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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.

OWERGAFF, v. Also owregaff, o(u)er-.

1. intr. of the sky: to become overcast after a clear morning (Rxb. 1825 Jam., s.Sc. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 326; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Ppl.adj. o'ergaffin, clouded, overcast (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); 2. tr. to becloud (Watson).

The sky's owregaffin.
2. Rxb. 1871 R. Allan Poems 23:
When cluds owregaff my sky.

[The second element is uncertain. Jam. suggests that the form was orig. the pa.t. of owergive, see Owergie and Gie, v.1, A. 2. though the meaning does not suit. It is poss. that the word began as Owergae, in sense 4., which was wrongly taken as the pa.t. of Owergie, for which the alternative owergaff was then substituted.]

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"Owergaff v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Feb 2023 <>



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