Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BUFF, n.3

1. “Silly talk; irrelevant speech” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Very common in phr. buff an' styte. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.2, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1936. Also found in Eng. slang, 1721 (Farmer and Henley). Mry. 1873  J. Brown Round Table Club 28:
Nae tae be mealie-moo'd wi' ye, Captain, that's jist doon richt buff — havers, ilka word o' 't.
Abd. after 1768  A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd MS. Intro. p. 4:
When last my pen ye favour'd with a Puff I ran no likely risk of speaking buff.
Abd. 1877  G. Macdonald M. of Lossie I. xv.:
“What put sic buff an' styte i' yer heid, sir?” rejoined Meg.
Edb. 1915  T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 10:
Folks may lauch; but never heed them, Claiv'rin silly buff.

2. Phrs.: (1) A. B. buff, “something very simple, elementary” (Mry.1 1926; Bnff.2, Ags.1, Slg.3, Kcb.1 1936); (2) a' buff owre muckle, far too much; also a' buff and nonsense — (Mry.2 1937). (1) Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 123:
It never entered into her heid that a' I had to dae wasna as simple as A B buff.
(2) Abd. 1903  Rural Talk in Abd. Wkly. Free Press (8 Aug.):
There's a' buff owre muckle said aboot th' butter.

[? Onomatopœic. Partly phs. imitating a dog's bark, partly an instinctive excl. of contempt (N.E.D.).]

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"Buff n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2018 <>



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