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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LUIFFIE, n., v. Also luify, loofie, -y, liff(e)y, -ie; luffie; laifie (Ags.). [′løfe, ′lɪfe; Ags. ′lefe]

I. n. 1. A stroke with a strap or cane on the palm as a punishment for a child, a Pandie (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr. 1880; Slg. 1910 Scotsman (12 Sept.); Ags., Edb., wm.Sc., Kcb., Slk. 1961).Lnk. a.1854 W. Watson Poems (1877) xiii.:
I got mony a loofie for bits I forgot, Playin' truant an' takin' o' taums.
wm.Sc. 1889 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XII 74:
Ye'll get liffies on each haun'.
wm.Sc. 1936 C. W. Thomson School Humour 16:
Similarly, shoemaker's rozet worked into the palm was supposed to mitigate the severity of “loofies” from the strap.

2. Fig. A reproof, a dressing-down.Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie lxi.:
If Mr Vellum didna think I was on some business of Lord Sandyford's, I wouldna be surprised if he gave me a loofy when I gaed hame.

3. A mitten or glove with a separate division for the thumb only (Kcb.4 1900; Kcb. 1990s).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 209, 483:
Knitting stockings, muffetees, and loofies . . . In the tither his auld loofie o' a mitten.

4. An early flat type of curling-stone having no handle but merely indentations for the thumb on one side and the fingers on the other (Sc. 1890 J. Kerr Curling 34). Also in combs. loofie-(channle)stane, id.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 320:
When curling first began it was played by flat stones or loofies.
Sc. 1914 J. G. Grant Complete Curler 12:
The loofies were natural, water-worn boulders; the curling-stones of the present day are circular.
Sc. 1947 Scots Mag. (April) 68:
It is this type of stone, which superseded the triangular “cocked hat” (successor to the handleless “loofie” or “piltycock”).

5. A kind of flat morning-roll (Ags. 1919 T.S.D.C., Ags. 1961).Ags. 1902 Arbroath Guide (24 May) 3:
Ye'd spent a' yer bawbees upon laifies an' crawled fish for yer tea pairty.
Ags. 1959 C. Gibson Folk-Lore Tayside 33:
Morning rolls varied — there were safties, butteries, flouries, baps and so on. In Arbroath they still ask for liffies.

6. A throw in the game of Knifie (see Knife, 1.) in which the knife is slid from the palm of the hand so as to stick upright in the ground (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Per. 1961).

II. v. To administer strokes on the palm with a strap or cane. Cf. I. 1.Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 113:
I houp the maister will loofie them weel for gaun daudlin' in late.

[Dim. of Luif.]

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"Luiffie n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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