Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
SAFT, adj., adv., n. Also sauft. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. soft. See P.L.D. § 54. Hence derivs. saftly, saftness. [sɑft]
I. adj. 1. In regard to weather: mild, not frosty, in a state of thaw (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc.
wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 181:
Should it happen to be saft weather at the time, it'll be impossible for me to leave my garden. Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 147:
We've hid a lang sair time o't, bit it's a gueedeness, it's saft the day. sm.Sc. 1923 R. W. MacKenna Bracken and Thistledown 89:
If the ice still held, Ezra would put a gingerly toe upon it by ejaculating “She's a wee saft”.
2. Wet, rainy, damp (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Edb. 1880 Trans. Philological Soc. 112; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1812 J. Sinclair Systems Husb. Scot. i. Add. 11:
If they [slugs] be attacked when on the surface of the ground, where they are every soft morning in search of food. Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. xv.:
“A drizzling morning, good madam.” “A fine saft morning for the crap, sir.” Slg. 1862 D. Taylor Poems 73:
[We] arrived just in time for escapin' saft weather. Ags. 1888 Barrie Auld Licht Idylls 18:
No one will admit the Scotch mist. It “looks saft”. Fif. 1896 G. Setoun R. Urquhart ii.:
She has a sair fecht wi' thae broun-keddies i' saft weather. Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xix.:
A nesty saft day, wi' a smirr o' rain. Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 150:
“Saft a wee!” says I; “I'm draiglet an' I'm drookit.” s.Sc. 1937 Border Mag. (Sept.) 141:
We said, “It's soft like”, meaning that it was actually raining.
4. Combs.: (1) soft air, stagnant air, a badly-ventilated atmosphere in a coal-mine (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 62); (2) saft biscuit, a kind of plain floury bun or roll with an indentation in the centre (Sc. 1929 F. M. McNeill Sc. Kitchen 182; Ork., n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1969). Freq. in reduced dim. form Saftie, q.v.; (3) soft cake, oatcake baked but not roasted and hence soft in texture, prepared as a specialty for Christmas and New Year; (4) saft dud, a inept, slow-witted, sheepish sort of person. Also in n.Eng. dial. See Dud; (5) saft-eened, sentimental, easily moved to tears. Cf. Eng. soft-eyed; (6) saft-fisted, of an occupation: refined, unmanly, effeminate; (7) saft-hand, a feeble or inexpert person; (8) saft-horn, a novice, inexperienced person, a green-horn (Cai. 1946); (9) saft side, in phrs. on or up one's saft side, into one's good graces or favour, to hae a saft side tae, to have a special liking for, to be well disposed to (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial.; (10) saft-skinned, easily offended, touchy, thin-skinned (Cld. 1882 Jam.). Also in n.Eng. dial.; (11) soft soles, used as an epithet of a soft effeminate man, sc. a “tenderfoot”; (12) saft tabaka, cut tobacco. Cf. III. 3.; (13) saft-veal, a simple-minded person, a ninny, mooncalf; (14) saft win', flattery.
(2) Abd. 1868 Bk. Glenbuchat (S.C.) 163:
1 doz. Soft biscuits . . . . . . . . 6d. (3) ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 157:
Bread of various kinds, “bannocks”, “soor cakes”, “cream cakes”, “facet cakes”, “soft cakes”, was stored up. (4) m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 171:
He's a saft dud, yon; he has nae grup o' the politics ava. (5) Dmf. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 384:
Take this saft e'ened young stripling with you, to cheer your loneliness. (6) Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-net 6:
It [painting]'s weel eneuch for a diversion, though a wee lassie-like an' saft-fisted. (7) Slk. 1818 Hogg Wool-Gatherer (1874) 63:
His master was a real saft hand at the fishing. (8) Ayr. 1836 Galt in Tait's Mag. (June) 391:
Ye may think that to say so is rather more like a saft-horn than ye believe I am. (9) Abd. 1922 Wkly. Free Press (7 Jan.) 1:
Aw aye thocht ye hid a saft side t' me, Jeanie. Abd. 1929 1 :
He wis a mealy-mou't customer an' aye lookit tae get up a body's saft side. (11) Slk. 1824 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) xii.:
“What was the bridegroom like?” “A soft-soles — milk-and-water”. (12) Sh. 1897 Shetland News (18 Dec.):
A pritty colour'd cash, spleetin' fou o' saft tabaka. (13) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 201:
Clever ye, lassock, an' no staun an' gape there in my face like a muckle saft-veal! (14) Rnf. 1895 J. Nicholson Kilwuddie 131:
In our lugs saft win' they blaw.
II. adv. In a peaceable quiet state. Phr. to sit soft, to live on peaceful terms (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 20:
Thay canna sit soft; they're aye natterin an fechtin.
III. n. 1. A thaw; rain, moisture (Ags., Per., Lnk., Ayr. 1969). See I. 1. and 2.
Lnk. 1895 W. Stewart Lilts 33, 83:
Oho, boys, oho, for a day at the ice, When auld, snell Daddy Frost hauds a' saft in his vice . . . As slateless laft lets in the saft.
3. Cut tobacco. Cf. I. 4. (12).
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (14 April):
Will you take a fill of soft, Magnus? You always smoke twist, I think.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Saft adj., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Sep 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/saft>
Try an Advanced Search