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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mufe, Mofe, Moif, v. Also: muf(f, mwf(f, muife, muif(f, mwif(f; mof(f)-, moife, moiff(e, moyf(f; mouf(e, mowff(e; mewf. [Late ME. mofe (c 1440), moffe (York Plays), otherwise appar. only Scots: cf. Move (and Meve).] To move, in various senses of Move v.

1. tr. a. To move (part of the body) physically. b. To move (military forces) against (an enemy) = Move v. 1 and 2.a. a1500 Bk. Chess 1912.
He durst nocht muf his hed
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4964.
Than that image to ony ilk regioun It had respect … Wald mufe the face
c1590 J. Stewart II. 17/88.
Scho … muifs hir heils, his [the horse's] speid for to compell
b. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 4570.
The Empreour … is muifing his ordinance Against the nobill King of France

c. fig. To move, budge, cause to alter or change (a person's purpose or attitude). — c1600 Montg. Suppl. v. 30.
Na presens nor perswationis slie Sell newer mouf my mynd ane inch

d. fig. ? To turn (one's thought) to (on) a matter. — c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 252.
I allane was left but companie, Thinkand better on this to muif my thocht, Nor ryde with thame

2. a. To make (war, etc.). b. To stir up, start (trouble, quarrelling, dissension, etc.).a. c1420 Wynt. ii. 17 (C).
Al the landis of Sithi … latthe was bargan for to moyff [R. mowe, W. mufe], Or in til were thar pithtis pruff
Ib. iii. 896 (C).
This Cirus was in gret trawale And moffande [R. mowand, W. muffit] were and harde bataile
1513 Doug. xi. vi. 61 (E) (see Move v. 3).
Mofing (infin.)
1535 Stewart 19188.
Mufe [: lufe]
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xxvii. 11.
And gif we mufe the weir oure sell We say we haue ane gude quarrell
b. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 18 (A).
Gif ane of tha strangis man will plenȝe on ane other of wrang muffyt be twen thaim
14.. Acts I. 359/1.
Sum querell muffyt betuix sum burges of our toun of Lanark that is to wyt quhether [etc.]
a1500 Bk. Chess 477.
To mofe discord in to that regioun
1533 Bell. Livy I. 268/9. 1570 Sat. P. xx. 149.
And this thay mufe for thair behufe To place thair awin of spring
Ib. xxi. 2.
Quhat menis thir mischant murtherars In muifing mair mischeif

c. To bring (an action at law).active 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 48.
The woman forsuth may nocht muff mut effectuisly for outyn [etc.]
1422 Stirling Chart. 209.
Gyf it hapynnis me … til agayne say or mowffe mwt or stryfe or pled agayne this wed settyng
1545 Grant Chart. 97.
1556 Ib. 120.
passive 1428 Wemyss Chart. II. 57.
Throw ony othir cause, mufit or to be mufit
1480 Hist. Carnegie 521.
1491 Lennox Mun. 143.
To tak part … in all accionis and quharelis to be muffyt, leffull and honest
1522 Acta Conc. MS. XXXIII. 27 b.
Movit or to be mufit
1576 Rec. Earld. Orkney 138.

d. To bring about, cause, produce (a state of affairs). — 1528 St. P. Henry VIII IV. i. 500.
That wald ony vyse … procur to brek our kindnes, or moiffe ony occasioun quharby our luf mycht be ony vyse myniste
1528 Lynd. Dreme 811.
Quhate dois mufe our misere? Or quhareof dois proceid our pouertie?

e. To induce or arouse (sympathy or the like) by acting upon the emotions. — 1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 47.
With teiris alswa addit to mufe credite befoir men notabill

3. a. To propose or suggest (something to be done). b. To put forward, propound (some question for discussion).a. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 746.
Quhat caus movit thé Cum … to speik with me … And mufis to me sic materis of discord
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6735.
Scho was the first the mater mufit and bred
b. a1538 Abell 113 b.
On this I moif ane question mixt of jure and theologe
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8485.
Quhen this was mufit to all the counsall thair Thair was na man the questioun culd declair

4. a. To trouble, disquiet, perturb, perplex. Also reflex., to be perturbed or vexed.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii. 2465.
I am sa ioyfull alluterlie That thare is nathing me to mufe
1586 Cal. Sc. P. VIII. 592.
Thair is ane thing muffis me mykill, quhat soulde be the occasione of hir graces caulde ansuer
(2) 1509 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 266.
And als moiffis our conscience that we war sa lang in doing of the samyn for the … skaith of the parte
(3) 1567 G. Ball. 96.
reflex. And mufe thé not at thair prosperitie That leuis all thair lyfe wrangouslie
(4) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 4861.
passive Quhat is the caus that ȝe ar muifit so?
Ib. 8931.
I wait not weill for to be mufit or glaid At ȝour message

