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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.

Lufe, Luif(e, n.1 Also: luf, luff(e, lwfe, lwff; luiff(e, lwif(e, lwiff, luyf; louf, lowff, lowif; leuf(f; lof(e, loif(f. [ME. luf(e (Layamon, but latterly chiefly north. and north midl.), luffe (15th c.), (north.) lofe (15th c.), OE. lufu fem. Cf. also Lo and Luve.]

1. Love, as a state of feeling or disposition, in various usual applications.Const. in, of, to (till, unto), towards the object of love, or objective genitive.a. Affection, warm regard, friendship, loving approval, loyal attachment; loving concord, mutual goodwill; fondness, liking. See also Amité, Graciosité, Kindnes n. (3 and 4 b), Kinrent, Laute(e n. (1 and 1 b), Liking vbl. n. (1, 1 b and 4), Aw n.1, Dredour n. 2 (c), and other synonyms and antonyms, and Bere v. 4 b, for further examples. See also Self-lufe.b. In the religious use: The love of God for humanity; a person's love of or devotion to God, Christ, a saint etc.c. Love between the sexes: romantic, conjugal or sexual love; also, an instance of this, a love affair. Freq. personified or identified with the god or goddess of love: see also luffis lace, Lace n. 1 (2) and Lace v. 1 c, lufis lair, Lare n. 1 c and 3 (3), luffis law, Law n.1 3 c, and Leit v.2 Common in proverbs and proverbial sayings. Also attrib., and see also Lufe-ballet, -blenk, -drink, -drowry etc.d. Love of possessions, cupidity.a. (1) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 166.
Sike lufe til hyre [Magdalene] had Jhesu swet
Ib. xxi. 576. c1420 Wynt. v. 1360.
[To] regne and reule thaire reawte Wytht luffe and lauche and leawte
1456 Hay I. 77/4, 6.
Men seis Oft tymes that syndry citeis had had grete lufe togeder … anerly of lufe naturale
Ib. 225/13.
Thare is nane sa grete lufe in this warld as is the lufe of the fader to the sone
Ib. II. 91/18. c1460 Consail Vys Man 102.
Gyf euir thow thinkis to wyne his luf
a1500 Rauf C. 857. a1500 Seven S. 1376.
Off it [this tree] my lord has biddin me haf Speciale luf
1513 Doug. vi. xiv. 39.
The feruent lufe [E. luif] of his kynd natyve land
1551 Hamilton Cat. 73. a1578 Pitsc. II. 141/21. 1581 Prot. Bk. J. Robertsone 9 b.
Sic notable … contrareity as hade bene … betuix him and … his spous quhair throw thay culd nocht remane in sober luff and cherety
1586 Jurid. Rev. (1926) XXXVIII. 313.
To keip mwtuall lufe secrecie and kyndenes with him … as our lufing freyendis
1604 Acts IV. 262/1.
They haue gevin ws pruif of thair luffe
(b) 1533 Gau 20/18.
The lwiff that man hes to hyme selff
Ib. 86/16.
Giff vs ane broderlie lwiff to oder
1561 Cal. Sc. P. I. 582.
[To] augment the freindship and luif which must spring of the lyklyhode of these two princesses
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xviii. 36.
So that our heid and leigis do confidder In peax and luif for to remane togidder
Id. Ib. xxi. 27.
With luif thai did thair tennentis treit
1610 Rep. Southesk MSS. 14.
Sum qualite … to kendell my hart with luiff
(c) c 1515 Williamson in Doug. (Sm.) I. xxvii.
[Henry VIII] is the … moost dred with lowff of his … sugettis off eny prince
(d) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 731.
Law warnis and lofe forbedis That ony child [etc.]
Ib. xxvii. 1528.
Ferme in … cheryte & nethbour lof
c1460 Regim. Princ. 18 (M).
Thy lof [v.r. lufe] suld gar thy liegis laulie leif
(e) 1613 Grant Chart 211.
For intertineing of peace, … loiff and frenschip
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii. 5087.
‘Gude freind, for lufe of me, Len me that bow’
1513 Doug. iii. v. 139.
Gret fest … wes maid for luf of ws
1558-66 Knox I. 289.
To absteane for my luif fra persuyt
1563 Melville Chart. 108.
For the lowif and fawour he beris to … his brother
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 24.
Not for luif thai beir to it [papistrie]
a1578 Pitsc. I. 265/5.
The King of Scottis … invaidand his realme for lufe of France
1600 Reg. Privy C. VI. 125.
Upoun luif quhilk thay beir to thair towne
b. (1) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 670.
[H]ewynly luf hafand in thé [the Cross]
Ib. xvi. 793. c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 23/2.
Sen the synnare be his syn tynis the luf and amite of God
a1500 Bernardus 303.
It is a gyft of … God abufe Sende … in to that man for luffe
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 782.
My syn and thi gret lufe
a1578 Pitsc. I. 328/25.
All constante luf in God
(b) 1533 Gau 20/23.
