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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

OUTFA, n. Also ootfa(l), utfa(a) (Sh.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. outfall:

1. A quarrel, a falling out (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh. 1964).Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling II. iii.:
I wadna said a cheep about it, had it no been that baith o' you appeared so very ignorant concerning their outfa's.
Sh. 1950 New Shetlander No. 22. 41:
Tirval hed ta step in to poor oil ipo da troubled waters, an' sae pit an end ta da ootfaa.

2. A fall of rain, sleet, or snow.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 120:
We hid an unco oot-fa' o' rain a' last oock.

3. The ebb-tide (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 169, 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh. 1964).

4. A chance incident or occurrence, an incidental.Ayr. 1835 Galt in Tait's Mag. (Dec.) 778:
She should leave some change always for outfalls, ready in a stroupless teapot that we keepit for the purpose.
Dmf. 1863 R. Quinn Heather Lintie 125:
A peerie, bullet-gun, or spoon . . . Whilk couped the ink my sheets aboon, Wi' sic ootfa's As maun beset the kitchen bard.

5. Part of a building which projects beyond the general line of the street (Fif. c.1850 R. Peattie MS.). Cf. Outshot, To-fa.

6. The first salmon falling from the net after a haul.Dmf. 1769 Nithsdale Baron Ct. Bk. MS. 107:
[They] have always been in use to have the Privilege of the first outfall of Draughts.

[O.Sc. outfalling, a quarrel, 1575.]

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"Outfa n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Apr 2023 <>



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