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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SKIVER, n., v. Also skivver. Sc. forms, also in Eng. dial., of Eng. skewer. [′skɪvər]

I. n. As in Eng. Also applied to a splinter of wood in the skin, though this may be a different word (Ork., Kcd., Ags., Per., Lnl., wm.Sc. 1970). Cf. Skive, v.2Sc. 1765 Boswell Grand Tour Italy (1955) 237:
Girl picking out eyes with a thing like [a] skiver.
Per.4 1950:
A got a skiver in the flat o ma hand.

II. v. To pierce or stab as with a skewer, to transfix, often in jocular contexts (Dmb. 1970). Comb. skiver-the-guse, the name of a game as in 1838 quot.m.Lth. 1819 A. Rodger Poems (1901) 204:
They . . . threaten to gore an' to skiver The first that daur fash them again.
Sc. 1832 Blackwood's Mag. (March) 432:
The bayonets that skivered the Invincibles.
Gall. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 167:
Skiver-the-guse. The name of a game played in Galloway, in which the antagonists are seated opposite to each other, on the ground, having a stick crossing the back and brought through under each arm, their wrists being firmly bound together, and their feet placed opposite to each other. Each of them holds in his hands a large table horn-spoon, with which they attempt to strike each other's knuckles.
Sc. 1842 D. Vedder Poems 111:
The constables threatened to skiver the mob.
Kcb. 1898 A. J. Armstrong Levellers 64:
The Tarff folk'll rise an' skiver ye like a stott.
Gsw. 1947 J. F. Hendry Fernie Brae 58:
I'll skivver the liver oot o' ye.

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"Skiver n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



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