Letter F - Glossary of Words in the Counties of Antrim and Down

Author: William Hugh Patterson, MRIA

Date: 1880

Source: A Glossary of Words and Phrases used in Antrim and Down (London: Trübner & Co., for the English Dialect Society)

Comments: In the introduction to his Glossary of Words and Phrases used in Antrim and Down, William Hugh Patterson provided an historical account of the Scottish settlement of east Ulster from 1607. From these origins he observed that the words and phrases of the local population ‘will be found in the main to be of Scottish origin, and many of them have already found a place in Jamieson’s dictionary’. He acknowledged difficulty in spelling many words ‘because I only had them as sounded’. William Hugh Patterson (1835-1918) was the son of a famous naturalist, Robert Patterson, whose book on Birds frequenting Belfast Lough was also published in 1880. Many of the local names for birds in the glossary were sourced from his father. As he was also a collector of phrases and proverbs, Patterson’s glossary remains a unique record of Ulster-Scots in the 19th century.

Doc. ref. no.: USLS/TB/Hist/1800-1899/006-f

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Face card, sb. a court card.

Fadge, (1) sb. a kind of thick bread made of potatoes and flour or meal, baked on a griddle. (2) sb. a bale of goods of an irregular shape.

Failed, looking very ill, or in impaired health.

Fairin’, sb. a present from a fair.

Faize, Fiz, v. to show or make an impression. ‘Drink never fizzes on that man.’ ‘He took all the medicine, and it never faized on him.’

Fall, v. to fell trees.

Falling hatchet, sb. an axe for cutting down trees.

Fan, v. to fawn, as ‘the dog fans on me.’

Fangled, v. entangled. ‘The cow has got fangled in her tether.’

Fangs, sb. the roots of the teeth.

Fans, sb. a winnowing machine.

Far through, nearly finished; very ill.

Farl, sb. the fourth of the circular piece of oaten cake, which is baked on a griddle at one time.

Farley, sb. a wonder; something strange. See Spy farlies, also used as a term of contempt. ‘Ye farley ye.’

Farm o’ lan’, sb. a farm.

Farmer. ‘By the holy farmer,’ an oath.

Farness, sb. distance. ‘What farness off do you live?’

Farntickled, adj. freckled.

Farntickles, sb. freckles. ‘The farntickles niver sayd a word but one, that they wouldn’t light on a din skin,’ saying.

Fash, v. to trouble oneself. ‘Don’t fash your lug,’ pay no heed; never mind.

Fasten’s e’en, sb. Shrove Tuesday.

Fatigue, sb. hard wear or abuse. ‘That cloth will stand fatigue.’

Fault, v. to blame.

Fause face, a mask.

Favour, v. to resemble, as regards family likeness. ‘That chile favours his father.’

Feat, adj. neat; tidy.

Feather, sb. the lines and markings seen in polished wood.

Febberwerry, February.

Feck, sb. a quantity; the greater quantity or majority.

Feerd, afraid.

Feint a hate, devil a bit; nothing at all.

Felt, sb. a bird, the redwing: the fieldfare is here called the ‘large blue felt.’

Fend off, v. to prevent a boat from striking against any object.

Fend off post, sb. a post set in the ground to protect an object from injury by carts, &c., coming in contact with it.

Feth i, Heth i, faith yes.

Feth and troth, by faith and truth. ‘Feth and troth, but I won’t let you.’

Fettle, v. to fix; to settle; to grind the rough edges from iron castings.

Fettler, sb. a man who fettles castings.

Fiery-edge, sb. the first or original edge on a knife or other cutting implement; the first eagerness on commencing a new thing. ‘I’ll just eat a bit now to take the fiery-edge off my appetite.’ It is sometimes said of a new servant, ‘Oh wait till you see how he does, then the fiery-edge goes off him.’

Fike, v. to be busy in a trifling way.

Fillaira, sb. a plant, valerian; also called villera.

Fined in, v. fined. ‘He was fined in 10s.’

