Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CAVE, Caeve, Kaeve, Kev(e), Kaive, n.3, v.1 See also Keave. [ke:v]

1. n.

(1) A toss of the head (Bnff.2 1939, kaive). Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
The bull ga'e a cave wi' its heid.

(2) “A tossing of the fore legs; rearing. Followed by the preposition up, the act of rearing” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff., kaive).

2. v., tr. and intr.

(1) Of a horse: to toss (the head) angrily or proudly (Sc. 1808 Jam., cave; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., obsol.). Known to Bnff.2 1939. Also fig. Sc. 1826  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 164–165:
Gallopin on a grey horse, that caves the foam frae its fiery nostrils.
Sc. 1895  H. Ochiltree Redburn ii.:
Stan up, ye auld jade! What are ye caving at?
Bnff. 1856  J. Collie Poems and Lyrics 68:
Auld Scotland then her head might kaive, An' prance like ony stagie.

(2) “To stand on the hind legs and toss the fore legs; to rear” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 93). Not known to our correspondents.

(3) “To butt or strike (anything) with the head or horns” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); “to push, to drive backward and forward” (Sc. 1808 Jam., cave, keve). Not known to our correspondents. Ags. 1853  W. Blair Chron. of Aberbrothock vi.:
It'll caeve the heels oot alow ye.

(4) fig. “To make a fuss” (Bch. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.).   Ib.:
Fat are ye cavin' at?

(5) “To be overcome with weariness or sleepiness” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), kev).

(6) Followed by preps. (a) over, ower: “to fall over suddenly” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Ayr.4 1928), to faint; fig. “to give in” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kev ower); (b) up: “to climb a steep precipice or wall” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 93). (a) Ork.(D) 1880  Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 27:
Whin [lethy Hellness] geed oot wi' sic a din . . . the minister's wife kaevid ower (sheu was near her time, peur bothy).

[O.Sc. cave, v., (1) intr., to fall over helplessly, 16th cent.; (2) tr., to toss the head or body, 17th cent. (D.O.S.T.). Cf. O.N. kaf, a plunge, kafa, kefja, to dip; Sh. kav, rush about, work with small result; Icel. kafa, to stir.]

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"Cave n.3, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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