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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sav(e, Saf(e, Saif, Sauf, Salve, Saff, v. Also: saw(e, saive, saif(f)(e, sayf(f(e; sauf(f)(e, sawf(f)(e, salf(f, saulf(f)(e, salwe; seff. P.t. and p.p. also saift, -d, sauft, sawft(e, (sawth). [ME and e.m.E. sauue(n (Ancr. R.), saluin (a1225), save(n (c1250), sauf (Cursor M.), safe (Rolle), sawe (c1425), salve (1432), OF salver, sauver (1050 and late 12th c., in Larousse), late L. salvāre.]

1. tr. To bring or deliver out of danger; to rescue from (impending) misadventure or misfortune; to avert danger from. Also, rarely, in the passive without agent, to be saved, to escape.There is considerable ambiguity with sense 2.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxi 83.
Hyre barnis … ware fletand One a burd, & sawit ware
Ib. xxvi 201, etc.
Sir, ȝe sawit ws now
1456 Hay I 120/13.
Gif the duk … be tane, quhethir gif [any] suld save him, have merci of him and ransoun him
Ib. 194/26.
Quharfor he chesis quham he lufis best, and helpis to save him
c1475 Wall. ii 419.
Thai held him lost, ȝit God him sawth [1570sauit] agayne
1486 Bk. Carlaverock 447.
At he wald haf sawit him and he micht haue wone to him
1549 Compl. 24/15.
Thou sal thole iniuris & spulȝe, ande ther sal be na man that can saue thé
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 20.
If he wald haue sauit his sones [sc. from the gallows], he wald not haue stopit for ane woman
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. iii 476.
Erepte, save, sane
a1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 46.
John Robertson … peressitt at the Saynd ness, in the watter, sawand Alexander Myll
(b) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 946.
And to hir [sc. Venus'] court siclik I am annext Wnder all pane, and refuge nane I haif, Without ȝour grace [sc. Vesta] with sum salue wald me saif
1563–4 Inverness Rec. I 109.
Vnto the tyme the prowest and wtheris nychtbouris saiffit the said James
a1578 Pitsc. I 317 h. of ch.
Hou Andro Wood of Largo saivit the Erle of Glencairne
Ib. 319/29.
Quho raid suoftlie throw the feild to saif all freindis that thay might comprehend on lyffe
Ib. 320/6.
Bot inmedeatlie Androw Wode … tuik him and saiffit him and brocht him away on lyue
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxx 250.
Thu ma lichtly … Sauf hyme & do thi-self na il
c1420 Wynt. ii 460.
All the folk off Tessaly Had nere bene drownyt. … Wpone ane hille was callyd Parnas Thare thai ware that sawfyt was
1513 Doug. iii ii 39.
Salve ws, lattir wardis of Troy, that we ne spill
Ib. x vi 45.
All drowkyt and forwrocht, Thai salwyt [Sm. salffit, Ruddim. saiffit] war, and warpyt to the cost
1622-6 Bisset II 234/9.
It wes aggreed that he suld keip vessellis to sauf and conduct theme towardis there landis frome the said harbarie
(2) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2390.
And of his gud the most part all He kest out … To saif his folk
c1420 Wynt. viii 1770.
All that schyltrum thai slw down, And sawffyd off Berwyk swa the town
Ib. 5551.
For to sawffe his comwnate Than wyth the wardane tretyde he
1460 Hay Alex. 3467.
Schir … Ȝe wald haue reuth and take this ambassade For thocht ȝe had neuer vther seruice made Till Alexander ȝe seruit ȝoure warisoun To saif his men or thai be dongin doun
1513 Doug. ii vi heading.
Quhou Eneas the trayson dyd persave, And quhat debait he maid the town to save
Ib. xi xiv 10.
On horsbak in this Tarchon baldly draw, Wilfull his pepill to support and saw
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2030.
Maid proclamationis … That ilke man … Sulde cum, and saif thare awin cuntre
a1585 Maitl. Q. 94/160.
Ane woman than … Saifit the toun
Ib. 94/162.
Hester … Saifit the peopill all
1640 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 51.
That now or never is the tyme to gaine honour … and to saive or lose thair countrie
(3) 1513 Doug. i Prol. 162.
Bot quha sa redis Virgill suythfastly Sall fynd Neptune salf [Ruddim. sayffit] Eneas navy
Ib. v iv 95.
The maryneris … with lang bolmys of tre … Inforcis of to schowyn the schyp to save
1562-3 Winȝet I 6/21.
Awalke! … and put to ȝour hande stoutlie to saif Petiris schip
a1595 Descr. Isles 437.
Ane … wall … within quhilk schippis and boittis are drawin and salvit
1602 Conv. Burghs II 139 (see b below). 1622-6 Bisset II 242/34.
Meattis it behuifis to cast out the guidis to saif the schip
(4) a1570-86 Maitl. F. 424/175.
Ȝour hous … laitlie onlie on the Lord it lenit, … Quha send ȝour self to sawe it and sustenit

