Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MUFF, n., v. Also muf. Deriv. muffit. As in Eng., a covering for keeping the hands warm. Adj. muffie, like a muff.

I. n. In combs. and derivs. used as bird names for species with distinctive throat markings or raised feathers giving a muff-like effect: 1. muff cock, the woodcock, Scolopax rusticola (Sc. 1930 S. Gordon Hill Birds 156); 2. muffie, (1) the whitethroat, Sylvia communis (Fif. 1933). Cf. 6.; (2) a woolly type of moth (Fif. 1919 T.S.D.C.), also attrib. Cf. mufty s.v. II.; 3. muffie wren, the willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus (Rnf. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 26); 4. muffi-legged, of a hen: having profuse feathering about the legs (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1963); 5. muffit, the whitethroat, Sylvia communis, phs. short for muffit wren, see v. Cf. 2 and Churr Muffit. Dim. muffitie, the willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus (Abd. 1901 G. Sim in Book of Ellon 44); 6. muffie wheybeard, muffy-why-baerd, the whitethroat, Sylvia communis; the blue tit, Parus caeruleus (Fif. 1919 T.S.D.C.). See also whey-beard s.v. Whey, and 2. (1). 2. (2) s.Sc. 1847  H. S. Riddell Poems 50:
And the blythsome muffie butterflees Are dancing on fu' light.
6. Fif. 1875  A. Burgess Poute 63:
But yoo kan help the Shillfa and his hen The Muffy-why-baerd — yellow yout — and wren.

II. v. In ppl.adjs. muffed, muf't, muffi'd, of a domestic fowl: having a crest or tuft of feathers at the head or round the neck or legs. Hence muftie, -y, adj., id.; n., a fowl of a muffed breed; a species of large hairy moth used by anglers as bait (Ayr. 1958). See I. 2; muftin, the whitethroat, Sylvia communis (Lnk. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VI. 358). Sc. 1742–3  J. Cockburn Letters (S.H.S.) 87:
You tell me you have set one hen for my Wife, and you say she has three fine muf't and top'd hens.
s.Sc. 1809  T. Donaldson Poems 40:
My Hen she was a shining Brown, Wi Muffi'd head.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xix.:
Our seven hens — two of them tappit and one muffed.
Sc. 1829  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1885) II. 252:
“An' what'n a cleckin she's gotten!” . . . “Yes, James, Lancashire Ladylegs.” “Mufties too, I declare; — are they ggem?”
Sc. 1847  R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 289:
A mufty tufty bantam cock.

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"Muff n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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