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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Houf(f, Howff, n.1 Also: houfe, howfe, hoffe and Holf. [App. Du. and Flem. hof, an enclosed place, a courtyard, with ou, ow for o as in houp Hope n.1, Hope n.2, Hope n.3, Hop(e n.4, Hope n.5 and Hope v. See also Hooff and Hooft.]

1. The name of the former common burial-ground of Dundee.Originally the yard or garden of the Grey Friars, granted to the town as a burial-ground by Queen Mary in 1564, also for some time used as a meeting-place by the crafts. The name may have been in earlier use. 1565 Burgh Rec. in Maxwell Old Dundee 179.
What person that ever beis apprehendit louping in our the dykes of the Houf, sall pay [etc.]
1576 Dundee B. Laws 341.
The dekin with consent of his consale, met in the Howff
1597 Ib. 378.
With the haill brethren of the cordiner craft of Dundie being convened in the Houff of the same
1677 Brechin Test. VII. 10.
My bodie to be buried in the Houff of Dundie
attrib. 1566 Dundee B. Laws 31.
Anent the houf dykes, … that na person pretend to clym the dykes of the buriall place

b. In Aberdeen: A burial-ground, generally. 1647 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 79.
The said maister of kirkwark to goe about the repair of the said kirkyaird dyke and stylls, prepairing of the ground, and making of the same in forme of ane houff, for the more decent burieing of the defunct persones
1649 Ib. 110.
If it fall out that the toune sall haue occasion of buying and erecting ane common houff and buriall place by the kirkyaird
1673 Ib. 287.
Considering ther former act anent the demolishing the dycks of the Quakers hoffe in the eist syde of the Gallowgate

2. The ‘timber-houf’ (q.v.) at Leith. 1638 Edinb. B. Rec. VII. 200.
Giff the watter baillie … sall mister any ballast that is putt out of schips for the use of the howff allanerlie
1643 Ib. VIII. 40.
Understanding that the sea daylie does incroatche upon the touns houf in Leyth

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"Houf n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/houff_n_1>

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