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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CAVE, Caeve, Kaeve, Kev(e), Kaive, n.3, v.1 See also Keave. [ke:v]

1. n.

(1) A toss of the head (Bnff.2 1939, kaive).Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
The bull ga'e a cave wi' its heid.

(2) “A tossing of the fore legs; rearing. Followed by the preposition up, the act of rearing” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff., kaive).

2. v., tr. and intr.

(1) Often of a horse: to toss (the head) angrily or proudly (Sc. 1808 Jam., cave; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., obsol.). Known to Bnff.2 1939. Also fig.Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 164–165:
Gallopin on a grey horse, that caves the foam frae its fiery nostrils.
Sc. 1895 H. Ochiltree Redburn ii.:
Stan up, ye auld jade! What are ye caving at?
Bnff. 1856 J. Collie Poems and Lyrics 68:
Auld Scotland then her head might kaive, An' prance like ony stagie.
Bwk. 1960
She caved her heid like a cat cairryin a saut herrin.

(2) “To stand on the hind legs and toss the fore legs; to rear” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 93). Not known to our correspondents.

(3) “To butt or strike (anything) with the head or horns” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); “to push, to drive backward and forward” (Sc. 1808 Jam., cave, keve). Not known to our correspondents.Ags. 1853 W. Blair Chron. of Aberbrothock vi.:
It'll caeve the heels oot alow ye.

(4) fig. “To make a fuss” (Bch. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.).Ib.:
Fat are ye cavin' at?

(5) “To be overcome with weariness or sleepiness” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), kev).

(6) Followed by preps. (a) over, ower: “to fall over suddenly” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Ayr.4 1928), to faint; fig. “to give in” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kev ower); (b) up: “to climb a steep precipice or wall” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 93).(a) Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 27:
Whin [lethy Hellness] geed oot wi' sic a din . . . the minister's wife kaevid ower (sheu was near her time, peur bothy).

(7) To toss in gen., pitch, throw (Fif. 1975). Fif. 1958
E.g. of straw up to a man who is building on the top of a stack, "Cave it up here."

[O.Sc. cave, v., (1) intr., to fall over helplessly, 16th cent.; (2) tr., to toss the head or body, 17th cent. (D.O.S.T.). Cf. O.N. kaf, a plunge, kafa, kefja, to dip; Sh. kav, rush about, work with small result; Icel. kafa, to stir.]

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"Cave n.3, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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