Speaking Scots | Fair Forfochan

Discover some of the more… descriptive Scots words for being completely exhausted!


It is possible, of course, to be tired out anywhere on this globe.

All the same, one wonders whether there is, or was, something specially trying about life in Scotland. For we do seem to be well endowed with words and phrases to express extreme fatigue.

We also possess not a few to convey struggle and hardship, but they merit separate consideration.


Dirty Dane


My mother, after a hard day’s labours, would sometimes describe herself as being ‘dirty dane’. When young, I did not give the expression much thought, other than feeling, with her, that it satisfactorily suggested her condition.

On reflection, I suppose it conveys being reduced almost to the state of the dust we sprang from, so, when ‘dirt dane’, we may be perilously close to an ‘ashes to ashes’ level of vitality!


Far Founert


‘Far founert’ is surely a near-relation, suggesting ‘completely collapsed, totally capsized’, while ‘wabbit oot’ (connected with weaving?) has a suitably weak ring not found in the English ‘washed out’.

It sounds more enfeebled and debilitated. To be ‘tashed’ seems to revert to the idea that to be wearied out is to be flawed: not quite decomposed, maybe, but far from being at our best.




I was in the poems of the late Robert Garioch that I first came across the word ‘disjaskit’. This took my fancy, perhaps because it conveys not just ‘exhausted’, but brings out a sense of dejection and haplessness, too. A forlorn mental disarray is emphasised.

However, I think the word Scots love most, to convey ‘worn out’ must be ‘forfochen’. It brings an instant smile when recollected, and how apt it is, for it cares its own weariness in the sighing “-och” at its very heart.



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A bit of fun…

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