Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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 18 Nov 2019 <>



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