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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Hef, Heff, v. Also hyf. Pres. t. hes (his, heth, heath); p.t. hed, hid; p.p. hed, hyd. [Var. of Haf v. Cf. ME. 3 pres. Heþ, p.p. hedde, pl. hedden. For hefe, heif(f, heaff, p.t. heid, see Heve v.2] To have, in various applications.

1. tr. With direct object. To have, possess, get, etc.(a) (a) 1460 Swintons App. xliii.
Gif ony person lattis justice. .thai hef gret charge in thair saul
1518 Fife Sheriff Ct. 134.
That he mycht hef restorans agane of the said catel
1542 Acts II. 415/2.
The said acte sall hef na place … bot aganis the airis
  1549 Compl. 96/35.
To hef ane lecens to pas in ony strange cuntre
1554 Reg. Cupar A. II. 252.
Eftir his … deces the said Johnne to heff the tak
1558 Inverness B. Rec. I. 18.
I hef be gyft … ane aquavitte pot
(a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. clxv. 4.
Ȝe heff a dangerous dog
(b) 1549 Compl. 2/26.
Gode … , heffand compassione of his pure pepil
Ib. 70/23.
Heffand ane beuk in his hand
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxiii. 19.
Sum heffand Aneuche in hand
c1615 Chron. Kings 17.
Heffing intelligence of certane … seditiouns
(c) 1513 Doug. i. viii. 129.
We … nane sa blait breistis hes
1562-3 Winȝet I. 65/21.
Seing … that the bischoipis … hes nocht that spirit of fortitude
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Furche.
Like as ane fork hes twa graines
1643 Baillie II. 108.
His house … hes a good fyre
1643 Misc. Abbotsford C. 183.
Your husband hes the beanschaw
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxv. 108.
Mony man … thar-of hed ferly thane
1497 Treas. Acc. I. 361.
To thaim that hed the grantgor
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 207.
Hed I that plesand prevelege
1538 Breadalbane Doc. (Reg. H.) No. 48.
Ane cleme at the said Archibald hed to the landis
1549 Compl. 44/36.
Pericles, quha hed the gouuerning of the comont veil of Athenes
(c)  1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 226.
The gryt chans I hyf hyd
1619 Garden Elphinston 1973.
His new College Churche, He furnisht thus, as he had hed The powar of a Prence

b. With various complements. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 752.
This Farcare hed hym til his towne
1496 Treas. Acc. I. 283.
The … treis that the flude hed away
1501 Ib. II. 123.
To the feryaris … that hed the King our the watir
1529 Red Bk. Menteith II. 391.
For certen materis we hef ado
1535 Stewart 59174.
The governour … wes … hed [on] to the law that tyme
1549 Compl. 5/5.
The … kingis hes hed diuerse tymes … veyr contrar vthirs
Ib. 14/25.
Ane captan heffand his enemye before his ee
a1568 Scott xxxiii. 39.
Thow hes thy horne ay in thair syde
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxiv. 51.
Our souerane lord to this mater heff E

2. As an auxiliary verb.(a) 1542 Acts II. 417/1.
Decernand the saidis personis to heff forfaltit thair lif
1562-3 Winȝet I. 50/16.
I persauit [them] … to hef subdewit … thair miserable scoleris
Ib. 38/15.
As we hef said
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxiv. 6.
The baronis sayis that thai heff far mair spendit [etc.]
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 112.
Thei belewit the hows suld hef fallin doun
1602 Ib. II. 290.
We heff chosin … to conclud charite
c1615 Chron. Kings 171.
Heffand takine ane seller beneth … the Parliament hous
1513 Doug. ix. x. 77.
Hys bow with horsis sennonys bend hes he
a1568 Scott i. 87.
This grit abuse [that] hes bene
a1578 Pitsc. I. 122/24.
Thocht hie and I hes nocht beue at ane
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 114.
I sall gar thé forthink it that thow hes tirrit my hows
1643 Misc. Hist. Soc. I. 118.
Ȝour … letteris … quhilk hes castin hir in sik a golph of greiff
1665Forbes Baron Ct. 263.
Thomas Adame hes … found … his father cationer, that [etc.]
1682 Dunferm. Hammermen 17.
The wholl craft. .heath ordered that [etc.]
Without he heath ben a deacon
(b) 1549 Compl. 68/8.
My eene greu as fast to gydder as thai hed bene gleuit
1666 Laing MSS. I. 349.
Some others that hid neamd you and Crafurd

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"Hef v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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