The commandis of God ar na oder thing bot lwiff
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3458.
That speciall luife ingent God had to man
1582 St. A. Kirk S. 477.
Thai ar all … in the luif and feir of God reconcelit togidder
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iv. 206.
That fore the luf of God of hewyn … he wald hym heile
Ib. v. 594.
That quha-se-euire vald almus crafe For luf of Sancte Johne suld hafe
c 1400 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 51.
We beselke … the Kyng for the lufe of Gode that … he walde kepe us … unwrangyt
c1450 Cr. Deyng 254.
The sek man suld ask mercy … of the synis done agane the lufe … of God, and erar for the luf of God, than for dreid of ony payne
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2777.
Help ower … For Goddis lufe
a1500 Rauf C. 45.
Schir, tell me thy richt name, for the rude lufe
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 819.
Mak that course cruel, for Crystis lufe of hevin
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1070.
For luf of Jhesu devoid thé of thi wyce
a1570-86 Dunb. Maitl. F. lxx. 16.
O mankynd, for the luif of thé
c 1580 15th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. ix. 29.
Besekand you for the lwff of Allmychty God to … exsepe thes our sempell offar
c. (1) 1375 Barb. ii. 520.
For luff is off sa mekill mycht That it all paynys makis lych
a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 123.
Sa increly [her] lufit he, That he ne mocht hir luf for-ga
Ib. xxxvii. 13. 1461 Liber Plusc. I. 383.
Euiry wy that are of luffe wes trew
a1500 Henr. III. 147/39. c1475 Wall. vi. 19.
Be luffis cas, he thoucht [for] to persew In Laynryk toune
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 323 b.
Sic blind and daft luf that Paris and Elena had to gidder
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 463.
I wylis haif in luf
Id. lxxxvii. 28.
O ȝing and tendir flour That with thi luff has all this regioun firit
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 110.
Sone remeid of lufe he gat
15.. Christis K. 24 (B).
Scho of lufe wes sillie
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6960.
Ane bill of lufe to him scho leit doun fall
Ib. 8003.
In lufis labour quhen euer that ȝe inlaik
a1568 Scott xxxiv. 58.
Ȝit thair is lesum lufe That lawchfully suld lest
1567 Inv. Q. Mary lvii. n. 4.
Margaret Carwood quha wes preuie and ane helper of all thair lufe
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 43.
The King … lichtly beleuing hir be excesse of lufe
1578 Reg. Privy C. III. 54.
Unitit … in spousale lufe and perfyte cheritie
a1578 Pitsc. I. 362/30.
The ardant luffe that this gentillwoman buire to the King of Scottland
(b) 1535 Stewart 26197.
And luiffis dart thirlit his hart so soir
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 122.
I do ȝow trew luif hecht
1568 Haddington Corr. II. 271.
Judgeit with inordinat luiff
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxix. 86.
Thir gay gallandis … Thair luif tareis bot for ane nicht or tway
c1590 J. Stewart 92/458.
The lord of luife quho birns me all in fyre
(c) c1600 Montg. Suppl. ix. 48.
Seik no louf of mee
(d) c1600 Montg. Suppl. v. 16.
In spaitt of thé … Fra leuff I sell leif ever fre
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii. 7965.
He halely in lufe is laucht
1513 Doug. iii. v. 96.
Orestes … In lufe hait byrning for his spows byreft
(3) 1375 Barb. ii. 515.
Ilkane for luff off thar husband
1492 Myll Spect. 291/3.
This lady schew vnto him how hyr lord deit for hyr luf
a1568 Scott ii. 54.
To fecht with baith thair facis bair For lufe as is the gyis
Id. vi. 27.
A leddy … for luf to tak Ane propir page
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvi. 18.
For luif of ȝow ȝoung lustie ladyis gay
(4) proverbs. a1500 Henr. Fab. 504.
The prouerb sayis, Als gude lufe cummis as gais
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1726. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 8895.
Thay say lufe hes na lak
a1568 Scott xxxiv. 66 (M).
Leill luif ay forloirn is
1567 Sat. P. iv. 28.
Hir licherous luife, quhilk kindlit ouer hait
c1600 Montg. Suppl. vii. 26.
Sen luiffe is blind
(5) attrib. a1500 Seven S. 137.
The empriour kist ye gay ladye And bad hir ask ane luf asking
d. a1500 Colk. Sow I. 481.
For loif of pennyis
1551 Hamilton Cat. 10.
For lufe of rewardis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 198/12.
Sum murdrest … for luiffe of this riche croun
1604 Crim. Trials II. 436.
Only for leuf of geir

