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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCRIEVE, v.1, n.1 Also skrieve, screeve, skreeve, skreive, scr(e)ive. [skri:v]

I. v. 1. (1) intr. To move, glide, bowl swiftly along, to speed on smoothly (Rxb. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; ne.Sc., Bwk., Lnk., Wgt., Kcb. 1969), to glissade (Abd. 1925). Also fig. of the passage of time. Hence screever (o wind), a strong gusty wind, gale (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork., Cai. 1969), also in form screevis (Marw.).Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween xxiv.:
She thro' the whins, an' by the cairn, An' owre the hill gaed scrievin.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 8:
Scrivin by the Avenue-head.
Sc. 1822 Blackwood's Mag. (Nov.) 602:
'Twas thus the day ran scrieven aff, Mid ploy an' frolic, joke an' laugh.
Ayr. 1866 T. Bruce Summer Queen 324:
To drive the lay wi' cheerfu' clatter, An' gar the shuttle scrieve.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 53:
The wind wus blawan a skreevis.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 29:
The snaw mair thick an' faster flew, An' screev'd alang in clouds o' drift.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xliv.:
There was screevin' and chasin' over a' the Westland after the Whigs.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 141:
The Tay an' Isla, hand-in-hand, Gang screivin' by in wanton glee.
Ayr. 1896 G. Umber Idylls 215:
His pen wad gang scrievin' owre the paper.
em.Sc. 1913 J. Black Gloamin' Glints 21:
While hame-gaun bairnies young and braw, Scrieve on wi' lichtsome pace.

¶(2) tr. To run along, cover (a route). Nonce liter. use.Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 9:
[He] screev'd the purfle o' the wuds.

2. Of a fire: to flare up, to burn fiercely, to sweep onwards.Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 156:
A screevin ingle, a fierce or blazing fire.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders vii.:
It grieved me to see the bonny corn . . . screeving up in fire to the heavens.

3. To work vigorously (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Hence scriever, skriever, a vigorous energetic and speedy worker (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B., 1942 Zai; Ork. 1969), scrievin, vigorous, active (Watson, Zai). Watson associates this with Screeve, v., 3.

4. intr. To talk fluently and at some length, to hold forth (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 265); to read quickly and continuously (Ayr. 1880 Jam.); tr. to reel off (a long story), to recite copiously (Sh. 1969). Hence scriever, a great talker (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 265).e.Lth. 1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 69:
Then O fareweel to feasting rare, An' scrieving cracks that drave aff care!
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 104:
In kittle words o' arm-length nebs, They screeve o' Karnac, Memphis, Thebes.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin iii.:
My faither yokit to the carritches, an' scrieved them aff loof.
Mry. 1865 W. Tester Poems 116:
Ay, scrieve it aff aloud, my Lord!
Ags. 1886 A. Willock Rosetty Ends 5:
He screives aff stories that wad mak' ane's hair stand up.
Per. 1896 D. Kippen Crieff 10:
He commenced to scrieve off a quantity of incoherent nonsense.
Kcb. 1901 R. D. Trotter Gall. Gossip 141:
A'm naething o' a writer, but A'm a scriever at indeetin.

II. n. A long or voluble story, a lengthy animated chat, a discourse, harangue (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 265; Sh. 1969); a long solo performance on a musical instrument.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
We had a scrieve about the craps.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 13:
To gie a scrieve on the watter question.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 21:
But what'na screeve the laddie gaed, “Man, man!” was a' the miller said.
Ork. 1960:
I'll gie you a screeve on the pipes.

[Phs. O.N. skrefa, to stride, but influenced by, and phs. in some cases extended usages of, Screeve.]

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"Scrieve v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Feb 2024 <>



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