Are you thinking about taking a trip to Scotland? The Scots have a thick accent and dialect, and it’s challenging to make out what they are saying at the best of times. If a Scotsman or woman says “dinna Fash” to you, what are they saying? Are they inviting you over for dinner?
This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this idiomatic expression.
Dinna Fash Meaning
The Scots phrase “dinna fash” has the meaning of “don’t fret,” “don’t stress,” or “don’t worry.” This phrase is common in Scotland, with most generations using the expression and understanding its meaning. However, you won’t find many people using outside of Scotland and in some areas of Ireland.
The word “dinna” in the phrase means “do not” or “don’t.” “Fash” has its roots in French, and the word’s translation is “to worry.” The phrase is common, especially around the capital city of Edinburgh, and it’s a part of Scottish culture.
Some people use the more lengthy version of the phrase, “dinna fash yersel.” The “yersel” in the term means “yourself.” So, the entire sentence would read as “don’t worry yourself.” It might seem strange that a French word ended up crossing into Scotland. However, if you consider the history of bad blood between the English and Scots, it starts to create a clear picture, as the French also held the English in contempt.
Dinna Fash Example Usage
“Dinna fash yersel, I’ll take care of her.” (Don’t worry about yourself, I’ll take care of her).
“Dinna fash yersel wi dinner.” (Don’t worry yourself with dinner).
“Dinna fash, that blokes not a threat to anyone. (Don’t worry, that guy isn’t a threat to anyone).
Dinna Fash Origin
The phrase “dinna fash” originates from Scotland. The term is a blend of Middle English, Gaelic, Norman French, and Latin roots, with all these languages spoken in the British isles during the period between the 1100s to 1500s.
When Scotland formally joined the British union in the 1700s, the use of the Scots language started to fade. The word “dinna” in the phrase is the Scot equivalent of “don’t.”
In Scots English, the word “do” changes to “di” and drops the “t” at the end of the term. As a result, you end up with the word “dinna.” The word is a suitable replacement for “don’t” in English.
The origin of “fash” is less clear, and there are no known records of the source of this part of the phrase. However, some experts believe it originates from the 16th-century French language, brought to the British Isles by French visitors. Fash originates from the French saying “Oui, c’est un mot Francais!”
The phrase would see the word “fash” derived from the early French word “fascher,” which means “to worry.”
Phrases Similar to Dinna Fash
- Don’t worry.
- Don’t stress.
- No worries.
Phrases Opposite to Dinna Fash
- I’m worried.
- I’m stressed.
What is the Correct Saying?
- Dinna Fash
Ways People May Say Dinna Fash Incorrectly
Some people may use the phrase without understanding the correct meaning. Typically, Scottish and British people will use the term, but most Americans won’t understand the phrase’s meaning. Dinna fash doesn’t suit use in professional settings.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase Dinna Fash
You can use “dinna fash” independently or as part of a sentence. When you’re saying it as a solo phrase, you’re using it to tell people, “don’t worry.” When you use the term in a sentence, it serves as an introductory phrase, separating it from the rest of the sentence using a comma. It’s common for the word “wi” (with) to follow the term.