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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, v.1 Also: luf(f, lwf(e; luiff, lwiff; louf(e, lowffe; lofe, loif. Pres. t. lufis, luffis etc. P.t. and p.p. lufit, luffit etc. [ME. lufenn (Orm), lufie, lufe (north., 1340), loufe (15th c.), lofvie (13th c.), p.t. and p.p. luf(e)d(e (14th c.), luffed (15th c.), lofde (14th c.), var. of Luve v.1] To love or like.The common intensifying adverbs are wele (better, best), mekill (mair maist) and gretly. Such adverbs as nocht, never a deill, ill (war, warst), litill (les, leist), reverse the sense, implying more or less active dislike.For some ambiguities with Lof(e v., see Luf(e v.2

1. tr. To bear love to, to have affection, friendship or regard for, to hold dear (a person, nation etc.).(a) 1375 Barb. xvi. 600 (E).
Quha luffis his lord or his cuntre, Turne smertly now agayne with me
Ib. xv. 518. 1456 Hay I. 190/1.
Thai hate us dedely and lufis us nocht and we lufe thame bot lytill
Ib. II. 153/22.
And gif he wald counsale thé to tak apon the pure peple, he luffis thé ȝit wer
1494 Loutfut MS. 15 b.
[The lion] is a rycht suet best and luffand thaim that dois him gud
1513 Doug. ii. xii. 55.
Lufe weil and keip fra skath Our a ȝong son
Ib. iv. Prol. 137, 8. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 48.
Quha evir luffis ony creature abone God
Ib. 73.
Quhen our plesour quhilk we get be him [a friend] ceissis thane incontinent we ceis to lufe him
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary I. 100.
That he is our husband whom we will bayth luff and honour
1600 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. lxxvi.
And then I cair nocht qha get vit that lufis vs
(b) 1533 Gau 21/6.
That euerie ane of ȝow lwiff oder as I haiff lwffit ȝow
Ib. 25/33.
It is mair neidful to forbeid man to lwiff hime selff
1569 Misc. Bann. C. I. 47.*
I can nocht giff yow ane verray wittie consall bot I luif yow weill aneughe
1610 Rep. Southesk MSS. 14.
Ȝour wirth … welis me honor and luiff ȝow maire
(c) c 1515 Williamson in Doug. (Sm.) I. xxii.
[Induce Queen Margaret to go to England] yff ye lowffe hir and your blood
(b) 1375 Barb. vii. 136.
The Kyng … Persauit … That thai lufit hym in na thing
Ib. x. 292 (E).
Gud knychtis he luffyt [C. lufit] ay
Ib. I. 360, 379, vi. 498. c1420 Wynt. ii. 376.
Sowerandly hys lard hym lufyt [: pruwyt]
1456 Hay I. 62/10.
For mony ane of the commoun lufit him and the grete that lufit him nocht doubtit him
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 149.(b) 1535 Stewart 1862.
In his lyfe tha luifit him attour all thing
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii. 239. 1570 Sat. P. xvii. 45.
[He] His peple luifit and cairit for the leist
1594 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) II. 248.
[He concealed the crime because] he luiffit the laird of Ardkinglas best of ony man levand
(c) c1420 Wynt. ii. 334.
Wytht the kyng welle lufyt wes he Off Egypt
1456 Hay II. 12/34.
Sa suld he ger him self be dred and lufit of his folk
1461 Liber Plusc. 388.
Think how scho … Baith luffit and louit with God and man has beyn
1513 Doug. xiii. xi. 35.
Thow knawys quhou strangly the mychty Ene … luffyt haue I
a1538 Abell 18 b.
Weill manerit, luffit be the pepill
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8625.
With ȝoung and auld wonder weill he was lufit
a1578 Pitsc. I. 60/22.
Gif they be luffit on the ane part be goode men for thair worthe behaviour [etc.]
(b) 1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV. i. 117.
Quhome … I have luiffit als dearly as evir I did … ony levand creature
1571 J. Maitland Sat. P. xxvii. 127.
As thow leiffis, so luiffit be and lest

b. In the religious sense.(1) a1400 Leg. S. v. 5.
Fore God luffyt hym mare Thane al the lafe
Ib. xvi. 371.
Thane God that luffit hir tendirly Hyre prayer hard
1490 Irland Mir. I. 112/17.
That sche was best lufit with hire hevinly fader eternale
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxix. 76.
Think nocht thairfoir He luifis thea. ill
1567 G. Ball. 71.
Quha traists in Him, He wil thame lufe
Ib. 150.
Sen nane thé luiffit sa weill as I, Be war I hait thé not
1600 Hamilton in Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 231/10.
To obtein fulnes of grace … to vthers whome scho luifis
(2) 1375 Barb. xii. 171 (E).
Lordingis, we aucht to love and luff All mychty God
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 590.
One that gebat syne … That thu sa luffis, suthly be done
Ib. 678.
For that I Has luffit thé [the Cross] lange enkrely
Ib. xxxiii. 648.
Tho that thai [pagan gods] be sa mychty Ws awcht luf thaim for thare mercy
1456 Hay I. 203/19.
Luf thy God our all thing, and thy nychtbour as thy self
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 3/19.
The quhilk peple me think luffis the word of God
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xcvii. 48.
With mouthe we say we luif the Lord And far fra Him in oure intent
1580 Hume Promine 168.
Thay [God] in him be ay glorifeit, Luifit, honourd

c. absol. c1420 Ratis R. 627.
Luf as thou wald louit be
1456 Hay I. 77/12.
Ȝit will thai lufe as brethir togeder
Sum lufis and sawe neuer bot herd speke of ane othir