Finger-stail, sb. a finger-stall; the finger of an old glove used as a protection for a sore finger.

Fired. When black specks appear on the stem of growing flax, it is said to be fired (Mason, 1814).

Firing, sb. a kind of mildew or disease to which young flax is subject; called by bleachers ‘sprit’ (Dubourdieu’s Antrim, 1812).

Fissling, sb. a stealthy noise, such as a faint rustling.

Fisty, sb. a nick-name for a person who has only one hand.

Fits. ‘It fits you to a hair in the water’ = it fits you exactly: said of a garment.

Fitty forra coo, sb. a cow that has been giving milk for say fifteen months and is not with calf.

Flaff, (1) sb. ‘Lichenin’ flaff,’ a flash of lightning. (2) v. to flutter or flap.

Flaghter spade, sb. a broad, pointed spade, with one edge turned up, used for paring sods or ‘scraws’ off the surface of the ground.

Flail, sb. A flail consists of three parts; the han’ stav’, the hooden or mid-kipple, which is a piece of cow-skin or eel-skin; and the soople, or part that comes in contact with the grain.

Flake, Flaik, sb. a hurdle, or arrangement of branches, on which flax was formerly dried over a fire.

Flannen, sb. flannel.

Flatter, to wheedle; to coax; to persuade. ‘Away and flatter him for the loan of his wheel-barra.’

Flaucht, sb. a flash.

Flavers, sb. what drops from a dog’s tongue.

Flax ripple, sb. a comb with large iron teeth through which flax is drawn, to remove the bolls or seeds.

Flea, ‘He would skin a flea for the hide and tallow:’ said of an avaricious person.

Flee, sb. a fly.

Fleech, v. to coax or supplicate in a fawning way.

Fleet-line (float-line), sb. a line used in a particular kind of sea-fishing; the hook floats mid-way between the surface and bottom, and is carried away clear off the boat, which remains at anchor by the current.

Flied, Fliet, adj. frightened.

Flinch, sb. a finch; e.g. gold-flinch.

Flisky, adj. skittish, specially applied to a mare which kicks when touched on the flank.

Flit, v. to change house. ‘Do you flit this week or next?’

Flitting, sb. furniture, &c., when in transit from one house to another ‘A load of flitting.’

Floffing, Flaffin’, v. fluttering, as a bird when held.

Flooster, Floosterer, sb. a flatterer.

Flooster, v. to flatter, or coax.

Floostered, v. flurried.

Flowan, the bog cotton, Anthemis Cotula.

Flowans, Flouans, sb. the light clinging dust in a flax-scutching mill; small fragments of the flax stem.

Flow-bog, Flow-moss, sb. a bog through which water has flowed, or in which it lodges.

Flower, sb. a bunch of flowers.

Flug-fisted, left-handed.

Flummery, sb. nonsense. See under Sowans.

Flush, (1) v. to startle a shoal of herrings at night, so that the fish indicate their presence by disturbing the surface of the water. (2) sb. a pool; a pool of water that extends nearly across a road. (3) fledged, as young birds.

Flutterick, sb. a fish. Same as Clavin.

Flysome, adj. frightful; dreadful.

Fog, sb. moss.

Fog-cheese, sb. a soft inferior cheese, made late in the year.

Fog-harrow, sb. a harrow to clear moss away.

Fog-meal, sb. a full or hearty meal. A person who has eaten too much is said to have got a ‘fog-fill,’ or to be ‘fog-fu.’

Foofing, sb. the melancholy howling of a dog.

Fool, adj. foolish. E.g. ‘a fool man.’

Fooran, sb. a bird, the puffin.

Foosted, adj. fusty; decaying; having a bad smell.

Foot and a half, sb. a boy’s game.

Foot go, sb. a sloping plank, with stout laths nailed on to assist the feet, used by masons.

Footins, sb. small heaps of cut peat. See under Clamps.

