Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
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BLAW, BLA', BLAA, Blyave, Blyaver, n.1
1. “A blast, a gust” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Abd.19, Abd.22 1934). As in St.Eng. blow.Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet Intro. 6:
Sae the wee thing cow'rs in the chilly blaw.w.Dmf. 1915 J. L. Waugh Betty Grier vi.:
Imphm! the wind's changin', Maister Weelum, to the nor'-east. That means a bla' doon your lum, I'm thinkin'.
2. Breath, hence rest (Sh., Ayr. 2000s).Mearns 1890 J. Kerr Reminisc. of a Wanderer I. 23; Ags.2, Fif.1 1934:
We micht just sit down here an' tak' a bit blaw.Gsw. 1988:
Ah'll huv a blaw afore ah dae onythin else.
3. “The direction of the wind” (Bch. 1825 Jam.2).Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 67:
Syne our her weakest shouder, She wechts the corn anent the blaw, Thinkin her joe wad scud her Fast by that night.
4. A puff (of a pipe). Gen.Sc.Abd. 1909 G. Reid in Bnffsh. Jnl. (9 Feb.) 6:
You would find them in groups among the gravestones discussing the parish ferlies, taking a bit blaw o' a smoke.w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1914) v.:
And every noo and again takin' a blaa o' a short, black cutty pipe, which she keepit at the back o' the hud [fireplace].
5. A pull of liquor.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Blaw. A pull, a draught; a cant term, used among topers.Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 9:
Then come and gies the tither blaw Of reaming ale.Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 95:
Come some forenight when ye're slack, An' gie's your jaw; Though my auld purse should get a rack, Thou's hae a blaw.
fig. (1) “A boast, a bravado, a gasconade” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2). Gen.Sc.Ork. 1908 J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc., Ork., Sh., etc. I. viii. 326:
Jeust a lock o' hypocrisy an' blaw.Bnff.(D) 1917 E. S. Rae Private J. McPherson, etc. (1918) 30:
His sisters, wi' a bit o' blaw, waur never far ahin, Bit their brither a lieutenant! — they waur nae tae haud nor bin!Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 33:
I aye hae mind . . . O' hearin' young Rab Royston frae Dunsyre, Uphaud a new-boucht ploo wi' unco blaw.
(2) A boaster, braggart (Sh., Cai., Bnff., Ags., Edb., Gsw., Ayr., Rxb. 2000s).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 14:
Blyave, one who boasts; one who tells fibs out of vanity. Also blyaver.Abd. 1993:
E's a great blaa - bit e niver dis onything. wm.Sc. 1993:
He's an awfie blaw.Lnk.3 1934; Kcb.6 1914, Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 9/2:
Did ye ever hear sic a blaw as wee Sanny?
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"Blaw n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Jun 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/blaw_n1>