b. To extricate (goods or possessions) from (the threat of) destruction or loss; to salvage.There is some overlap with (3) above. ?14.. Ship Laws c. 21 (B).
Gyf a schyp be brokyn … the men ar haldyn to saufe als mykyl of the gudes as thai may
1533 Boece 87b.
Gif be aventure of sey ony parte of spuleȝe … be salfit and drevin bakwart apoun thare coist
1602 Conv. Burghs II 139.
Giff ony skipper be schipbrokin than sall he and his cumpany be haldin to saiff and succour the schip and guidis with the reidship of the schip [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset II 241/24. c1650 Spalding I 194.
The bischops seruandis saiffit his bookis and vther insicht and plenishing and hid thame in nichtbouris houssis
c1685 Annandale Corr. 314.
My lords monny was saved [from the fire]

2. To keep safe, to preserve from danger, to protect. Freq. said of God.Gol. & Gaw. 793 is included here ((1) (b)) as, appar., an alliterative use of a phonetic doublet. This seems to make rather better sense in the context than that salf is an instance of Saw v.2 to heal, remedy.Cf., however, the example in Piers Plowman, sauen … and saluen … of alle synnes cited by OED (salve v.1 2 b).(1) 1375 Barb. viii 263.
Now ga we furth … Quhar he that maid off nocht all thing Lede ws & saiff [C. sauf] ws
a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 22.
Bot thane for the takine of the rud He mad on hyme … thocht he vntrewful was, Ȝet wes he sawit nocht-the-les
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2775.
And God … Mot saif our king, and gif him hart and hand All sic wolfis to banes of the land
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 793.
The king grantit the gait to schir Gawane, And prayt to the grete God to grant him his grace, Him to saue and to salf
a1500 Seven S. 865.
Bot fader ȝit I dreid that we Be tane … He said, Na, son, God will ws saif, Becaus that we sic mister haif
Ib. 1947.
And for girth come he hidder than, And we haf savit him as we may
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2352.
Quhow Grekis maid thare deuotioun haill To Mars, to saif thame in battaill
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6168.
Without that ȝe [sc. the seventh sage] find sum help … Conforme to the sayingis ȝe said … That was ilk ane to saif ȝour day about
1567 G. Ball. 108.
He sall saif thé mychtfullie, And na mischance sall cum to thé
Ib. 170.
Thow may me saif, thow may me spill Baith lyfe and deide lyis in thy will
a1568 Bann. MS 225b/22.
Fair weill leill lady … Fair weill that may me saif and spill
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxi 35.
And Jonas, in the quhellis bellie, Thow safit thre dayis
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 160.
Let na man do evill for counsell of greit men, or thair maisteris, thinking thay sall save thame
a1578 Pitsc. II 218/6.
Becaus he pat downe the puire vitches and saiffit gretter in his awin cumpanie daylie with him
(b) 1375 Barb. ii 145.
Der God, … Sawff hym and scheld him fra his fayis!
c1420 Wynt. i 379.
To sawffe hym and hys swnnys thre … He gert, of Goddis byddyng, mak Ane ark
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 793 (see (1) above).
1533 Boece 49b.
Sum be myrknes of the nycht war salfit
Ib. 317b.
Aidane thus deliuerit be reskewe of his son was horssit and salfit be flicht
1588 Crim. Trials I ii 163.
Quha haillit hir and teichit hir all thingis, and speikis and wairnis hir of thair cuming and saulfis hir
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2467.
Now se I na remeid To saif the selie beistis that I keip
1538 Treas. Acc. VIII 159.
Gevin to Arche Pennecuik to saif the quenis hors [sc. when being taken onboard ship], vj frs. vij s.
1567 G. Ball. 197.
Preistis, pray na mair To Sanct Anthone to saif thy sow
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 106.
His douchtir … to the dragone Suld be gyffine, to sauff the ton
c1420 Wynt. viii 3739.
The Scottis men … Made ordynawns thare land to save [: gave]
1533 Boece 87b.
Thow has convoyit … this victorios armye without ony harme resauit. … Be thy manhede … oure army is salfit but dammage
1533 Bell. Livy I 34/31.
That my citee was sauffit be thi helpe
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6135.
The first … said … this day the cietie I sall saue; … The secund said the nixt day fallis me Fra enemeis for to keip the cietie
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xlviii 161.
God saifd our ship, and ruled our noble ruther, And helpt vs throu
(4) ?1438 Alex. ii 1243.
Gif God savis my neuoys weill And my suord and my mais of steill, I sall me venge
1456 Hay I 131/5.
I say nocht na he sulde … abandon all his gudis, lyf, and body to sauf the Cristyn faith
a1500 Seven S. 1792.
We tak on hand … To saif baith myrrour & ymage
1533 Bell. Livy II 181/16.
That nowthir tre nor other thing … war sauffit or left vndistroyit
1671 Orkney Rentals App. 64.
17 salt hyds, which were laid upon the highest lofting of the steeple and bells for saving the said lofting and bells [sc. from fire]

