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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LEAF, n. Also laif; laef (I.Sc.). Pl. leafs; laives (Ags.). [Sc. lif, I. and em.Sc. (a) lef. See P.L.D. §§ 88, 120.]

Sc. forms of Eng. leaf, leaves.Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 31:
whaur nuintyde murls amang the leafs in the sooch o a saft wuin,
whaur aathing cawed tae the hunkers wi heat funds beild tae byde
m.Sc. 1994 John Burns in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 27:
The rain was nou a wee thing heavier an made an unco queer rustlin soun as it drappt throu the leafs abuin his heid.
Sh. 1994 Laureen Johnson in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 164:
Hit wis a dead branch, nae doot aboot dat. Not a laef kind. Ruinin da laekly o me guid sycamore. I lowsed till him wi da saa.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 23:
"Feast yer een on the bonnie Tree
That bields ye frae the stangin heat.
Drink frae its leafs an ye'se be haill;
Be aye undeid gin its fruit ye eat.
Gsw. 2001 Anne Donovan in Moira Burgess and Janet Paisley New Writing Scotland 18: Going Up Ben Nevis in a Bubble Car 37:
Mrs Cloud teaches us to draw leafs. They are all kinds of leafs.

Sc. usages:

1. A stratum or layer of mineral, esp. coal.Fif. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IX. 833:
Each of these divisions is generally denominated one seam, without any regard to the midstone which lies between the different beds or leaves.

2. One of the segments of an orange (Edb. 1900; Cai., Ags., Fif., Lth., Ayr., Gall., Uls. 1960). Dim. laifie (Ags. 1960).Fif. 1956 People's Jnl. (30 June) 6:
The leaf of the orange stuck in my throat.

[For meaning 2. cf. Eng. leaf, a flap, a hinged part, but there may also be some confusion with Lith, n.1]

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"Leaf n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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