Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WAFT, n.1, v. Also waaft ; woft (Gsw. 1786 Session Papers, Petition J. Sword (4 Aug.) 4; Abd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 207; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Slk. 1973), woaft (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 9); wift, wuft. Sc. forms of Eng. weft, the woof or cross-threads of a web of cloth, to make a web (Sc. 1776 Captain Wedderburn's Courtship in Child Ballads No. 46. A. xv., Ayr. 1785 Burns 2nd Ep. J. Lapraik vii., Sc. 1822 Scott Pirate xxxii.; Lnk. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VI. 22; Edb. 1851 A. McLagan Sketches 156; Slk. 1892 W. M. Adamson Betty Blether 82; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Uls. 1929; Sh., Bnff., em.Sc. (a), wm.Sc., Dmf., Slk. (woft) 1973). See P.L.D. §§ 27.1., 56. [wɑft, woft, wʌft]

I. n. As in Eng. Combs. waft clew, a hank or ball of yarn, also in expressions to denote restlessness or impatience (Abd. 1973); waft store, a store-room for cotton in a lace-factory (Ayr. 1951); wrang waft, a blunder, botched job. Sc. 1719  in Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 122:
I'm unco' irie and Dirt-feart I make wrang Waft.
Sc. 1736  Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 82:
Ye have gotten the fikes in your arse of a waft clew.
Uls. 1953  Traynor:
It's a' wrang woft.
Abd. 1955  W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxi.:
Nyod man bit ye've seerly a weft clew i' yer dowp 'at ye canna sit at peace a mamen.

II. v. To beat, trounce, outmanoeuvre, circumvent. Cf. Eng. dial. weft, to beat; to make use of someone for one's ends, make a catspaw of (Cai.9 1939, wift). Abd. 1921  T.S.D.C.:
We'll wuft them noo in the tug o' war — i.e. twist the rope out of their hands.
Abd. 1928  Weekly Journal (27 Dec.) 6:
The toon's chappie wis wuftin' Peter ilky time, an' he cudna get a game [at draughts].

[O.Sc. woft, n., 1629.]

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"Waft n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2019 <>



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