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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GIF, conj. If, whether (Slg.3, m.Lth., Wgt.4 1950). Also (rarely) giff, give; geif (Cai. 1869 M. Maclennan Peasant Life 246). Common in n.Eng. dial. Once Gen.Sc. but now almost obs., except liter.Abd. 1721 in Process Powis v. Fraserfield (1805) 327:
To give him ane croft by the sight of barley-men, give he require the same.
Sc. 1726 Ramsay T.T. Misc. (1876) I. 142:
And he sall be mine, Gif sae he incline.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 112:
I'll be in Dumfries the morn gif the beast be to the fore.
Ags. 1857 A. Douglas Ferryden 85:
Josey, look se', gif I war you I wad just ging an' fling my line . . . into Mr Bell's pond.
Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.:
I certainly will fight gif your honour bids me.
Ork. 1884 R. M. Fergusson Rambles 35:
Giff Bessie say it is weill it is weill.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 274:
And give we improve at the rate we have done, Step by step gettin on to perfection.
Abd. 1923 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 99:
Gif he hid teen her sister they wid hae been mair settin' like.
Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie Poems 24:
Hap step and lowp she was haudin' North As gif Hell was the ither side o' the Forth.
Edb. 1991 J. K. Annand in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
Gif I had ae short simmer o sang
Wi hauf the beauty o thon flouer
In the snaw o eild I'd hap my tongue
And haud my wheest for evermair.
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 34:
This was a sairlik jobe tae tak,
an gif the chiel was no sae swack
o mynd as caw gy caunnilie,
but gabbit gyan coorselik, say,
he'd finnd the waefou news as ill
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 110:
Tae whitna maitter scarts atween these banks
on loan a whilie, we sall gie particlar name. But gif
the medium be the message, raither mind hoo thocht
or scoukin haar kenna the immigration laws.

[O.Sc. has gif, giff(e), id., from 1375, gyve, give, from a.1400, geif, from 1481. Appar. from Mid.Eng., O.E. ȝif, id., with assimilation of the initial consonant to give, v., as used in its conditional force. Cf. note to Gin, conj.2]

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"Gif conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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