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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

RIVE, v., n. [rɑev]

I. v. A. Forms: Inf. and pres.t. rive, ryve, ræive (s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms l.22). Pa.t. strong rave, raive, rev, raeve, anglicised rove [re:v]; ne.Sc. reeve, reave, rieve, anglicised roove (Ags. 1816 G. Beattie John o' Arnha (1883) 76) [ri:v]; weak rived, rive't; mixed form reeved (Abd. 1929 Sc. Readings (Paterson) 87). Pa.p. strong riven, riv(v)an, ryv'n; ri'en (Kcb. a.1915 J. Mathewson MS. Poems 2), reen (s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell St. Matthew xxvii. 51), rine; ra'an (Dmf. 1825 Jam.); anglicised rouen (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); mixed form riven'd (Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lanwart Loon 7). [rɪvn; †sm. and s.Sc. rɪ(ə)n]

B. Usages: 1. tr. and intr. (1) To tear, rend, rip, lacerate, of cloth, paper, skin or the like (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai.). Gen.Sc.; also fig. and with frae, aff. Obs. exc. dial. in Eng.Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 80:
Syne wi' her Nails she rave his Face.
Bnff. 1747 W. Cramond Cullen Ho. (1887) 13:
He saw some of the Highlandmen riving the papers.
Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 26:
Prytanes, Noemon, Haly gat Sma' banes an' riven skin.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Ep. to J. Rankine iii.:
Your curst wit, when it comes near it, Rives 't aff their back.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 98:
At mutches ri'en, and tousled hair.
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel iii.:
Laurie held me by the cloak-lap till the cloth rave in his hand.
Cai. 1829 J. Hay Poems 26:
She prin'd her riven'd claithing.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 213:
Often the man most willing to help lacked the power or the means to do so, and this is very comprehensively expressed in the following proverb: “The riven sleeve keeps the haand back”.
Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Sketches 17:
Oot cam' the Laird wi' his coat an' breeks a' rivvan.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii.:
'E fair cleant 'e spaals an' reeve 'e mett aff 'e thocht been.

(2) fig. To scold severely, to berate, to “tear into” (a person).Sc. 1837 Carlyle Fr. Rev. (1857) III. iii. vii.:
With fire-words the exasperated rude Titan rives and smites these Girondins.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 98:
He has an awfu' tongue; an' he did rive them up the richt gate.

2. To wrench, pull apart or to pieces, break up, dislocate, reduce to fragments (I., ne., em.Sc.(a), sm. and s.Sc. 1968). Freq. with sindry, asunder. (1) in gen. and fig.:Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 16:
By the strength of his arms rave them sindry, flingin the tane east and the tither west.
Fif. 1812 W. Tennant Anster Fair 107:
Riving with his heels the soil around.
Peb. 1838 W. Welsh Peb. Cotter 25:
Then back they flew, an' rave, an drew.
e.Lth. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rhymes 13:
To rive auld hames, 'mang frem to mell.
Ags. 1893 Arbroath Guide (11 Feb.) 412:
I fell to the box an' raive't sindrie.
Abd. 1899 W. Geddes J. Geddes 82:
[He] was credited with ulterior designs upon the edifice, and with complacency over the dissensions. Speaking to a crony about the kirk, he was known to say, “'Od, man, I wuss they wad jist rive ither, till I wad get her for a threshing-mill”.
Abd. 1905 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 131:
Ye're a great feel to ryve and full muck.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 29:
Jess [a mare] got roused on him, and pressed him to the “travice, skirlin' an' like tae rive him”.
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 102:
Fowls were carved by “riving them sindry”.
Sc. 1928 J. Wilson Hamespun 24:
The frichten't mouse loups frae the yird; To rive its bield nae saul demurs.
Sh. 1949 P. Jamieson Letters 217:
“Rivin'” or tearing lambs' muck was a tough job. It was said to be the best manure.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 18:
Bit fyles yer birss begins to rise
An rummlins fae yer thrapple birl
Wi fearsome gurr an feerious dirl
Like thunner rivin simmer skies.

