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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.

FIRLOT, n. Also firlat, -let, -lott, farlet, furlet; firlad (Cai.). [′fɪrlət, ′fʌr-]

1. A measure of capacity for grain, the fourth part of a Boll and equal to 4 Sc. pecks, the amount varying in different districts and for different commodities. The standard was that of Linlithgow, for wheat = .998 Imp. bushels and for barley and oats = 1.456 Imp. bushels. For meal it was = 2 stone 7 lbs. Imp. weight. Now obsol. but known in Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1950. Extended to mean a largish quantity.Hdg. 1701 Rec. Sc. Cloth Manuf. (S.H.S.) 254:
Receaved letter from my Lord Boyne advysing his sending 64 firlotts of eearth for makeing up the 200 bushells which are comed to Leith.
Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. i.:
A Firlet of good Cakes my Elspa beuk.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross To the Begging ii.:
An' first I'll have a meal-pock, Of good aum'd leather made To had at least a firlot.
Ags. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 IX. 146:
It is to be observed, that the firlot, both barley and wheat, is a Scotch pint larger than the standard. This may be in some degree owing to a privilege possessed by the burgh of Dundee, of taking a ladleful from every boll delivered in the town or at the harbour.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail lxxxiii.:
It's no for a courtesy o' causey clash that he's birling his mouldy pennies in sic firlots.
Sc. 1826 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 244:
The Scottish barley firlot contains, by statute, 31 Stirling pints. The Linlithgow wheat firlot contains 21¼ of these pints.
e.Lth. 1887 P. McNeill Blawearie 161:
It's no jist so easy now . . . to run off wi' a sheep or a firlot o' tatties.
Sc. 1935 Scotsman (31 May) 15:
There are, it is true, some smaller communities, especially in the East of Scotland, where you may still be served with a “lippie” of flour or potatoes; and where you may even find it possible to be served with a “boll of meal” or a “firlot” of potatoes.

2. The vessel in which a firlot is measured.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 251:
Many Words fill not the Farlet.
Inv. 1725 Steuart Letter-Bk. (S.H.S.) 223:
Borrow a firlat at Portsoy to carry allongs with you.
Bte. 1725 Rothesay T. C. Rec. (1935) II. 681:
Payed to John Lyon smith for makeing iron girds and handle to the towns furlet 0 15 0
Edb. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 8:
A forpit-dish, a tatie-peck, A firlot, an' a row.
Sc. 1818 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) V. 224:
More comfortable than at Abbotsford where I should feel like a mouse below a firlot.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 236:
He coft a blithemeat cheese, an' carried it to her manfully thro' the town on his head, as if it had been a wheat firlot.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xxi.:
The sleeves coming over the nebs of his fingers, and the hainch buttons hanging down between his heels, making him resemble a mouse below a firlot.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 379:
His gudewife's sheerly made it [a cheese] in a firlot, for there's nae a chassal in a' Banffshire wad haud it.
Edb. 1881 J. Smith Jenny Blair's Maunderings 15:
She nibbles awa at the pie like a mouse at a firlot, puir thing!

[In O.Sc. charters from 1264 in Latinised form ferthelota, firlot (1426, E.Mid.Eng. ferthe, fourth + lot, portion, part).]

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"Firlot n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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