Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DEAFFY, Deefy, Deafy, Daiffy, Diffy, adj. [′difi, ′def, ′dɪf]

1. Dull (of sound) (Fif.10, Lnk.3 1940, daiffy). Alternative form diffy is known in Lnk. and Lth. (Lnk.3). Deaf in this sense has been obs. in Eng. since early 18th cent. Fif.3 1916:
A voice gives forth a daiffy sound.

2. Dull in action, without bounce (of a clay marble or a ball). Also used substantivally for the marble or ball itself (Arg.1 (deaffy, deefy), Lnk.3 1940; Slk. 1947 (per Abd.27), diffy). Fif.10 1939:
A “bool” that “wudna stot” was described as a “daiffy bool,” or simply “a daiffy” — That ane's a daiffy. [Also form deafy.]

3. Numb, partially or totally devoid of sensation, e.g. in the case of a paralysed limb (Fif.10 1939). Also in Lei. dial. in form deaf.

[From Deaf, above.]

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"Deaffy adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2021 <>



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