b. To excite. c. To rouse, to incense.b. a1568 Scott x. 45.
For scho dois moif My hairt aboif To se hir proper persoun small
c. a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 352.
Lo, quhat it is … With fraward langage for to mufe and steir Our craibit goddis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3432.
That … lychorie … did mofe God tyll sic yre, That [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7797.
Ȝour sturt it mufis me
Ib. 4397. 1582 Maxwell Mem. II. 151.
Quhilk muiffit hir to ane greit displesour the tyme of hir lyen

d. To affect with emotion, to stir, touch. (Passing into 5 b). — a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1180.
For to speike … Off hell … It suld … mychtely mufe manly memoriale To breke the baneful bondage of Beliall
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7016.
He spak to hir of lufe, Quhilk in ane part hir hart greitlie did mufe
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 46.
Nouther is scho anis mufit with the louing doingis nor with the wretchit plicht … of hir husband

5. a. Of persons, etc.: To influence, persuade, urge. b. Of considerations, circumstances, etc.: To influence, actuate, impel, motivate.a. (1) c1475 Wall. vi. 678.
Schir, gyff ye contermyt be, To mowff yow mor it afferis nocht for me
1593 Maxwell Mem. II. 171.
Ȝe man mak my lord chanslar to mwif his magestie as I sall gif his lordschip informatioun
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xli. 31.
For thow wilt mis ane moderatour, Quhais presence mufit greit and small
1596 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 14.
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 4360.
O wickit wife Mahoun thy hart hes mufit, To do sic thing
1571 Sat. P. xxvi. 11.
(3) a1568 Scott xvi. 17.
I suld his mynd to mercy mufe
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 205.
It suld be ȝe, throw preiching, suld me mufe [: lufe] To cheritie
(4) 1586 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 91.
Moiff his majeste that ane may cowm away weill instroktitt
(5) 1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 15.
They uoold gooe on with ther resolutiounes … if I uoold promis to moufe your Matti in ther behalf
1667 Laing MSS. I. 363.
Before this cum to your hands you will have mufied the King for them
b. (1) 1513 Doug. iv. v. 177 (Sm.).
Gif that na lavde ne honour mofe thé list
a1568 Scott xxxiv. 97.
Quhair money may ȝow moif I hald it aweryce
absol. 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xl. 90.
Becaus exempills fetchit far Mufis not so muche as thay thingis quhilk we se
(2) 1567 G. Ball. 109.
Thow swelland sey, quhat muifit thé to fle?
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xl. 323. Id. Ib. xlii. 133. a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xcviii. 75. 1593 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I. 261. 1602 Reg. Privy C. VI. 862.
The gud affectioun I bere to his majestie and subjectis mewfit me to withstand the samyn
(3) 1527 Bk. O. Edinb. C. XI. 115.
To schaw yow sic resonable causis as sall muf us therto for the tyme
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1742.
The hound and halk … to myrth thay rasit himoft and mufit
1589 Cal. Sc. P. X. 100.
Quhilk mwiffs sume jalows maen to feir
1580 Hume Promine 105.
(4) 1428 Liber Aberbr. II. 58.
The said Jhon … moffit of consciens has … grantit [etc.]
1570 Leslie 59.
Mofeit throch invy

6. intr. To go forward, advance, proceed.(1) c1450-2 Howlat 676.
All thus thai mufe to the meit & the merschale Gart bring watter to wesche
a1500 Henr. III. 146/6.
Quhen fra the hevinly sete abufe In message Gabriell couth muf And with myld Mary metis
c1475 Wall. viii. 1457.
Our ost sall mwff na thing Quhyll tym [etc.]
a1538 Abell 58 b.
Sa that gife Yngland mowit batell on France, the Scottis & Pichtis suld moif on Yngland
Ib. 77 a.
Sa that He tholis thame [His creatures] to mwf thare awne naturall wais
1559 Cal. Sc. P. I. 282. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 77 (W).
Bot as I muiffit myne allane I sawe ane ryuer rin
c1590 Fowler I. 33/171.
Heir standeth lykwyse Demophon, with him dois Phillis mwiff
(2) c1450-2 Howlat 396.
Furth on my matir to muse I mufe as I may

b. Said of a piece in chess: To move, be moved (out of check). — a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 201 (.
For vnder cuire I got sic check That I micht neither muife nor neck

7. To change position; to budge, stir. 1513 Doug. v. viii. 32 (Sm.).
Entellus standis stif … Nocht moiffand fra his first stand
1567 G. Ball. 109.
The montanis muifit & ran athort lyke rammis

8. Of natural phenomena: To undergo alteration, to change. Of human powers: To wane, decay. c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 498.
Thar sal cum a tyme at the vertuous of the hie hewyne sal mofe
a1568 Scott xxxi. 4.
His mynd sall moif But rest or ruve … to the deid

9. Of war or strife: To arise, take place, exist. (Cf. sense 2.) 1528 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I. 261.
Sa that weir sal happin to mufe therthrow
a1568 Scott i. 46.
Be bissie now to banish all debatis Betuix kirkmen and temporall men dois mufe

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"Mufe v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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