Footther, (1) sb. a useless, foolish, or awkward person. ‘You’re a footther, and the duck’s ill get you,’ common saying. (2) v. to idle; to do anything useless. ‘Don’t stan’ footthering there.’

Foottherin’, adj. handless.

Footy, adj. trifling; small; mean.

For. ‘I’m for doing it,’ i.e. I’m going to do it. ‘Are you for going?’ i.e. do you intend to go?

Forbears, Forebeers, sb. ancestors.

Forbye, (1) adv. besides. ‘There was two forbye myself.’ (2) ad. [sic] very; past the common. ‘That’s a forbye good horse.’

Forder, (1) sb. progress; speed. See Good forder. (2) v. to assist; to help forward.

Fordersome, what forwards any work; manageable.

Fore. ‘To the fore’ = in existence.

Fore-end, sb. the beginning, or early part. ‘He may go out in the fore-end of the day.’

Fore-milk, sb. the first milk got from a cow at each milking; it is very poor and watery.

Foreway, to get the foreway of one; to forestall; to anticipate one.

Forget, sb. an omission; a neglect. ‘That was a great forget.’

Fornenst, opposite to; in exchange for.

Forra-coo, sb. a cow that has been giving milk, for say nine or ten months, and is not with calf.

Forrard, Forrit, adj. fast, as a clock. ‘She’s twenty-minutes forrard.’

Forth, sb. an earthen fort or rath.

Fosey, adj. spongy, like an overgrown turnip, or decayed wood.

Foul ground, sb. the bottom of the sea, where it is covered with rocks or stones, and sea-weed.

Founded, Foundet, sb. anything. ‘There was not a foundet in the house,’ i.e. there was nothing — always used with a negative.

Founder, sb. a catarrh; a cold, or illness. ‘The boy has got a founder.’

Foundered, adj. exhausted or lamed with wet and cold. ‘The horse was foundered in one of his forelegs.’

Fower-square, adj. square.

Foxed, adj. Women’s cloth boots are foxed when they have a binding of leather on the cloth all round next the sole.

Foxing, adj. scheming.

Foxy, sb. a term for a red-haired person.

Freen, sb. friend, or relative.

Freet, sb. an omen.

Freety, adj. having belief in charms or omens. ‘We’re no that freety about here.’

French flies, sb. a boy’s game.

Friend, Freen, sb. a relative. ‘They’re far out friends of mine, but I niver seen them.’

Frimsy-framsy. Same as Frincy-francy, q.v.

Frincy-francy, sb. a game played between the dances at balls in farm-houses. A chair was placed in the middle of the barn or room; the master of the ceremonies led to the chair a young woman, who sat down and named the young man whom she was willing should kiss her. This he did, and then took the seat which the lady vacated.

He then called out the name of some favourite girl, who was led up to him; there was another kiss. The girl then took the seat, and so on (Co. of Down). The same game is called Frimsey-framsey in parts of the co. of Antrim.

Frizzens, sb. the iron mountins on single and double trees, by which they are attached to a plough or harrow.

From that I went, from the time that I went.

Frost, (1) ‘By the holy frost,’ an exclamation. (2) ‘She’ll sit a frost,’ i.e. she will die an old maid. (3) ‘The frost has taken the air,’ this is said when a wet day follows a clear frosty morning.

Frughans, sb. whortleberries. Same as Blaeberries.

Frush, adj. brittle, as applied to wood, &c.: said of flax when the ‘shoughs’ separate easily from the fibre.

Fud, sb. the tail of a hare.

Full farmer, sb.a large, or well-to-do farmer.

Fum turf, sb. light spongy turf.

Fur, sb. a furrow.

Furrow and land, the hollows and heights on the surface of a millstone.

Fut, v. i.e. foot, to walk. ‘Ye futted it weel’ = you walked quickly.

Fuzionless, adj. insipid, or innutritious, as applied to fodder, &c., of inferior quality.

Fyammy, adj. applied to a sea bottom covered with a growth of ‘fyams,’ i.e. tangles.

Fyams, sb. the long sea-weeds known as tangles.

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