(2) in oaths and imprecations, based on the expression Deil rive him! “May the Devil tear him apart”: usually in neg. phrs. = “Devil a bit”, not at all, not a whit.Sc. 1715 J. Maidment Pasquils (1868) 393:
Dee'l ryve and burst him.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 28:
Rive de aff o' his neck wad the hass-jogg come.
Bwk. 1884 W. Brockie Yetholm Gypsies 124:
The guidwife enquired if his father had had an easy death. “He did not”, replied he, “loup and spang like mony ane, for deil rive't was on him but bare kett!”
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
Rive de bit o' me,” i.e. the d — a bit will I.

(3) gen. with out, up: to wrench from its place, uproot, dig up, force out, lit. and fig. (Sh., ne., em.Sc.(a), Kcb. 1968).Rxb. 1706 J. Wilson Ann. Hawick (1850) 117:
Ryveing off the lock of the Tolbuith door, and ryveing up the daills of the loft.
Edb. 1724 D. Robertson Bailies of Leith (1915) 128:
Whoever shall rive out march stons betwixt themselvs and neighbours shall pay for ilk ston raised £3 Scots toties quoties.
Sc. 1758 Scots Mag. (April) 210:
Riving up and carrying away growing pease.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 141:
Decent, honest, fawsont folk Are riven out baith root and branch.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds vi.:
His grasping grip's enough to rive the seven senses out o' the soul.
Edb. 1878 J. Smith Peggy Pinkerton 25:
His overseers, he said, were rivin' him oot o' hoose an' ha!
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 38:
Every stappal was rivan oot.
Fif. 1881 C. Gulland Sc. Ballads 32:
Rive up the planking of the floor.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 161:
It rave up the gerse wi its horns.
Abd. 1928 Abd. Press and Jnl. (8 Nov.) 6:
Some fowk 'at reeve them [potatoes] up say they wid be heatin' in the pit.

(4) freq. with in, out or up: to tear up with the plough, esp. of virgin ground or old grass (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.), to reclaim moorland as arable ground (Cai., Abd., Ags. 1968). Used absol. in 1856 quot.Mry. 1702 C. Fraser-Mackintosh Letters of Two Cents. (1890) 139:
Several of your tenants have riven in and made burntland upon the commontie.
Rxb. 1715 Stitchill Court Book (S.H.S.) 172:
No Tennent rive out baulks . . . that hath not been in use to be tilled befor.
Cai. 1721 J. E. Donaldson Cai. in 18th Cent. (1938) 90:
All that he is or may be able to brake out and rive off the ground and green.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Death and Dr. Hornbook xxiii.:
His braw calf-ward whare gowans grew . . . Nae doubt they'll rive it wi' the plew.
Abd. 1811 G. Keith Agric. Abd. 229:
After lying five years in natural grass, it [the fallow] was torn up at midsummer, and from that circumstance was called riven ley.
Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf i.:
To hae seen that braw sunny knowe a' riven out wi' the pleugh.
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 70:
Where the scythe cuts, and the sock rives Hae done wi' fairies and bee-bykes.
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (30 Jan.) 316:
A' the Lammermuir farmers were rivin' out their muirs and sawin' them wi' corn.
Kcd. 1933 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 329:
So soon's they moved in to some fresh bit farm they'd rive up the earth.
Abd. 1950 Buchan Observer (24 Jan.):
Our ancestors who “reeve in” broad acres of moorland.

(5) ppl.adj. in fig. phr. riven oot, in great demand socially (Abd. 1968).Abd.4 1929:
She's like the wifie's pink e'e't tatties, she's sair riv'n oot, i.e. much taken notice of.

