Forret

Forret LOG S NO3921 2

    (William of) Foreth 1238 x 1250 Balm. Lib. no. 46 [w.]
    (William of) Foreth 1245 x 1255 St A. Lib. 293
    (John of) Foreth 1328 x 1332 Balm. Lib. no. 51 [w.]
    Eister Forret 1555 Retours (Fife) no. 27 [see Easter Forret above]
    terris et baronia de Forret 1582 Retours (Fife) no. 1474 [David Forret, ‘in the lands and barony of Forret’, with Cotton (Cottoun) and mill]
    Laird of Forrett 1590 Campbell 1899, 345 [he and his servants required not to attend the kirk of Kilmany KLM, but to attend the kirk of Balmerino while his own kirk is being rebuilt]
    de terris dominicalibus de Forrett 1615 Retours (Fife) no. 246 [David Landels (Landillis), annual rent of 100 merks ‘from the mains lands of Forret’]
    Eister Forret 1624 Retours (Fife) no. 347 [see Easter Forret above]
    terris et baronia de Forret 1636 Retours (Fife) no. 541 [Alexander Kinnear (Kinneir), brother of Henry Kinnear of Forret, ‘in the lands and barony of Forret comprising the lands of Easter Forret and Wester Forret, with the Cotton of Forret and Torr Forret’ (comprehendente terras de Eister Forret and Wester Forret, cum villa cottagia lie Cottoun de Forret et Torforret)]
    (lands and barony of) Forret 1647 RMS ix no. 1754
    E. Forret 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
    W. Forret 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
    E. Ferret 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
    W. Ferret 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
    Eister et Westir Forrettis 1672 Retours (Fife) no. 1115 [Keir of Forret]
    E. Forret 1775 Ainslie/Fife
    W. Forret 1775 Ainslie/Fife
    Forret Mill 1775 Ainslie/Fife
    the hill of Forrit 1790s OSA, 464 [covered with fir-trees ‘till some years ago’]

This is a difficult name to interpret, and could well be a Gaelic adaptation of an earlier *Uoret. The first element could derive from either G for ‘above, over’, or an intensifier meaning ‘big, great’, perhaps with the topographical sense ‘projecting’ (see Watson 1926, 402), or their Pictish equivalents (see PNF 5 Elements Glossary, s.v.); while the second element may be a suffix, either the abstract or locational suffix discussed by Watson (1926, 375), which he compares with Middle Welsh –et, later –ed; or the same suffix as is found in Tarvit CUP, discussed above s.n. (see Watson 1926, 444–5). The meaning might thus be ‘high-lying place’ or ‘place situated above (surrounding places)’, a description which would well suit Forret’s position in the hills above the valley of the Motray, on the northern slopes of Forret Hill.

    Alternatively the first element may represent G fo- (British *g(u)o-, Old Welsh gwo-, Welsh go-) ‘small’ (see Watson 1926, 210), the Pictish equivalent of which would be *uo-. In this case the final syllable would represent a noun *ret-.

    OS Pathf. has Wester Forret, Easter Forret, Forret Den, Forret Mill, Forret Hill and Torr Forret.

    The late William Rollo of Collessie grew up at Easter Forret, and knew the burn which ran through Easter Forret and Cruivie as the Nydie Burn.

/ˈfɔrət/ or /ˈfɔrɛt/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4