Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DRIFFLE, v., n. Also dreefle.

1. v.

(1) To drizzle, to rain or snow slightly (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 185; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); also used with on (Slk. 1825 Jam.2). Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
The daggy drowe comes drifflin on.

(2) To scold (Bnff.2 1940; Abd.24 1916, dreefle; Abd.9 1940, driffle; Ags.1 1920, dreefle). Vbl.n. drifflin'. Abd. 1898  J. R. Imray Sandy Todd 3:
I catcht him at the same trick ae day afore, an' gaed him a terrible drifflin'.
Bch. 1929  (per Abd.1):
Dyod, lassie, ye'll get a gey drifflin' for brakin' that auld jug.

2. n.

(1) (a) A slight shower of rain or snow (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Slk. 1825 Jam.2; Dmf. 1950); (b) a short spell of stormy weather (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 42), a gale (Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940). (a) Sc. 1931  J. Buchanan in Sc. Ed. Jnl. (18 Dec.):
. . . the win' blaws caul' an' keen Wi' driffles noo an' then o' snaw.
(b) Bch. 1929  (per Abd.1):
There'll be a driffle of wind oot o' that black bunkart o' clood.

(2) (a) A quantity of work done with speed (Bnff.2 1940). Bnff. 1866  Gregor D.Bnff. 42:
He's gehn through a gueede driffle o' wark the last day or twa.

(b) Haste, speed. Abd. 1925 7 :
When work is done with great speed, it is said to have been “caa'd throu' wi' a gey driffle.”

(3) A scolding (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 42; Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940; Ags.1 1920); rough handling. Bnff. 1869  W. Knight Auld Yule 67:
Nae wonder, then, she wasna fain To let a chiel gi'e her a driffle, For fear he'd brak' her pipit bords, And cockernonny a' curfuffle.
Abd. 1924  Swatches 46:
The hens fyles got a driffle tee Fin ye wis keen.
Abd. 1928 15 :
A got a gey driffle for daein yon!

[A deriv. in -le from *drif-, to drive, with freq. or dim. force. For sense (1) of n. and v. cf. O.Sc. driffling, a drizzle, 1639, E.M.E. drifle, to dribble, Driv, and Norw. dial. drivla, to drizzle.]

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"Driffle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/driffle>

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