Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DEAVE, De(e)ve, Deive, Da(i)ve, De(a)v, v., n. [di:v Sc., but Cai. + deiv, Ags. deɪv; de:v Sh., Ork., Per., Fif.]

I. v.

1. To deafen (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), dev, 1914 Angus Gl., deav; Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Ork. Par. (1922) 150, dave; Cai.7 1940, deive, deeve; Lnk. 1949 (per Mearns 6); Uls. 1934 Dial. Words in Mid-Uls. Mail (Dec.), deave). Also ¶deaven (Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 177). Ppl.adj. and vbl.n. deavin', deevin', deafening (noise). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems 33:
But dinna wi' ye'r Greeting grieve me, Nor wi' your Draunts and Droning deave me.
Abd. 1932  R. L. Cassie Sc. Sangs 21:
An' noo an' than we hear a flist, A reerd wud deeve Van Winkle.
m.Sc. 1917  J. Buchan Poems 60:
But in a' that deavin' din Like the cry o' the lost in Hell.
Edb. 1791  J. Learmont Poems 12:
The howlet screamt, the liche fowle's hoarse Did sairly deave her ear.

Hence deavesome, deivesome, davesam, deafening, noisy. Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 134:
The davesam brats wur hungry aye.
em.Sc. 1913  J. Black Gloamin' Glints 76:
Keep quate, and sae be strong, Nae clish-ma-claver heedin', Nor deavesome ding-a-dong.
Edb. 1915  T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 102:
That's the saecret o' the scrammie, An' this deivesome steer.
Lnk. 1853  W. Watson Poems 27:
Workin' awa frae morn till e'en, Wi' deavesome clatter.

2. Hence extended to mean to bother, to annoy; esp. to annoy or weary by constantly talking or asking questions, to bore (Ork. 1929 Marw., daive; Cai.7 1940; Mry.1 1925; Bnff.2, Abd. correspondents, Fif.1, Slg.3 1940). Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian v.:
Houts, Mrs Saddletree . . . dinna deave me wi' your nonsense.
Sh. 1922  J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 56:
Lass, dave na dy faider wi a lock o' dirt.
Ork. 1908  J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 320:
Wir M. Pay jeust daves folk teu wi' 'is clatters aboot da trallers 'at am sheur never deud 'im ony herm.
Ags. 1889  J. M. Barrie W. in Thrums vii.:
We'll be hae'n Tibbie ower here on Saturday to deve's to death aboot it.
Lth. 1928  S. A. Robertson With Double Tongue 19:
Tam's deavin me aboot the cries, And some day I'll say “Aye.”
Ayr. 1789  Burns Tam Glen (Cent. ed.) iv.:
My minnie does constantly deave me, And bids me beware o' young men.
Kcb. 1894  S. R. Crockett Raiders v.:
As sune as the breath o' yin gaes oot, the ither yin'll tak' up the tale, and the deevin' will juist be eternal.

Hence deavement, a worry, a trouble. w.Dmf. 1920  J. L. Waugh Heroes in Homespun (1921) 60:
Ye're on the young side to be trauchled wi' an auld man's deavements.

II. n. An interminable talker (Abd.2 1900; Abd.9 1940). Abd. 1925 7 :
He's a rale deeve.
Mearns 1933  “L. G. Gibbon” in Scots Mag. (Feb.) 332:
Once in a blue moon or so he'd come round, he fair was a deave as he sat by your fire.

[O.Sc. has deve, deive, deave, to deafen; to stun or annoy with talk or din, from 1420; O.E. (ā)dēafian, to become deaf. The I.Sc. forms may also represent O.N. deyfa, to make deaf.]

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"Deave v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Oct 2018 <>



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