht wi aw these quaistions.

3. refl. or quasi-refl. To put (oneself) about, to vex, bother, disturb (oneself). Gen.Sc. Also intr. Also in n.Eng. dial. Freq. in phrs., to fash one's beard, heid, lug, noddle, thoom, etc., gen. in neg. sentences = to pay no heed.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. iii. ii.:
Howe'er I get them, never fash your Beard.
Edb. a.1774 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 86:
Ne'er fash your thumb what gods decree.
Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf i.:
Never fash your head about the changes o' the warld, sae lang as ye're blithe and bien yoursell.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail iv.:
Howsever, cousin, ne'er fash your thumb, Glasgow's on the thrive.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 122:
Sae never fash your lug, guidwife, aboot our rogies three.
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 337:
Never ye fash yer noddle, but gie me the letter.
Ork. 1929 Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 76:
Da common gallows hedna trift an' deudna fash 'imsel tae fitch aff o' 'is peerie creepie.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 60:
But folk maun clash — ne'er heed sic havers, Nor fash yer thoom wi' country clavers.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 5:
"Bryce neednae fash himsel' Faither. I'm to see Rab Glasfurd and Alicky Wallace at the Kirktoun after my meal. ... "
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 40:
Pey nae attention tae him, brither, dinnae fash yirsel -
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 29 Mar 10:
Bystanders were surprised, to say nothing of alarmed, to notice the bag moving. "There's something alive in there," remarked one. He was invited not to fash himself.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 18:
Oh, I've seen a richt lot tae tell Ma! Granny Ross says I can come up an bide onytime. Fair pleased tae hae me, she says, an I'm nae tae fash masel. I dinna cost naethin ava!

4. tr. To bother oneself about, heed. Rare.Ayr. 1786 Burns To James Smith v.:
For me, an aim I never fash; I rhyme for fun.

5. tr. To meddle with, disturb.Rxb.4 1951:
Dinna fash thae eggs in case ye break them.

6. tr. To afflict, with a disease or the like. Also fig.Sc. 1719 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 127:
Then let the Doofarts, fash'd wi' Spleen, Cast up the wrang Side of their Een.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 15:
Ye tiplers, open a' your poses, Ye wha are faush'd wi' plouky noses.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Holy Willie's Prayer vi.:
At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust.
Rnf. 1805 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 103:
Ye're never fasht wi whisky fever, Nor dizzy pow, nor dulness ever.
Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 27:
Like auld maidens fash'd wi' the vapours.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 312:
Eppie . . . is sodly fash't wi' the roomatics, peer body.
wm.Sc. 1934 “Uncle Tom” Mrs Goudie's Tea-Pairty 30:
I'm whiles fashed wi' whit the doctor says is spine in the back.

7. intr. (for refl.). (1) to trouble, bother oneself, to take pains. Gen.Sc.Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 83:
Careless o' mair, wha never fash To lade their Kist wi' useless Cash.
Rnf. 1806 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 121:
Else, wha the deil wad fash to scribble, Expecting scorn for a' his trouble?
Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf iii.:
To gang to seek for evil that's no fashing wi' you, is clean against law and Scripture.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 114:
Do you mean to put tricks upon Johnny, When Johnny's nae fashin' wi' you.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 22:
Ye need no fash.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped xviii.:
Man, they didnae stop to fash with me! Ye should have seen them linking for the beach!
Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xxix.:
“Ye needna fash to leave, Miss Dyce,” said she. “A'thing's settled.”
wm.Sc. 1986 Robert McLellan in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 33:
But I'll hae to win awa noo if I'm to catch up wi McKillop. Dinna fash.
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 28:
"Dinna fash," said Mungo village-priest to the folk who watched; but he thought - The old woman was right: heaven is weeping.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 196:
Dinna fash, corncrake, away ye go into the barley and bide there for a few months. I'll no hurt ye.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 114:
'How will she get hame?' he demanded. 'Och, they'll find oot who she is,' his father said. 'Dinna you fash.' But he couldn't help himself. If you were lost in a place this size, how would you ever be found again?

(2) With at, of: to be impatient with, intolerant of (Arg.3 1951); to grow weary of (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 390:
You soon fash of a good Office; spoken of boys who are soon weary of what we bid them do.
Ayr. 1830 Galt Lawrie Todd v. ii.:
Aunty Hoskins who . . . had seen nothing of gentility, and fashed at courtesies.
Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse 7:
And I couldna put up wi' the weans . . . Dod, I mortally fashed at the weans.
Arg.1 1948:
Dae ye fash at the cowld?
Arg. 1993:
A fash at this dinner, tae be honest. A'm no used tae cookin at this time. Ye fash at it when ye've tae work that extra oor.

II. n. 1. Trouble, pains; bother, annoyance; fuss, pother. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1714 Earls of Cromartie (ed. Fraser 1876) II. 151:
The fash of my bills was left on Mr Colt.
Ayr. 1794 Burns To the Toothache iv.:
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools.
Edb. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
Clergy and captains can gie an unco deal o' fash in thae times, where they take an ill-will.
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes iv.:
It's a sweer thochtless way to gang to the Almichty wi' ilka fash.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man xlvii.:
If you do not desire to hear the tale, then I am saved the fash of telling it.
Sh. 1906 T. P. Ollason Spindrift 85:
Oh, fy be apon it, dis fash never endin'; Da wishin' o' lame, an' da slav'ry an' slester.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xxviii.:
I thought him unco tousy in the kilts for girls to make such fash about.
Ags. 1915 V. Jacob Songs of Angus 4:
When I'm auld an' done wi' the fash o' their English ways.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
Fit ti gar aa the trauchles an the fashes gang leike the snaw off the deike in a thowe.

2. A troublesome person, a human nuisance (Sc. 1808 Jam.; m.Lth.1, wm.Sc.1 1951).Mry. 1914 H. J. Warwick Tales from the Toon 24:
To the deputy's “A'm collectin' — for Mrs Spence,” the butcher's worthy lady would reply — “Mrs Spence! Imphm! She's jeist a fash.”

[O.Sc. fas(c)h, tr. from 1540, intr. from 1592. Fr. fâcher, O.F. fascher, to annoy, weary.]

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"Fash v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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