Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

from 2005 supplement

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GANFER, n. 2. (1) Add to defin.: Drizzle or mist foretelling a snowstorm.
Add quots.: Ork. 1957 Ronald Miller ed. The Third Statistical Account of Scotland: The county of Orkney (1985) 129:
In the winter time, if it gets suddenly calm, and if there is a slight drizzle, weather prophets say that it is a 'ganfer' for snow, and a snowstorm is expected in the immediate future.
Ork. 1995 Orcadian 5 Jan 14:
In my childhood, my father referred to just such a quiet mist as a "gamfer for snow." ... I had come across "ganfer;" only once, in a terrifying ghost story in a Peace's Almanack. I knew it meant "ghost;" ... Is that mist, then, the ghost of snow, like a coming event casting its shadow before?

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"Ganfer n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Jul 2020 <>



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