3. To pull or tug roughly or vigorously, to wrest (I., n. and em.Sc.(a), Kcb. 1968). Also with at, up,  oot. (1) in gen. Vbl.n. rivin.Ayr. c.1785 Burns 2nd Ep. to Davie iv.:
For me, I'm on Parnassus' brink, Rivin the words to gar them clink.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 75:
My sons, wi' chan'ler chafts gape roun', To rive my gear, my siller frae me.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xlvii.:
Like twa cows riving at the same hay-band.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb x.:
But's wife's freens raive a heap o't aff o' 'im fan he wus livin'.
Sh. 1897 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 16:
He rives his tail furt trou da crack.
Ork. 1904 Dennison Sketches 23:
Sheu apened the kist an' rave oot the windin' sheet fae the bodam.
m.Sc. 1925 J. Buchan John Macnab xi.:
I seen him [a stag] on Crask last back-end rivin' at the stacks.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 189:
He cheust glowered at me an' rev on the lacer.
Abd. 1966:
Gie her a gweed rivin up — i.e. a good shaking.
Abd. 1991 David Ogston in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 118:
'Dae ye want a haun oot?'
Says Cameron, so I grippit
His haun an loot him rive me
On to solid grun.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 145:
'I canna tell ye now.' And he rushed to the car and rived the door open.
Arg. 1993:
We wir rivin at it for a good half-oor, but could we get it clear o the rock!
Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 8:
The loft's being cleart
o hey and the heid-stalls rived oot.

(2) with wi: to romp, to indulge in boisterous fun, frolic.Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 106:
I wis a sort o' haandy shield 'at cud dü maistly ennything, frae rivin' wi' da lasses ta takkin' a taatie oot o' a coo's craig.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (24 July):
He ran atweesht da lasses, an' began ta rive wi' dem.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 23:
I ken we're a' missed him, if hit wis bit fur his tairin' an rivin' wi wis da lasses.

(3) in collocations with Rug, v., q.v. (i) to rug and rive, to pull or tug vigorously, lit. and fig., to struggle, tussle, contend. Gen.Sc.; (ii) it wad (he wad) neither rug nor rive (nor gulliecut), said of any thing (or person) tough or unyielding, esp. of tough meat (n.Sc., Per., †Rnf. 1968); ¶(iii) in adj. phr. rough an' rive o't, = rough and ready, rough and tumble, by conflation with rough.(i) Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xlii.:
For the gude auld times of rugging and riving are come back again.
Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage II. xi.:
As soon as the ceremony was ow'r, ilk ane ran till her an' rugget an' rave at her for the favors.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxiii.:
Rugging and riving about the floor.
Sc. 1839 Chambers's Jnl. (10 Aug.) 232:
There is he [horse] ruggin' an' rivin' an' craunchin' away at nae allowance.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 318:
Swearin' an' tearin', they rug an' they rive, Wha to be foremost wi' Meggie M'Givelry.
Lth. 1854 M. Oliphant M. Hepburn xxix.:
The old rugging and riving between France and England.
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 44:
Whaur youth and auld age roug'd an' riv'd.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 113:
When death the life-thread rives an' rugs.
Ork. 1911 Old-Lore Misc. IV. iv. 185:
He rave an' rugged i the lugs o' him a' tha wey.
(ii) Abd. 1920 R. H. Calder Gleanings I. 9:
It wid neither rug, tug, tear, nor rive.
Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (3 Jan.):
A hee'rd a whumper he widna roog or rive.
(iii) Mry. 1852 A. Christie Mountain Strains 23:
His “warkleems” which . . . might slay well enough in the “rough an' rive o't way”.

(4) Specif. to tug or tear (at) (the hair), esp. in grief or anguish (Sh., ne. and em.Sc.(a) 1968). Also with out.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 24:
She ran an' skream'd, an' roove out at her hair.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads II. 262:
Meggie reave her yellow hair.
s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 92:
Rivin their hair wi' agony.
Sc. 1864 J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe 36:
Lasses skirl and rive their hair.
Kcb. 1912 A. Anderson Later Poems 230:
It cowes the gowan, an' the mair I think the mair I rive my hair.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 8:
By, this, th e lave were buskit fair, Tho' Kate was rivin' at her hair!

(5) To tear at or maul in hand-to-hand combat, to grapple.Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 159:
But lut them fight an' rive an' curse.
Sc. 1823 Lockhart Reg. Dalton II. 212:
Such a hubbleshow, such a racketing, such fighting, such a rushing and riving.
Bwk. 1947 W. L. Ferguson Makar's Medley 14:
They rived and swore, they slashed and hit.
Sh. 1952 J. Hunter Taen Wi' Da Trow 135:
Da ootcome o a rivin tüllie Dat in former days haes bün?