e. Liking or desire to do something. a1500 Bk. Chess 1578.
Awarice … is luf inordinate To gadder gold or gudis
1533 Gau 5/30.
That we ma haif lwiff to reid and pray it [the Lord's Prayer]

2. A beloved person, a loved one, espec. a sweetheart. (Said of both men and women.)Often used as a term of endearing address. See also Lemman n. 1.(a) 1375 Barb. iii. 349.
Knychtis for thar luffs sak … wep
a1400 Leg. S. l. 1118. c1460 Thewis Gud Women 156, 8.
The fyrst luf ay be lowyt best, That sche of luf have neuir repruf To do wnlawte to hir lufe [MS. lufee]
a1500 Henr. Orph. 82.
Welcome, lord and luf, schir Orpheus
1490 Irland Mir. I. 135/18, 153/15. 1492 Myll Spect. 278/3.
Quha distroyeit Samsone … bot Dallyda his luf?
1549 Compl. 65/6. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2356.
Sum prayit to Uenus … That thay thare luffis mycht obtene
a1568 Scott xv. 24.
Sweit maistres, lady luffe
a1568 Bann. MS. 227 b/21.
Sen my gud luf was gone
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 48.
My lufe he luifis ane vther lufe
(b) a1570-86 Kennedy Maitl. F. cxvii. 1.
Leiff luif, my luif
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxiv. 8.
Haue mercie, luif
a1540 Freiris Berw. 186 (M).
How sche clippit him bayth hart and luif
a1568 Bann. MS. 228 b/65.
This haif I cled my luif rycht weill
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxix. 73.
Hairt and sueit luiff and onlie maistres myne
Ib. lxvi. 112.
I will nather haue seruitour nor luif
(c) a1568 Scott v. 50.
To kiss his loif on Buchone wyis

b. An illicit lover, a paramour. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 120.
I dar nought luk to my luf for that lene gib
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3448.
My wife … on hir lufe lyand in harlatrie
Ib. 4147.
Kirkmen bene mair kinde to thair lufis Than vtheris ar
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1165.
Mak a licht luf of your awin sweir ers

3. ? Mourning-crape. = Luve n. 3. 1613 Edinb. Test. XLVII. 359.
Tua elnis callit luf at aucht s. the elne

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"Lufe n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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