Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
DEAF, DEEF, Deif, Daef, adj. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. deaf. [dif Sc., but Sh., Cai. def, Ags. deɪf, Per., Fif., Slg. + def]
1. (1) As in Eng. = hard of hearing. Gen.Sc. The form deef is also found in Eng. (mainly n.) dial.
Sc. 1931 J. Lorimer Red Sergeant xix.:
Mistress Cowieson can be maist conveniently deif where folk speir. Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes I. xxix.:
He's as deef's a door-nail. Fif. 1929 A. Taylor Bitter Bread 102:
I didna jalouse ye were deef and dumb as well. Ayr. 1789 Burns Kirk's Alarm iii.:
Provost John is still deaf To the church's relief. Slk. 1914 Southern Reporter (17 Dec.) 9/1:
Ye're awfu' deef gettin', John. Can ye no' hear the powney? Tyr. 1928 “M. Mulcaghey” Ballymulcaghey (1929) 15:
There's no use in payin' half-a-crown for a dog that's as deef as a stone.
Comb.: deef-lugs, the common houseleek, Sempervivum tectorum (Ayr. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.).
(2) Quiet, silent.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
The deef side o' a street.
2. Unproductive, empty, barren; of soil: poor, “spongy or springy to the tread (but dry)” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); of coal: dead, burning without flame. Cf. Dowf, adj., 5.
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Grain that hath lost the power of germinating is said to be deaf. n.Sc. Ib.:
Deaf ground, an insipid soil, that either produces no crop, or a very insufficient one. Arg. 1937 1 :
Deef grun and deef laan are terms applied to poor, light, unresponsive soil. Dmf. 1894 J. Shaw in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 145:
Deaf coals don't burn easily.
Comb.: deaf nit (nut), a nut without a kernel (Lnk.3 1940); used fig. of something hollow, unsubstantial, usu. in phrs.: †(1) nae deaf nit (nuts), no trifle, no inconsiderable matter or person; (2) not (to be) fed (up)o(n) (wi') deaf nuts, (to be) plump, well-fed, well-developed; (3) not to leeve on deaf nits, = (2). Common in Eng. dial .
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. x.:
I wadna gie the worth of a deaf nit for the truth o' the intelligence. (1) Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate xxiv.:
Bryce Snailsfoot says, that the value will mount to an hundred pounds English, and that is nae deaf nuts. Peb. a.1835 J. Affleck Poet. Wks. (1836) 81:
I'm nae deaf nit: my tocher's fifty pounds in hale. Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems, etc. I. 151:
His lang head Is nae deaf nit for Lair. (2) Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 82:
Ye're not fed wi' deaf Nuts. Abd. 1817 Broadside in Garland of Bon-Accord (1886) 4:
An' Rob, wi's brosy wame Wasna fed upo' deaf nits. Fif. 1930 10 :
A well-developed child at birth in Fife was hailed with the remark, “Ay, this ane hasna been fed on deaf nuts.” The expression . . . was a ritual expression all over Fife. (3) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 227:
He didna leeve on deaf nits onyway.
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"Deaf adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Mar 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/deaf>
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