(6) tr. and absol. Of the wind: to rip or tear (off), to blow with great violence (Sh., n.Sc. 1968). Ppl.adj. rivin (Sh. 1968).Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 54:
It's little a rivin' storm frichtens me.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 19:
Noo winter's cauld an' bitter blast, Rives divits aff its riggin'.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 46:
Rivin' win's that tirr the byres in Spring.
Cai.4 c.1920:
'E win' rave 'e reef off o' the hoose.

(7) to work with a tugging or tearing motion (Sh., ne.Sc. 1968).Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 54:
A wheen useless taupies that can do naething but rive at a tow rock and cut corn.
Sc. 1842 Whistle-Binkie 92:
She took her cairds, an' cairdin' skin, Her walgie fu' o' creeshie woo, An' rave awa' wi' scrivin' din.

(8) to whet, scrape, rub, sharpen (Sh. 1968).Sh. 1897 Shetland News (9 Oct.):
I heard him rivin suntin' ower a slight stane i' da wa'.

(9) more gen.: to work in a hard or laborious manner, to toil, to “tear in” (Ork. 1929 Marw.; I., n. and em.Sc.(a), m.Lth., Wgt. 1968). Ppl.adj. rivin, hard-working, energetic. Deriv. river, one who works with energy (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144).Sc. 1824 R. K. Douglas Poems 134:
Your whig and your tory may rive and may rin, A pension to keep or a pension to win.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 360:
Rive on and strive on, And peck away and yisk.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144:
A got thim rivin' up the scooran o' thir blankets. They wir rivin', an' workin' at drains a weentir. He's a rivin' servan', an' gangs through a tehr o' wark.
Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 181:
Row up ye'r sleeves, rive on the mair.

(10) tr. or intr. with at, intae: to eat voraciously, to tear into food (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., wm.Sc., Wgt. 1968; Sh., Ork., Cai., Bnff., Ags., Edb., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s).Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. vi.:
As mony puir folk riving at the banes in the court, and about the door.
Fif. 1825 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 52:
Some riv'd and ramsh'd at beefy rumps.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 83:
Ithers rave at a bap on the street.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (13 Aug.):
Da fower mares stüde still an' begood ta rive i da burra.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 110:
They rave't up like a wheen cannibals.
Abd. 1904 Banffshire Jnl. (4 Oct.) 12:
She'd thro' the heather in a blink, An' rive the neeps o' Drachlaw.
Abd. 2004:
Here's wir denner - rive intil't boys!

(11) tr. or refl. and intr. To force one's way forward through difficult going, to plough through (em.Sc. 1968).Gall. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 11:
Rivin' thro' yon bent an' heather.
Fif. 1875 A. Burgess Poute 23:
Het watir press't into a pat — it rages, fuffs, and blaws — Cou'd ryve Itsel' Thro yird and Stenn — & force throo Whunstane waa's.
Sc. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar xi.:
So wildly did I rive and tear my way through the living flood that surged about me.

4. tr. and intr. To burst, to crack asunder, to split: (1) in gen. (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., n. and em.Sc.(a), Kcb., Slk. 1968). Used pass. in 1761 quot.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 86:
Double Charge will rive a Canon.
Dmf. 1761 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. (1928–9) 37:
An ash stick for supporting one of his houses which would rive to be a pair of rafts or better.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 258:
The bell would rive at the touch of a guilty person.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 249:
The riving ice, on the vast wave, Spreads wae and ruin round.
Sc. 1805 Scott Last Minstrel Note xxv.:
Sutor Watt, ye cannot sew your boots; the heels risp, and the seams rive.
Fif. 1870 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 104:
Tak the riddle and the rine dish.
Abd. 1879 G. Macdonald Sir Gibbie liv.:
The Lord was i' the airth-quak, an' the fire, an' the win' that rave the rocks.
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe xx.:
A ri'en dish seldom hauds in, an' it's a very difficult maitter to convince an' convert a hungry man.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 27:
The back seam o' her body was riven in twa-three places.
Dmf. 1898 J. Paton Castlebraes 101:
Ye may blaw yer bellows i' the smiddy, till ye rive in twa.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 87:
Fin they [potatoes] wur bilt i' their jackets an' a' riven, an' like meal.

