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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.

FORRA, int., n.

I. int. In rowing a fishing-boat, a command to go forward (Abd. 1929).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 53:
When the lines are being hauled, two men ply the oars. When one man happens to be slack in rowing, the man who is hauling the lines, calls out forra.

Hence comb. forragate, n., the rowing forward of the boat while the lines are being hauled. Sometimes used ironically.Ib.:
Ye ga' me fine forragate the day.

II. n. See quot.Ib.:
In casting nets or lines when two or more boats lie in the same stretch east and west, they are said to be in the same forra.

[Orig. rather doubtful. Phs. orig. O.Sc. forouth, forrow, adv., forward, from 1375, used as a prep. in forragate [forrow the gate]. Cf. Fore-a-hand and furth-the-gate, s.v. Furth.]

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"Forra interj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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