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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.

FAST, n.1 Sc. usage: a day in the week preceding the celebration of half-yearly Communion in the Presbyterian Churches, treated as a holiday with a service at which Church members prepared themselves for the Sacrament. Still observed in the Highlands and as an ordinary holiday in some other districts. Also attrib. and in combs. fast-day, id.; fast-nicht; fast week, the week preceding the Sacrament.Sc. 1700 G. Turnbull Diary (S.H.S. 1893) 396:
Being Wedensday and a fast day befor the sacrament at North berwicke, I preacht in the afternoon.
Sc. 1705 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 278:
At the desire of Mr Simson and several other of the neighbouring ministers at Paisley Fast.
wm.Sc. 1842 Children in Trades Report ii. i. 18:
Also a day twice a-year at what is called “the fast”, i.e. the preparation for the Lord's Supper.
Abd. 1873 J. Ogg Willie Waly 83:
Tho' twa fell thro' upon the Fast-nicht, There's thirty mair cam' forward last nicht.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister iii.:
A garret in which the minister could sleep if he had guests, as during the Fast week.
em.Sc. 1896 “I. Maclaren” Kate Carnegie 208:
Jean did not present herself for a token on the approaching Fast day.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lads' Love xxiv.:
The morn's the Dumfries fast, and so he's hame a day earlier.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 146:
What mak' ye o' me 'at niver got o holiday i' me life, aless hit wiss Sunday or Fast Fürsday.
Sc. 1952 Abd. Press and Jnl. (13 Feb.):
Preparatory services for the presbyterian churches' half-yearly communions go on to-day as of old, but, except mainly in the Highlands, the custom of the Fast Day on the Thurdsay before has dropped.

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"Fast n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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