Phrs. to get one's meat in a riven cog, to get a scolding, esp. from one's wife; to rive (someone's) bonnet, to outdo, excel, gen. said of a son who goes “one better than” his father, sc. whose bonnet has grown too small for his son. See also Bonnet, 3. Phrs. (9).Edb. 1734 W. Mitchel Wonderful Sermon to Students 7:
Many times I get my Meat in a riven Cog.
Per. 1830 Perthshire Advert. (4 Nov.):
He might be naething behind his sire in his liking for the lasses, however he might rive his bonnet in ither respects.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 140:
I'm no that sure Gif mony o' the squad can rive his bonnet.

(2) intr., with up, of banks of cloud: to break up, disperse, so that the weather may clear (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144; Sh., Fif., Wgt. 1968). Cf. Riv, v.

(3) to make a cracking noise, crackle.Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
The place a' wheesht, the frosts o' winter maybe riving in the wa's.

(4) Fig. of the stomach: intr. to split, burst, esp. as the results of over-eating or over-drinking (n.Sc., Per., Lnk. 1968). Also occas. tr. to cause (the stomach) to burst (Abd. 1931). Phrs. rivan fu, ready to burst; very drunk; spleet and rive, one's fill of food.Sc. 1728 in Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 72:
When in fresh Lizar they get Spleet and rive.
Per. 1735 E. M. Graham Maxtones (1935) 63:
Drank, Roared and Sang till midnight, and then reeled home ryving fou.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 50:
I suppit till I was like to rive o' them.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To a Haggis iv.:
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, “Bethankit!” hums.
Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 53:
Yet glamshach fouk, at different times, Hae sipt the kirn, an' rave their waims.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 58:
My wame is like to rive.
Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms lxxviii. 29:
They ate an' they stegh't till rivan fu'.
Abd. 1879 11 Years at Farm Wk. 5:
Ane o' them ate taties and butter milk till he reive.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 255:
She wished that the swats micht rive his kyte.
Cai. 1891 D. Stephen Gleanings 30:
I canna tak' a bit mair, I'm leck e rive.
Uls. 1929 H. S. Morrison Modern Ulster 37:
As she finished her tenth cup of tea [he] called to her with evident anxiety, “Whammel, mother, or you'll rive”.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii.:
Better belly rive nur gweed mett be connacht.

(5) in regard to laughter: intr. to burst with laughing, to split one's sides (Sh., n.Sc., Lnk. 1968); tr. to stretch (the face, jaws, etc.) with grinning, to strain (one's jaws) with laughter, or in 1828 quot. with rage.Sc. 1715 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 70:
Jock, wi' laughing like to rive.
Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 81:
And I'll tell you somethings will gar you rive your Cheeks.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 206:
They've gart the fouk maist rive their chafts.
Abd. 1868 G. R. Kinloch Ballad Bk. 68:
Ye wad hae riven for laughter.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch v.:
With a girn that was like to rive his mouth.
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 253:
Rich folk's wit rives poor folk's jaws.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxiii.:
I thocht aw wud rive my yirnin lauchin at 'im.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 233:
I thocht they would rive themsel's wi' lauchin'!

(6) of physical or mental pain, e.g. headache, heartache, hunger, tr. and intr. (Sh., ne.Sc., Ayr., sm.Sc. 1968).m.Lth. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 124:
My head will rive, an yet you carna by!
Edb. 1795 H. MacNeill Scotland's Scaith 17:
On the ither, Jean's condition Rave his very heart in twa.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 29:
My heart is near as hard's John Horn's head, An' yet the weirds hae riven't screed by screed.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 20:
I winna drink anither drap! My head is like to rive.
n.Sc. 1916 M. Maclean Songs Roving Celt 15:
'Twas late at e'en or I cam' hame wi' hunger rivin' sair.
Abd. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 17:
But O! it reeve my he'rt in twa.
Kcb. 1967:
The wife says she is rivin wi' hunger.

5. To steal (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein), phs. a contextual extension of 3.

6. Ppl.adj. rivin(g), used with intensive force = great, extreme, terrific, thumping, in phr. a rivin(g) bargain (Abd.15 1930). Cf. II. 6.Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. x.:
Let me get a riving bargain.

