Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FUSHIONLESS, adj. Also fousian-, -ion-, fus(s)ion-, fuishion-, fus(h)in -, fooshin-, fushon-; fuzhon-, fuzeon-, fuzion-; fisin-, fissen-, -in-, fizzen, -i(o)n-; fis(hi)on-, fushyen-; füsjon- (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); foisen-, -on-. See Fushion.

1. (1) Without sap or pith, as of herbage, dried, withered (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 204; Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. m.Lth., Arg. 1953); of flax-straw: “void of fibre” (Uls. 1931 Northern Whig (11 Dec.) 13).Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xiv.:
It should be wheat-strae, or aiten at the warst o't, and it's pease-dirt, as fizzenless as chuckie-stanes.
Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 159:
Faded, sir, and fusionless, alike destitute o' bloom and baum.
Rnf. 1876 D. Gilmour Paisley Weavers 71:
But it's a' puir, caul', fushonless grun' roon here.
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 71:
That licht fushionless trash o' tobacco burns my moo.
Arg.1 1929:
“Did ye buy eny epples?” “No, I tasted them: they wur fishionless.”

(2) Of food: lacking in nourishing or invigorating qualities, wishy-washy (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), tasteless, insipid (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Slg., Lth., Arg. 1953). Also fig.Sc. 1818 S. E. Ferrier Marriage II. xi.:
Your roebuck's . . . no worth the sendin': poor dry fisinless dirt, no worth the chowing.
Sc. 1822 A. Cunningham Tales II. 308:
There will be fizzenless tea instead of weel buttered breakfast brose.
Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. xxxii.:
The wine! — there was hardly half a mutchkin, and puir thin fusionless skink it was.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 63:
They hae a puir taste, that say sae muckle about fusionless French cheese.
Sc. 1867 N. Macleod Starling ii.:
Mair than ye wad believe are a set o' fushionless . . . cauld sooans, when it comes to the . . . grip atween life and death!
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxviii.:
Aw cudna but drink it for ceevility's sake — a jilp o' fushionless, tasteless trash.
Sc. 1875 W. A. Smith Lewsiana 233:
No one who had tasted cod from the west of the Lews would compare it with the comparatively “fushionless” fish caught in the contained lochs of the mainland.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Bwk. Bard 211:
Gie me nae brash o' water wi' A wee tate sugar sweetened A mixture fushionless an' wairsh.
Abd. 1923 B. R. McIntosh Scent o' Broom 27:
Her faither vowed he'd never supped Sae fooshionless a bree.

(3) Hence fig. of actions, discourses or the like: without substance, dull, flat, uninspired (Abd., m.Sc. 1953). Also occas. of a speaker.Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality v.:
I will not wait upon the thowless, thriftless, fissenless ministry of that carnal man, John Halftext, the curate.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxxix.:
It became as foisonless as the London Gazette on ordinary occasions.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1898) ii.:
To wind up this somewhat fusty and fushionless chapter.
Dmf. 1878 R. W. Thom Poems 11:
They paid as they gaed their dues tae the dead A fusionless tribute — a babble o' talk.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Keckleton 186:
Ye've been sittin' under that fushionless bodie Macdrumlie.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 20:
They're aye threepin that he's a terrible gran' scholard, but I thocht yon he gied was gey füshionless stuff.
Uls. 1901 J. W. Byers in Northern Whig:
A preacher is said to be . . . “fusionless” if his discourse is pithless.
Ayr. 1910 Poets Ayr. (ed. Macintosh) 102:
The warld is cauld and the pleasures in't Are werch and fushionless, gawkit and tame.
Abd. 1916 Abd. Book-Lover II. i. 22:
Awa' wi' the fusionless haivers That clink roon' an auld pedigree.
Sh. 1931 Shetland Times (14 March):
Shetlan' folk kin baet dem a' baid sae wi dir n'ain dialect, as ye wid sae, an' sae aalso whin dey gjen ta spaek dis fooshinliss “propir Eenglish”!

