Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
Hide Quotations Hide Etymology
About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
FINN, n. Also fin, pl. ¶finis. In I.Sc. folklore: a creature, sometimes thought of as human and sometimes as animal, which appeared from time to time in the islands and was credited with supernatural powers.
Combs.: Finfolk, Finfolkaheem, Fin-man.Sh. 1888 J. R. Tudor Ork. and Sh. 167:
Sea monsters are for the most part called Finns in Shetland.Ork. 1893 W. T. Dennison in Sc. Antiquary VII. 172:
Unlike the mermaid, the selkie folk were never represented as dwelling in “Finfolk-a-heem” . . . The only home of the selkie folk was some far outlying skerry, or sea-surrounded rock. Indeed, my old informants regarded the selkie folk as a wholly different race of beings from the Finfolk.Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 104:
Finn men, i.e. the sea fairies of Orkney, which are said to drive fish from the part of the sea they frequent.Sh. 1897 Shet. News (4 Dec.):
The home of the “finns” was asserted to be Norway, and in pursuance of their visits, which were chiefly nocturnal . . . they were said frequently to assume the form of some amphibious animal.Sh. (Fair Isle) 1931 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 340:
There is a story told of a witch who married a “trow” and who by her spells kept herself alive after their son was born, and from this unholy union there sprang a new race of “trows” known as “finis fiks [Finns folks].”
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Finn n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/finn>