2. To be in love with, to love passionately (a person of the opposite sex); also, to have as a lover. Also transf. and absol.With the absol. use, cf. also Luf(e (to live), with which there may be ambiguity.(1) 1375 Barb. viii. 492.
Ane lady That he lufit per drowry
a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 24.
Hir husbandis bruthyre Hyre lufit mare than ony vthyre
Ib. xxxi. 422.
A fare man Quham for beute … The emprice luffit paramoure
1456 Hay I. 286/34.
Or that he lufis his lady better na he dois
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 185.
He lukis as he wald luffit be, thocht he be litill of valour
Ib. 498.
Thar is no liffand leid … That sall me luf vnluffit
1513 Doug. i. vi. 69.
Sycheus … strangly luffit of the silly Dido
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 133.
That a madyne sa he lofit That he mycht nocht be remowit
(c) a1570-86 Dunb. Maitl. F. cxxxiv. 28.
Na leyd I luiffit all this owk
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 38.
[She] schot away from hir … the ȝoung gentilman, beautifull neir of hir kyn and (that maist is) inteirly luifing hir
c1600 Montg. Suppl. ii. 3.
Ȝe haue ane luif as kynd As euer luifit weicht
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 30.
I luif the lufe that luifis not me
transf. c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxv. 63.
Bot now I luif that graceles gane
(2) absol. c1420 Wynt. iii. 397.
It is suet lykyng … To lufffe and [to] be lufyt agayne
a1500 Henr. Robene & M. 55.
Ga lufe, Makyne, quhair evir thow list
c1475 Wall. v. 621.
Sen ye sa luff, tak hir in mariage
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlv. 28.
It is ane pount of ignorance, To lufe in sic distemperance
1570 Sat. P. x. 143.
Thay lufit sa togidder That [etc.]
c1600 Montg. Suppl. i. 1, etc.
Luif still in hope with pacience, My gentill hairt

3. To be strongly attached to, to hold dear, to cherish (a principle, one's life or honour, etc.).(a) 1375 Barb. i. 364.
[He] our all thing luffyt lawte; Leavte to luff is gretumly [H. no folly]
Ib. x. 285 (C), xx. 516. 1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 58.
Syne it twichis the kyrke & at ȝe luf the vphauld thar of sa wele as ȝe do
c1420 Ratis R. 1794.
Quharfor it [vice] suld be lufyt les Than suld vertew be
1456 Hay I. 78/24.
Gif … the tane lufit justice and the tothir … ref
Ib. II. 60/31.
Humilitee and fortitude are twa vertues that lufis evynlynes
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1466. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 178/6.
Euery man of … gud corage suld better luf … honest dede than to lif in schame
1533 Boece ii. i. 57.
Gude men thankfull and luffing vertewe
1573 Sat. P. xlii. 134.
Gif that ȝe understude The gude respectis hes thame mufit To mak this ordour ȝe wald lufe it
1600 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. lxxvi.
As ye luf your awin lyf
(b) a1538 Abell 31 b.
Thai luif buddis and rewardis and subuertis iustice
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xxv. 27.
Luif [Q. Louf] peace and rest
1596 Dalr. I. 153/24.
A prince … quha luifed ay weil peice and quyetnes
1600 Crim. Trials II. 175.(c) 1548–9 Corr. M. Lorraine 292.
It cumis of ane gud hart as than [sic] that loifis bath the honour of Scotland and France

4. To take pleasure in; to enjoy having or using; to be devoted or addicted to (a possession, a practice, etc.).(1) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 889.
Nero … That luffit sa this schort delyt
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 117.
Men lufys nocht for the gyrthis the wyne
a1487 Gud Wife & D. 157.
Luf nocht gret sleping na ȝeit sueirnas
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 456.
He luifit ouer weil ȝong counsel
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 346.
Thow lufis nane Irische, elf, I vnderstand
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 134.
Vespasiane gude painteris lufit weill
1600 Misc. Bann. C. I. 155.
He had these characteris ay upon him quhilk he luifit sa
1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 12.
Your Maiestie heath hard … that they loufe monie, yett itt will not uoork with them
(2) a1500 Prestis of Peblis 457.
Ȝong men he luifit to be him neist
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1622.
The cat luifes fish to eat but [etc.]

b. To take pleasure, to like, please, choose or desire (to do something). c1420 Ratis R. 401.
Luf nocht til haf in strif With thi nychtbouris
Ib. 997. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 354.
One mornys thai luf weill to slep
c1420 Wynt. v. 2577 (C).
‘Gif thou luffis [R. likys]’, he said, ‘to luk’ [etc.]
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 17.
Thai luffit nocht with ladry … to trawell in the tovne
a1500 Seven S. 1832.
Thin almous deid, That lufis pure folk to cleith & feid
1545 Wemyss Corr. 6.
As ye lufe to schaw your self afauldlie effectit to serue the Quenis Graces auctorite

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"Lufe v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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