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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.

SKAVIE, n., v. Also scavie, scaiv(e)y, skaivie, skevie, skeevie, -y, skivie. [′skevi, ′skiv-]

I. n. 1. A trick, prank, piece of mischief (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 156; Bnff., Abd. 1970). Phrs. to play (a) skaivie, to play a prank, to do mischief (Bnff., Abd. 1970), fig. of an unmarried woman: to fall with child (Gregor).Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 66:
Naebody ever played me sic a scavie afore.
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 72:
She niver cower't yon scaivey o' yours.
Abd. 1958 People's Jnl. (9 Aug.):
The hinmaist fyow days o't didna' hauf play skaivie wi' the craps.

2. A mishap, accident (Bnff., Abd. 1970); a disappointment (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 156).Abd. 1925:
I richt near cam by a skavie.

II. v. To rush or gad about in an idle, silly or ostentatious manner; to roam or scour about (Bnff. 1970). Ppl.adj., vbl.n. skaiviean, -in, wandering, roaming.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 156:
He gaed skaiviein' through the market.
Abd. 1889 Bon-Accord (9 March) 16:
The loons a' skeeviet oot an' left me a mass o' perspiration.
Bnff.2 1930:
I think I'll get redd o' that dog; he's a skaiviein brute.

[Orig. uncertain. Phs. a deriv. of Skave, adj., in the sense of something oblique, off the straight.]

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"Skavie n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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