Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SAFTIE, n. Also -y, sauftie, and, with variant dim. ending in sense 3. saftick. [′sɑfte, -ɪk]

1. = Eng. dial. and colloq. softie, a weak-minded, timid or effeminate person, a simpleton, noodle (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 147; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc.; in †Gsw. slang: a policeman. Gsw. 1889  J. Houston Autobiography 167:
A bobby, a peeler, a blue-bottle, a Robert, a pig, a sauftie.
Lnk. 1895  W. Stewart Lilts 76:
Dod, I've often heard o' safties, Leery-loonies, donnert dafties.
Ayr. 1901  G. Douglas Green Shutters xxi.:
He's saftie and daftie baith.
Rnf. 1923  G. Blake Mince Collop Close 136:
Ye big, mean saftie.
Sc. 1955  J. Beith The Corbies 14:
Charlie smiled vaguely at them over the counter . . . for Charlie was a “saftie”.

2. A soft biscuit (see Saft, I. 4. (2)) (Sh., Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1969). Bnff. 1952  Bnff. Advertiser (30 Oct.):
In I gied for a saftie An' tossed it doon a crumb.
Ags. 1959  C. Gibson Folk-lore Tayside 33:
Morning rolls varied — there were safties, butteries, flouries, baps and so on.

3. Also in form saftick. An edible crab that has cast its shell (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 230, saftick, -ie, 1907 Trans. Bnff. Field Club 11; ne.Sc. (saftick), Ags., Fif., (saftie) 1969), gen. used for bait. Such a crab when no longer soft to the touch is called a hard saftie (Bnff. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.). See also Safter. Bnff. 1950  N. Paterson Behold Thy Daughter i. iii.:
Me and Emily and Jessie were gettin' safticks on the rocks.
Abd. 1963  People's Journal (1 June) 12:
Gaitherin' safties and pullars for bait.

4. Soft carpet or cloth slippers (ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr. 1969). ne.Sc. 1953  Mearns Leader (16 Oct.):
The collie pickit up Molie's “safty”.

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"Saftie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2019 <>



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