II. n. 1. A tear, rip or scratch, in cloth, the skin, etc. (I. and n.Sc., Ags., w.Lth.. Lnk. 1968).Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 33:
A sharp-nos'd hard whun stane Gied you a rive.
Ayr. 1832 Galt Stanley Buxton II. xxii.:
It's a wide rive that cannot be darned.
Dmf. 1875 A. Anderson Two Angels 193:
His knees play'd bo-beek through a rive in his breeks.
Ags. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems 77:
His hands were a' scarted, his coat was a' spoiled Wi' mony a rive an' a tear.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. iii.:
Them that fechts wi' the cat man thool her rives.

2. An uprooting, severance, break (Sh., Abd., Ags. 1968).Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie lxxxviii.:
No to mak' a rent and a rive o't a' thegither between us.
Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 115:
It'll be a gey rive leavin' a' aboot this place here.

3. (1) A pull, tug or jerk, wrench, a grasp, grab or hug (n. and em.Sc.(a), Lnk. 1968); in fishing: a catch.s.Sc. 1809 T. Donaldson Poems 90:
She gied them [others] mony a wicked rive.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie ciii.:
Needing mony a rug and rive by the powerfu' hand of chastisement.
Gsw. 1884 H. Johnston Martha Spreull 118:
He drew me to him, and gied me sic a kindly rive.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders ii.:
Whiles I hae gotten a bit flounder for my pains, and whiles a rive o' drooned whalp.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. xi.:
The reid-heidet chiel cam and took a rive o' Geordie and said it was rusin' time.

(2) A bite, snatch at food, large mouthful, a good feed (ne.Sc., m.Lth., Lnk., Kcb. 1968). Also fig. Cf. I. 3. (11).s.Sc. 1793 T. Scott Poems 351:
Nae mair a rive o' gait, or fowl, Ha'f rough, ha'f roastet on a coal.
Ayr. 1819 Kilmarnock Mirror 135:
She [cow] had unseen slippet in as she pass't the nicht a-fore, to tak' a rive o' corn.
s.Sc. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. I. 204:
Where they'd get ere they [sheep] came back A rive amang the heather-cowes.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 38:
He took a rive ooten a penny lafe.
Per. 1894 I. Maclaren Brier Bush 210:
Ye get a rive at the Covenants ae meenute, and a mouthfu' o' justification the next.
Abd. 1914 J. Leatham Daavit 114:
Fin the aul' maids get a wint o' that loat [novels], they'll be doon in full force ti get the first rive o' them.
Abd. 1941 C. Gavin Black Milestone vii.:
You chaps got a richt rive o' an ett.

4. Energy in working, vigorous activity, bustle (Sh. 1968). Cf. I. 3. (9).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144:
He hiz some rive wee's work in compairison t' yon machtless, peistin' bit bodie.
Sh. 1948 New Shetlander (Oct.–Nov.) 21:
Whin shu's in a rive wi wark.

5. A split, crack, fissure (Sh. 1968). In dim. rivie, a potato which has split its skin in the process of cooking. Fig. in phr. on the rive, of a “splitting” headache.Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 44:
Aft the day light peepin in, Through lang rives, on our bare skin.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 199:
A lang boat cam scouting out frae the rive in the crab-craigs.
Ayr. a.1855 Carrick Anthol. (Finlayson) 109:
Wi' a head on the rive And a coal in his craw.
Ags. 1897 A. Reid Bards Ags. 156:
Ilka nicht we got tawties an' fat, Rare rivies a' splittin' their jackets.

6. A large quantity or company, a good handful, share or measure (Abd. 1968).Gsw. 1807 J. Chirrey Misc. Poetry 76:
Unless they hae a rive o' gear.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 2:
Blest wi' a rive o' common sense.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xxiii.:
There wasna yin o' the rive but had grippit sword at either o' the twa risins.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 141:
Ye hid lang airms, an' took a gey rive o' a bout.

[O.Sc. ryve, v., to tear in pieces, c.1400, raif, to tear off, c.1470, to wrench away, c.1450, to pull down, a.1400, to plough untilled ground, 1536, rug and ryve, to eat greedily, 1552, to cleave, split, 1549, North. Mid.Eng. rive, O.N. rífa, id. See also Reive.]

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"Rive v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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