Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GLOFF, n., v. Also glauf(f), glouf(f), glowff, gloaf, gloffe. Cf. Glaff, Gliff, Gluff, n., v.1

I. n. 1. A sudden fright, a shock, a scare (Mry.1 1925 glowff). Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 337:
There came never such a Gloff to a Daw's Heart.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 37:
But ere I wist, I clean was at the float, I sanna tell you, what a gloff I got.
Slk. a.1835  Hogg Poems (1865) 321:
Till the gloffs o' dread shot to my heart.
Kcb. 1897  A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine 12:
A hare sprang frae a hole in the bucht-dyke and gaed Robbie an unco gloff.
w.Dmf. 1912  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo i.:
Nancy's ash-hole was a deep yin . . . and when I saw the sheepheid gaun oot o' sicht, I tell ye, I got a glauf.

2. A sudden burst of heat or cold, a “glow, uneasy sensation of heat, producing faintishness” (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Ayr. 1954). Sc. 1826  H. Duncan W. Douglas III. v.:
Only look at the flakes o' fire carried by the wind as thick as snaw! . . . I find the gloaf o't already.
Lnk. 1862  D. Wingate Poems 22:
See them from their ingles venturin', Scornfu' o' their temptsome glouff.
Dmf. 1874  R. Reid Moorland Rhymes 70:
Ye come like a glouf o' the winter sun, yin hardly kens ye are here.
Ayr. 1913  J. Service Memorables xxx.:
Then it [the rain] fell like saugh wauns through the glowffs o' the storm.

3. A sudden variation in the density of darkness. Slk. 1813  Hogg Queen's Wake 69:
And ay we raide, and se merrily we raide, Throw the merkist gloffis of the night.

4. A whiff, a breath (of fresh or cool air). Ags. 1853  Montrose Standard (8 July) 7:
Ance Highland air was reckoned free . . . But now a gloff fouk daurna pree, 'Tis countit treason.

5. A short snatch, a “wink” (of sleep); “unquiet or disturbed sleep” (Fif. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Gliff, n., 2. (1). Variant deriv. form ¶glochar [ < *gloffer] (Fif. 1886 G. Bruce Poems 296). Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxiii.:
Tibbie an' me got a gloff o' sleep between that an' aucht o'clock.
Dmf. 1922  Rymour Club Misc. III. 101:
I never steeket an ee binna a glauf atween hauns.

6. A flash or something similarly quick and instantaneous. Dmf. 1874  R. Reid Moorland Rhymes 20:
The mawkin, houn'd wi' fear, Gaed like a glouf the bracken through.

7. A sudden or slight attack. Rnf. 1873  D. Gilmour Pen' Folk 20:
I get whiles a glouf o' conscience.

II. v. 1. To look scared, to look startled; to start with fright. Abd. 1755  R. Forbes Jnl. from London 30:
Gin ye had seen how the auld hag gloffed fan she fell down.
Abd. 1778  A. Ross Helenore 71:
I gard a witch fa' headlins in a stank, As she was riding on a windle strae, The carling gloff'd, and cried out, will-awae!

2. To take a short unsound sleep (Fif. 1825 Jam.). Vbl.n. gloffin, -en, a short snatch of sleep. Cf. I. 5. s.Sc. 1839  Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 96:
Ye maun just lie down an' try if ye can get a gloffen o' sleep.

[Origin obscure; prob. imit. Cf. Glaff, Gliff and Gluff, n., v.1]

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"Gloff n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/gloff>

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