"fash" (was "Make no little plans")

Towse self at TOWSE.COM
Fri May 10 01:13:03 UTC 2002

Joan Houston Hall wrote:
> DARE has it as a reflexive verb.  "Don't fash yourself" means 'Don't
> trouble yourself,  don't put yourself out.'  It's from Scots and English
> dialect.
> At 11:08 AM 5/9/02 -0400, you wrote:
> >At 10:48 AM -0400 5/9/02, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
> >>Thanks, Sal, for calming the usual riled waters.  But "nothing to fash
> >>about"--new to me: meaning and source?
> >I noticed that too, assumed it must be from Fr. "se facher", but had
> >never heard it.

Well, surprise. I never realized my use was anything out of the
ordinary. There is some Scots back a few generations but I don't
know where my use came from. The "fash" usage is something I've
never thought about. It's just there. Not much help, is it?

So, I went back in time. The 1901 ed. of the Century Dictionary
is online.

Have you seen this wonderful, browsable dictionary? I thumb
through it some afternoons when I'm procrastinating. It's one of
the few dictionaries online that let you page to page to page.
I'm fascinated to see the changes in word use in the past 101
years. Look up "umbrage" for instance. My!

I looked up "fash". Herewith... imagine some non-standard
characters with funny marks above the a's and such...

fash 1 (fash), v. [Sc., < OF. fascher, mod.facher, anger,
displease, offend, = Pr. fastigar, fasticar = OSp. hastiar, Sp.
fastidiar = It. fastidiare, disgust, vex, tire, ( ML. as if
*fastidiare, this form taking the place of L. fastidire, feel
disgust at, dislike, ( L. fastidium (> It. fastidio = Sp. hastio,
OSp. hastio = Pg. fastio = Cat. fastig = Pr. fastig, fastic = OF.
fasti), disgust, loathing, aversion: see fastidious.]

I. trans. To trouble; annoy; vex.

Loudon is fashed with a defluxion.
Baillie, Letters, I. 215.

It's as plain as a pike-staff that something is troubling her,
and may be it will be some of your love nonsense; for it's mainly
that as fashes the lasses. Cornhill Mag.

To fash one's thumb, to give one's self trouble.

Dear Roger, when your jo puts on her gloom,
Do ye sac to, and never fash your thumb.
Ramsay, Poems, II. 71.

II. intrans. 1. To be annoyed; be vexed.

The dinner was a little longer of being on the table than usual,
at which he began to fash.
Galt, Annals of the Parish, p. 229.

2. To take trouble; be at pains: as, you needna fash.--3. To be

You soon fash of a good office. Scotch proverb.
[Scotch in all uses.]

fash 1 (fash), n. [Sc., <fash, v.] 1. Trouble; annoyance;
O' a' the num'rous human dools, . . .
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools,
Thou bear'st the gree.
Burns, Address to the Toothache.

:2. Pains; care.
Without further fash on my part. De Quincey.

3. A troublesome person: usually in a derogatory sense.

Whether that clears up my casual usage or just confounds things
is a question, but I hope those who don't know of the dictionary
check it out.

"Nothing to fash about" in my normal use means "Nothing to get
bothered about." "Nothing to get vexed about."


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