Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SKLEFF, adj., n. Also sclaif, sclafe. [sklɛf]

I. adj. 1. Shallow, flat, of a dish (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Slk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Lth. 1970).

2. Flat, level, of ground (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); thin and flat, of things (Bwk. 1825 Jam., 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; s.Sc. 1970); of persons: not plump or rounded in figure (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); esp. of women: flat-breasted (Slk. 1958). Bwk. 1825 Jam.:
A skleff cheese, a skleff piece of wood.
Sc. 1892 Burnsiana (Ross) I. 20:
A thin-flanked, sparse, what the Scotch would call skleff, niggardly volume.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 2:
On the skleff, strecht streetch at the heed o the brae.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 20:
Ee've straampeet eet as skleff as a pancake. A never saw sic a thin craittir; she's as skleff as a fir dael.

3. Flat-footed (Rnf. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Hence comb. skleff-fittit, id. (Rxb. Ib.).

4. Equal, even, or level in a competition with a competitor (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); quits, in regard to a debt, on even terms (Rxb. 1970). Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 20:
A've paid the accoont, so oo're skleff.

5. = Eng. flat, of a statement of one's opinion or determination, final, definite, not to be gainsaid (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., that's skleff).

II. n. 1. With def. art.: flat, level ground (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1970, on the skleff). Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 20:
A was luntin alang the skleff, towrt Denum.

2. In dim. skleffie: a flat thin stone used in playing ducks and drakes over the surface of water (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1970).

3. A thin slice of anything (Cld. 1825 Jam., s.v. sclaffer).

[Prob. onomat. in orig., imit. of a flat, slapping sound or notion. Cf. Sclaff.]

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"Skleff adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/skleff>

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