Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

TAIVER, v.1, n.1 Also ta(e)ver; teever (Uls. 1953 Traynor). [′te:vər; Uls. + ′ti:vər]

I. v. 1. intr. To roam about aimlessly or idly (Sc. 1808 Jam., obs.); to dally, trifle, waste time (Slg., Lnk., Ayr. 1972). Sc. 1813  The Scotchman 120:
[He] had revealt the secrets o the Rockin to a bit lassie that he had been taverin wi.

2. To wander in mind or speech, to talk foolishly or incoherently, to rave (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per. 1972); to become confused through weariness or exhaustion (Uls. 1953 Traynor). Rnf. 1813  G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 51:
Your tongue begins to taver.
Rnf. 1876  D. Gilmour Paisley Weavers 6:
I kenna hoo I hae sic patience with him when he tavers at een here.

3. tr. To annoy, vex, irritate (Uls. 1953 Traynor); to bewilder or confuse with much talk or questioning (Ib.); to lead astray. Kcb. 1861  R. Quinn Heather Lintie 19:
My head I fin' it only tavers The cause to seek oot o' their haivers.
Edb. 1916  T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's i. 19:
Their ain lives it'll be, that they'll taiver an' smoor in the lang-run.
Per. 1950 4 :
That question'll taiver him.

4. Freq. in derivs.: (1) ta(i)vert, bewildered, mentally confused or played out, esp. through exhaustion or harrassment (Sc. 1808 Jam.; wm.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Per., Slg., Fif. 1972), stupefied with drink; stupid, muddle-headed, slow- or half-witted (Sc. 1818 Sawers). Hence taivertness, stupidity, ¶taiverty, a stupid person; (2) taiversome, -sum, teever-, tedious, wearisome (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor); annoying, vexatious (Traynor). (1) Ayr. 1822  Galt Entail lv.:
He's just silly, and tavert, and heedless.
Ayr. 1833  J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 233:
Sarah, ye aul' taverty! whare are ye?
Gsw. 1879  A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 55:
Shrunk in the shanks an' taiver't in the heid.
Ayr. 1890  J. Service Notandums 73:
A taivert tawpie wi' her hair hingin' doon her back in pennyworths.
Slg. 1898  W. Drysdale Old Faces 147:
Jock had got “taivert”, and was unable to do anything for a living.
Kcb. 1904  Crockett Strong Mac. i.:
Though the shadow also grew upon his face — “tavert” was what the people called his aspect.
Sc. 1913  H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ iii. xii.:
Throwe taivertness an' blin'ness men understaun na this.
Sc. 1928  J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 17:
Tammy's taivert phantasie.

II. n. In pl.: idle, foolish talk (Rnf. c.1920; Slg., Ayr. 1972). Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms xxxix. 12:
Be-na ye whush at my taivers.
Ayr. 1895  H. Ochiltree Redburn x.:
I saw ye wanted to come wi' me, but my auntie wi' her taivers gansell'd ye oot o't.

[O.Sc. tavert, bewildered, 1535, tavering, wandering, a.1598, freq. form of Mid.Eng. tave, to struggle, throw oneself about. Cf. Norw. dial. tavra, to go about in a daze, tava, to struggle without effect, waste time, fumble, falter in one's speech, be decrepit, poss. related to Taiver, n.2, v.2 For a variant form of the word see Tevel.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Taiver v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down