A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Elf, n. Also: elfe, elff(e, elph(e, pl. elvys, -is. [ME. elfe, elf (also alfe), OE. ælf.]

1. An elf, a fairy. Thouch scho be like ane elf, Thare is na cause to plenye; Henr. Orph. 242.
Ignorant elf, aip, owll irregular; Kennedy Flyt. 36.
Thow lufis nane Irische, elf, I vnderstand; Ib. 345.
Nymphis and Fawnys, … Quhilk fairfolkis, or than elvys, clepyng we; Doug. viii. vi. 7.
I wirschip nowder ydoll, stok, nor elf; Ib. x. Prol. 154.
Leyd nocht thy lyf lyk ane elf That our the feild can slyde; Maitl. F. lxxvi. 51.
Ane elphe, ane elvasche incubus; Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 7.
Half ane elph, haif an aip, of nature denyit; Montg. Flyt. 256 (T).
Ilk elffe of them all brought ane almous hous oster; Ib. 466 (H).
Thow affirmis that the elphis hes schapes and claythis lyk men … bot ar starker nor men; 1598 Misc. Spald. C. I. 121.

2. Attrib. and comb. with boy, bull, folk, schot (n. and p.p.), shooting. As for elf-arrow-heidis, the Devill shapes them (and delivers them) to elf-boyis; 1662 Crim. Trials III. 607.
Ther wes elfbullis rowtting and skoylling vp and downe thair; Ib. 604.
That thow wald gang in hillis to speik the elff folk; 1590 Digest Justiciary Proc. M. 22.
Never to be but schot of blude Or elf schot, thus to conclude; Rowll Cursing 68 (M).
Scho be hir wichcraft declarit, that the seiknes that he had was ane elfschot; 1591 Crim. Trials I. iii. 231.
When kine wer elfe-shote … [She] confessed that shee had so graiped certaine kine; 1650 Maxwell Mem. I. 352.
Elfe shooteing cured by three fingeris of different persons putt in the holl; 1650 Ib. 358.

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"Elf n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/elf>



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