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

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Triffil(l, Trifle, n. Also: triffell, triffle, triphle, tryf(f)il(l, tryfle, trefell, thriffil. [ME and e.m.E. trufle (Ancr. R.), trifle, tryffel (both 1297), tryfyl (Manning), trifil (Wyclif), OF trufle.]

1. A trifling matter, a matter of little importance. (a) I pray ȝour Lordschip appardone me that I molest ȝou with sic tryfills; 1559 Q. Kennedy in Misc. Wodrow Soc. 267.
Gif ȝe allege ony occasioun of idolatrie at the saidis sepulturis, that trifle [MS thriffil] is na excuis to ȝou; Winȝet I 113/18.
The Lordis bell … biddis in plaine, leue ȝour triffillis vane; G. Ball. 231.
Thai tyrit God with tryfillis, tvme trentalis; Scott i 89.
Tryfle; Buch. Detect. (1727) 9.
Tricae, tryffillis [1617 trifles] and nochtie impedimentis; Despauter (1579).
The materis than confessit … be him wer bot triffillis in respect of uthiris of greitar importance; 1585 Reg. Privy C. IV 32.
Ineptia, toyes, trifles; Carmichael Etym. 34.
Mirrie companyouns say atte thair wyne that all our trubillis ar bott tryfills to get moir gowld frome Ingland; 1591 Cal. Sc. P. X 542.
I feare some midge catchers may informe your Maiestie of suche triffles; 1599 Maxwell Mem. II 39.
Triphle; 1645 Cuningham Journal 124.
(b) My anesor was, I wald nocht go with ane trefell to your grace, nor to non that bair reuell onder your grace; 1547–8 Cal. Sc. P. I 97.

b. A trifling sum of money. I newir trettit with his lordship … excep for ane letill particular triffill quhilk ȝe knaw passis not the walour … twa houndret crowns; 1570 Cal. Sc. P. III 517.
Quhen they will not haissart ane triffell of menes, they will neuir haissart lyff and for toune; Honours Scotl. 121.

2. A thing or artifact of little importance or value. In thame [sc. ships] war gotten sum horse and muche harners, with sum uther triffilis; but of money we hard nocht; Knox II 12.
Thair restis to be had to hir abilyementis sum pasmentis of gold and vther tryffillis of na greit valu; 1566 Facs. Nat. MSS III lii.

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"Triffil(l n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/triffill_n>



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