Hence fuishionlessness, dullness.Lnk. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 78:
The dearth an' fuishionlessness o' the incidents I ha'e tae narrate.

2. (1) Of persons: physically weak, without energy or stamina (Gen.Sc.); powerless, numb, without feeling (ne.Sc. 1953).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 104:
Fair Folk is ay Fisonless.
Mry. 1790 Aberdeen Mag. 31:
The scholars come hame, Wi' yaup hungry wame, Hands fousianles, cauld watrey beik.
Ayr. 1792 Burns The Deuks dang . . . i.:
This seven lang years I hae lien by his side, An' he is but a fusionless carlie, O!
Sc. 1828 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 100:
The puir, paltry, . . . fushionless, cauldrifed, and chittering substitute — Truth.
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes xxxi.:
“Ye'll let her fa'.” “Deed no. I'm no sae fusionless.”
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 67:
She's frail an' fushionless — her day's gane by.
Sc. 1874 G. Outram Lyrics 71:
His houghs are gane, an' when nicht sets in, He's fusionless as a wether.
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 15:
An' Sandy sittin' there as mum's a moose, Takin' files a pinch o' sneeshin' — Peer fushionless bit eeshin.

Hence fushionlessness, weakness.Sc. 1894 “L. Keith” Lisbeth xxiv.:
The general fushionlessness of nature which had brought her to this pass.

(2) Of things: without strength, efficacy, or durability (Gen.Sc.); weak from decay or disintegration.Slk. 1829 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) ii.:
Does he think that a mother's curse will sink fizzenless to the ground?
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Works (1874) 89:
Woe be to this old rusty and fizenless sword that did not sever his head from his body.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. xi.:
A new power has been found, whilk will . . . render steam as fizzenless as mist.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xi.:
[They] were busy examining the guano. “Eh, man, but it's fushionless-like stuff,” said Peter.
Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-Head 259:
What is far mair important is the rent, an' the bargain ye mak' aboot the steedin', for atweel it is e'enow a sorry an' a fushionless rauchle.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables ii.:
Words are puir fusionless things.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 103:
Da bits o' auld lines 'at daa haes ta pit apo dem is as füshinless as a yaard simmind.

3. In regard to moral or mental qualities, of persons or their actions: spiritless, faint-hearted, lacking vigour or ability (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc.Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 174:
Gin our conversation here were a' ta'en doun . . ., there wadna be wantin puir cheepin fushionless creeturs to ca't coorse.
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie viii.:
Our auld Luckie comes, an' she gaunts an' she girns, Sic a puir fusionless bodie is she.
Bnff. 1867 Banffshire Journal (29 Jan.):
The fushionless body was just going to ca' “Murder!”
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xlvi.:
It wad be a lang time or ever he howkit a dreel o' my tawties . . . great fushionless hoshen that he is!
Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. of Hermiston i.:
A füshionless quean, a feckless carline.
Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. I. 170:
The other three carried on in a more or less “disaskid, füshionless kind o wye.”
ne.Sc. 1929 M. W. Simpson Day's End 28:
Forbye that ficherin' an' haiverin' wi' a herp Maun leuk a fooshionless bit job to Bell!
Fif. 1929 A. Taylor Bitter Bread i. x.:
Haven't I seen them working and slaving, poor fules, from morn to nicht, just because they've married some lazy fishionless creature?
Mearns 1933 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 249:
Else a black look-out it well would be for the fusionless creature of Tocherty toun.
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 48:
" ... Do you think the bad men will be content with one village? They're no as fushionless as yous lot, powers help you! They'll come for the harvest, and kill the old and useless, ... "
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 21:
Ay, the stark need
is pooer, independence, else we thole the derision
o ithers wha see us, ken us, as we are,
a fushionless fowk clamersum for praise
as croodlin bairns.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 33:
'Lippen tae me, ye fushionless craitur,
tak yersel doun here, dinnae be feart. ... '
Abd. 1992 Press and Journal 10 Oct 4:
"Just richt fusionless. Canna interest masel in nithing."

[From Fushion.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Fushionless adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: