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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Gif, Gyf, conj. Also: giff(e, gyff(e, gife, gyfe. [Var. of ME. if, OE. ᵹif, by assimilation to Gif v. Cf. Gef, Geve, Give conj.] If; whether.(a) 1375 Barb. iv. 106.
Gif na had beyn thair fals tresoune
1399 Holyrood Chart. 113.
Gif the fiffe mark … mai be recuverit of him
1424 Acts II. 8.
Gif thar be ony pur creatur, that … may nocht folow his caus
1456 Hay I. 39/26.
Gif he wald mak were … , he suld help him
1478 Acta Aud. 83/2.
Vnsuspect personis … of vther burowis … , gif neid be
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 238/2.
The said lettres, … gif ony be fals or fenȝeit, to be adnullit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 831.
Gif we delay, … Our deid is dicht
1585 James VI Ess. 60.
Gif your lyne be of aucht fete
1618 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 356.
Gif he wer out of the towne
1658 Paisley B. Rec. 100.
As … onie of thame … micht have done gif thaye had not made thir presents
(b) 1405 James of Douglas Letter to Henry IV in Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
Giffe the trewis sall stande it lyes to yhour heenes [etc.]
1466 Reg. Dunfermline 356.
To mak a mylne … giff it be sene spedfull till ws
1533 Gau 13/25.
Oders quhilk takis the nayme of God in uane (giff thay cane in oni maner)
1562-3 Winȝet I. 106/28.
Ȝowr ansuer heir schaw giffe ȝe think sa … or giff ȝe failȝeit in ȝour office
1588 King Cat. h iv.
Giff ȝe find nocht the same, take the nixt les
1621 Acts IV. 603/2.
Giff they faill [in paying] at the bypassing … of the saidis termes
(c) 1375 Barb. i. 210.
Gyf ony wald thaim withsay
a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 597.
Be nocht anoyt gyf thi wyf slepe
14.. Acts I. 304/2.
Gyf thir bestis be of ony fre haldand man
c1420 Ratis R. 633.
A rich man gyf that thow bee
1481 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 329.
[To obtain] confirmatione … , gyf nede be, of the said gyft
1515 Douglas Corr. 71.
Gyf we had money, I trast we suld debayt weyll eneuch our adversaries
c1568 Lauder Minor P. Title-p.
Gyf thou be reprobat, or chosin, it sal declair
(d) 1375 Barb. i. 201.
Gyff ony thar-at war wrath
Ib. 612.
The king … askyt gyff it enselyt he
c1420 Wynt. iv. 33.
In tyll this part gyffe yhe procede
Ib. viii. 907.
Fre king gyff he beis off Scotland
1427 Melville Chart. 21.
Gyffe it hapnys the said Mergret to disseis
c1475 Wall. iv. 73.
Gyff ony be deide befor ws vpon cas
1510 Misc. Spald. C. V. 375.
Gyff … Wilȝam can mak the said lands … fre to the said Jhone
1554 Holyrood Chart. 294.
Gyff neid beys, [we] commandis [etc.]
1599 Ellon Presb. 38.
That sick kirk officiars suld be chosen … as culd wrytte and reid, gyff they mycht be haid
(e) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 277.
Gyfe thame thu cleth and fede, Thu sal dere by
1398 Liber Melros 488.
Gife qviete and trewis be betwix Ingland and Scotland
1437 Reg. Dunfermline 285.
Gife ony rynryg be les than it aucht to be it sal be amendit
1499 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 625.
Gyfe ony of the tenandis … sall hapin … to be arestit
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 249/1.
Gife the landis … beys fundin … to pertene to the kingis hienes
1551 Corr. M. Lorraine 345.
I thocht it neidfull to breik with my lord governour gife he harde ony thing of this sclander
a1568 Scott ii. 117.
Gife thow wald this lady win, Cum furth

b. Accompanied by that. 1375 Barb. xii. 272.
Gif that vs fallis … Hap to vencus the gret battale
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 596.
Josaphus speryt thane, Gyffe that Tytus had ony man [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. ii. 695.
To se that land … Gyff that it was eyth to wyn
Ib. 859.
Gyffe that yhe Wele nere the last end rede and se
?1438 Alex. i. 699.
Ga furth, gif that thi willis be
Ib. ii. 178.
Gif that ȝe hald ȝour hecht to me
c1420 Ratis R. 739.
A clerk gif that thow be, I pray thé reid the buk
1535 Stewart 144.
Gif that ȝe can, Commit this mater till sum other man
Ib. 26302.
I can nocht tell gif that he wes his bruther
1571 Bann. Memor. 102.
I will only ansuer his ‘gif’ with ane vther; and so say, Gif that be groundit vpoun guid reasone [etc.]
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cii. 31.
Giff that we wald be Relevit of oere pane

c. Bot gif, unless. See Bot conj. 1 b.

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"Gif conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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