Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
GRAFF, n. Also graffe, grauff, graafe; grafe, graif, gref(f), graef(f), greaf, greif; grof (Sh.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. grave. [Sc. grɑf, but Sh. græf, grɔf, Abd. gref, grɛf]
†1. As in Eng. = a place of burial. Gen.Sc., obs. Also in n.Eng. dial.
Dmb. 1730 in G. E. Todd Byeways (1900) 183:
All . . . should pay in to the kirk session a shilling for each graff or lair possest or claim'd by them. Abd. 1759 F. Douglas Rural Love 15:
And Megg, fan I'm laid i' the grafe, To leave you single were not safe. Ayr. 1786 Burns Epigram ii.:
Ev'n as he is, cauld in his graff. Ags. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 299:
One [cairn] . . . known by the name of Crian's Gref, said to have been erected upon the grave of a noted robber. Gall. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (May) 166:
I'll howk it [a dead ass] a graff wi' my ain two hands rather than it should feast the corbies. Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel iii.:
There are dainty green graffs in St Cuthbert's kirk-yard, whare any may sleep as if they were in a down-bed. Edb. 1851 A. Maclagan Sketches 258:
Wi' pick an' spade His grauff I made. Ags. 1880 G. W. Donald Poems 45:
The graff below hauds John McNab in Fam'd for his stitchin' an' blind stabbin'. Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 15:
Your secret's safe wi' me As it is wi' yer Grandam in her graff. Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 138:
Oontill they cam' up till the greff whaur Lazarus' corpse did lie.
Comb.: graff-stane, a grave-stone.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 215:
Ane College-regent bangin', stood Heigh on a graff-stane up. Abd. 1847 W. Thom Rhymes 81:
As we lay in the lythe o' yon bare graifstane.
2. A ditch, a trench. Also in Eng. dial.
Sc. 1701 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 151:
I still fancied they had channels and graafes cut to receive it.
3. The lowest part of the pit or trench in a peat-lair from which the peats have been dug, the bottom of a peat-bank (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), gref, grof, Sh. 1955).
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (26 March):
Yirdit hit i' da graeff o' ane o' Robbie Scollay's paet-banks. Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat. Comm. 168:
Ye maun keep da pones hale . . . Dey hae ta be laid doon agen i da graef o da bank. Sh. 1937 J. Nicolson Yarns 54:
The cutting was what is termed “a three-peat bank,” which meant that it was between five and six feet from the “greff” or bottom to the “broo” or top.
Comb.: gref-peat, “the first peat cut from the ledge in a peat-pit” (Sh. 1908 Jak (1928)).
†4. A fisherman's tabu-name for the sea-bottom (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 120, graef, 1908 Jak. (1928)).[OSc. has graf(fe), graif(fe), greaf, a grave or tomb, from a.1400; O.E. græf, græf- (from grafan, to dig). The Sh. form grof is from Norw. dial. grov. O.N. grf, a pit.]
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"Graff n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Apr 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/graff>
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