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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Safe, Saif(f, Sauf, Save, prep. and conj. Also: saufe, sauff, sawff, salf, saulf, salve; seave. [ME and e.m.E. sauf, sauue (both Cursor M.), saf (a1300), save (c1320), sawe (14th c.), salve (Gower), saff (c1400), saffe (1538), salfe (1540–1), F. sauf (c1155 in Larousse); Safe adj. 9: developed, as in Eng. and F., from this use of the adj. Cf. Save v. 15.]

1. prep. With the exception of, except, all but; also saif anerly, only, bot saiff.(1) 1457 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 184.
The last day saif ane of September
c1475 Wall. ix 1841.
Sotheroun men … left Scotland … Saiff ane Morton
c1515 Asl. MS I 154/9.
Almast vjm & vc myle saif ix that lakkis
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 435.
But fas nor vther frenȝeis had it none Saif [L. Saue] claith of gold anamallit all fassioun
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 41/26.
My sweit swanky, saif ȝow allane Na leid I luvit all this owk
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 372.
All weill enarmit, saif the heid
1614 in Melvill xl.
He callit on his childring, quho wer all thair, saiff ane
(b) 1425–6 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 202.
c1515 Asl. MS I 168/25.
Thir ar the landis of Asye salf Ethiope and Egipt
1513 Doug. v i 17.
That now na mair sycht of the land thai se, Salve [Sm. Salf, Ruddim. Sauf] hevyn abufe, and fludis all about
(c) 1649 Cupar Presb. 136.
c1659 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 94.
That ther is justlie ouing of this band 23 pond and three years annualrent seave ane pek of meil
(2) a1500 Henr. Orph. 590.
Saif allanerly sic maner of thingis Quhilk [etc.]
a1500 Rauf C. 590.
Full few thair I fand, Saif anerly ane man
c1520-c1535 Nisbet II 101 marg.
As lang as a man … puttis his traist in ony vther thing saif only the grace … of God
1570 Sat. P. xvii 4.
Nothing … Saif only vice
c1610 Melville Mem. 26.
Themperour … trenched the haill camp round about, saif only the foirface of the stey bra
(b) 1614 Crim. Trials III 295.
Ane letter … without subscriptioun or directioun … saulf onlie ane corse
(c) 1633 Lithgow Poet. Remains 111.
First then, for Lords of Session, none should be Call'd Lords for no respect … Saue onely two, Lord Chauncelor … And the Lord President
(3) c1475 Wall. xi 134.
Sexte and vi xvi to ded has dycht, Bot saiff vii men at fled

b. Reserving, without prejudice to. = Sav(e)and prep. 2 b. 14.. Burghs Laws c. 42 (B).
He may lat that [land] be vnbiggyt qwhil he be of ese to byg it agayn neuirtheles saufe the male to the burges [Acts I 26/12 sauffande oure all quhare the kyngis ferme; L. salva tamen firma per omnia]

c. Leaving aside, without considering. c1420 Wynt. ix 1206.
For bayth thai ware be certane taylyhe Oblyst to do thare that deide, sawff faylyhe

d. Without prejudice to, with due respect to. 1460 Hay Alex. 2529.
The king said, lordis, answeir, saif [B. saifand] ȝour grace, Ȝe suld considder weill ane vther case
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1078 (Bann.).
‘A, souerane lord, sauf ȝour mercy,' quod he
c1475 Wall. xi 1208.
Tharfor till him is no comparisoun, As off a man, sauff reuerence off the croun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4201.
To quhome he said, saif ȝour plesure madame
15.. Misc. Bann. C. III 39.
Sa was Arthur, spurius and a huris sone, sauf reverence, maid a king

2. conj. a. Introducing a finite clause, with or without that, stating an exception: Except that. Also saufe gif, saif only bot, id.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1248 (D).
I also … Obtened victouris … Saif that the wictouris holely To Achilles referred were
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 519.
Na mair I vnderstude thir numbers … than dois a Greik … Saif that me think sweit soundis gude to heir
15.. Clar. i 1326.
He laikis no thing langing to knichtheid, Saif he is only crwell
1693 Fraser in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 216.
Chapells of whose particular uses (safe that they served for divine worship) we can give litle account
(b) 14.. Acts I 25/2.
[His] ayre sall cum in the herytage of the landis … bot this sall be sauff that his spousyt wyffe sall hafe [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 185/11 (M).
No thing is thine sauf onlie that [B. saif only bot] thow spendis
1513 Doug. ix vi 121.
Salf that Eurialus with hym tursyt away The rial trappouris … Quhilkis war Rhamnetes stedis harnessyng
Ib. xi xv 59.
I byd na mair … , Salf that this wench … Be bet dovn ded by my wond and smert strake
(2) 1409 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 74.
Saufe gif the mariage God grantand beis fulfillid betwix [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 185/11 (see (1) (b) above).
Saif only bot

b. Introducing an infinitive. 1484 Acta Conc. I *95/2.
Without any delatouris excepcioun salf anerly to except aganis ony suspect personis

c. Introducing an adv. phrase: Except (only). 1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. xx 6.
My muse, quhich noght doth challenge worthy fame, Saue from Montgomery sche hir birth doth clayme
1622 Crim. Trials III 509.
And without ony word-speiking, saif only be moveing of hir lipis

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"Safe prep., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jan 2023 <>



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