Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HEAVE, v., n. Sc. forms and usages. See also Hove. [Sc. hi:v, ne.Sc.. Ags. he:v, s.Sc. heiv]

I. v. A. Sc. forms: 1. Inf. and pr.t.; heave; haive, have, haave (Abd. 1936 Huntly Express (28 Feb.) 7); hive, hyve; 2. Pa.t.: wk. heaved; haeved, haived (Abd. 1936 Huntly Express (28 Feb.) 7), haivt (Bch. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Bch. 28), haved; str. huive, hove; 3. Pa.p.: wk. heaved; str. hoven (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Abd. 1956), hovin.

B. Sc. usages: 1. To throw, pitch, toss, without the notion of effort or strain, as in Eng. (I.Sc., n.Sc., em.Sc. 1956). Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 41:
The mason lads . . . . . . up aloft the timmer plankies Hove with their loof.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 114:
An' syne he teuk anither air o'd, An' haeved apo' the amers.
Abd. 1880  W. Robbie Yonderton (1928) 91:
Ye needna haive yer siller awa' that wy for wint o' cheenge.
Gall. 1896  Crockett Grey Man ix.:
I saw him heave up his hand.
Bnff. 1920  Banffshire Jnl. (14 Dec.):
A moleskin't loon is heedin' neeps He haves the tailer doon, his han's are jeel.
Ork. 1931  J. Leask Peculiar People 125:
Dey haved doon deir etches.
Bch. 1943  W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 10:
Then at his door they haive a creel And raise a great minneer.

Phr.: tae heave the line, to issue orders to farm servants regarding the work to be done (Bnff. 1920; Abd. 1956), a pun on the nautical phr. and meaning of line. See Line.

2. To rise up above the surface, become prominent, rear up, come into view (Sh., Abd., Ags., m.Lth. 1956). Now obs. or arch. in Eng. e.Lth. 1887  P. McNeill Blawearie 130:
To remove a length or two of rails, lift the hoven up pavement, and let the tram sink down.
Sc. 1893  Stevenson Catriona xv.:
His sins hove up before him muckle as the Bass.

3. To swell, distend, expand, to become swollen or distended (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., hive (up)). Now gen. in ppl.adj. hoven, blown up, distended, esp. of grazing animals whose stomachs have become distended with eating too much fresh green fodder. Gen.Sc. Also fig. Now dial. in Eng. Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb v.:
A drop of whisky could be got somehow in cases of emergency, as when the patient got “hoven” with the liberal libations of salt water previously swallowed.
Abd. 1900  C. Murray Hamewith 10:
Could dress a mart, prob hoven nowt, an' flay.
Lnk. 1923  G. Rae Langsyne in Braefoot 102:
His face was a' hovin up, an' to the herd it was an unco serious matter.
Bnff. 1934  J. M. Caie Kindly North 57:
Dazzle the cratur's sicht, Blaw him up till he's hoven, That's fan I [the Devil]'ll grip him ticht.
Bch. 1943  Scots Mag. (March) 446:
An' Droggie's clivver dother? She cud mak' her fader's peels. Nae hoven wyme nor clocher, nae beilin', hack nor sprain But she cud ease.
Abd. 1955  W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick i.:
Weel div A min' foo hoven she eest tae get aifter ettin an' foo baddert she wis wi the hippick.

II. n. Also heeve.

1. A push or shove; a heaving movement (of the breast, as with emotion). Gen.Sc. Phr. to get or gie one the heave, lit. to (be) push(ed), shove(d); fig. to (be) sack(ed), dismiss(ed) from a job. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 501:
Bumbees . . . May weel lament for thee, I ween, Wi' bibbling heaves.
Dmf. 1861  R. Quinn Heather Lintie 153:
Far frae yer love nae callan thrives, E'er faun the slightest heave o't.
Sc. 1893  Stevenson Catriona xxiv.:
There went through me so great a heave of surprise that I was all shook with it.
Fif. 1894  J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 40:
Giein' Baudrons a no canny heeve aff the chair.
Gsw. 1904  H. Foulis Erchie iii.:
Wash his face, put a dickie and a hired suit on him, and gie him the heave into a banquet-room.

2. The swelling of cattle through over-eating (m.Lth., Bwk. 1956). Cf. hoven, under 3. above. For comb. cow-heave, coo-haive, see s.v. Coo.

[O.Sc. heve, to lift, heave, from a.1400, pa.t. hevit, heywit, from a.1400; heif, 1507, have, 1512, to lift for baptism, pa.t. hufe, from 1489. Pa.p. hovin, a.1400, havin, 1512.]

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"Heave v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Oct 2018 <>



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