b. In phrases of benediction, sometimes also by way of greeting, as God save ȝou, God save the King. Cf. 7 f.(a) ?1438 Alex. i 584.
God sawe thé, gif his willis be
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2775.
And God … Mot saif our king
c1475 Wall. viii 1324.
‘Quhat set yow thus,’ scho said, ‘so God yow saiff’
1535 Stewart 39718.
The hyndmest [said] … ‘God saue ȝow, schir, of Scotland salbe king!'
a1540 Freiris Berw. 316.
Freyr Allane said I pray to God ȝow saue Heir is aneuche forsuth of Goddis gude
15.. Sym & Bruder 124.
God saif him & the haly gaist And keip the man fra manting mekle
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 38.
[He] saluist thame … God saif ȝow seid of Salomon
1573 Sempill Sat. P. xxxix 379.
God saif our king and send him lytill ado
(b) a1540 Misc. Bann. C. III 41.
Him that now regnis, quham God sauff

c. To guarantee immunity or safe-conduct to, to warrant the safety of. c1475 Wall. xi 905.
To sayff the erll Wallace … Set on his clok a takyn for to se, The lyoun in wax that suld his condet be
1622-6 Bisset II 233/24.
Sa be this maner of brevis all schipis and guidis be saiffed [v.r. assured] of the richt of the said prince
Ib. 235 n. 1.

3. With non-personal agent: To serve as a protection, defence or means of deliverance to.(a) 1456 Hay I 116/33.
Alssua … suppos he pas to do sum pugny of were … that savis him nocht
Id. Alex. 3266.
His helme was crasit and in the harnes him clave Quhill all the gold of Grece mycht nocht him save
c1475 Wall. ii 71.
Couert of treis sawit him full weille
15.. Christis Kirk 97 (B).
His dowblet wes maid of ledder And saift [M. sauft] him
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1804.
Sa it become … That the four toris sauit the childis face
Ib. 6409.
Thy boist … sall not saif thee I say
1570 Sat. P. xi 55.
Quhen gallow pin or cutting knyfe Suld stranglit thé, and saift my deir
(b) c1420 Wynt. iv 424.
That he [sc. Cyrus] suld hang hym on a tre, Quhare nevyre rayne wytht mekyll wete Na nakyn swn mycht sauff with het
14.. Acts I 38/2.
Bot … gif he war suilke a mysdoar that gyrth of haly kyrk aw nocht to sauffe hym
1456 Hay I 181/8.
Gif a man be tane apon ane otheris sauf condyt, traistand in it that it suld sauf him and lede him seurly
1533–4 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 417.
We … revokis all … respittis to the effect that the samin sall be of nane avale … to sauf ony maner of person to be accusit … for recent slauchteris … committit be thaim
1543 Acts II 431/1.
The said conduct … is sufficient anewcht to salf the said Jhone that he be na presoner

4. a. To spare (a person), to allow, freq. out of clemency, to escape impending punishment, death, etc. Also absol.(a) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 848 (C).
The kyng Pryame … The which thow aught … To saue in thyne protectioune
?1438 Alex. i 26.
That nane that was in that cittie … sould sauit be
1456 Hay I 117/2.
Quhilkis for na gude thai mycht do thare suld be savit, bot thai suld tyne thair hede
a1500 Henr. Abbay Walk 36.
He is ane iuge to nane suspect, To pvneis synffull man and saif
c1475 Wall. iv 256.
Wallace commaundede thai suld na wermen saiff
Ib. 492.
Wemen … And ȝong childer, forsuth thai sawyt no ma
a1500 Bk. Chess 1037.
[He] slew thaim all … and saiffit neuer one
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 39/13.
Haue mercie, luif … Quhat have I wrocht … That ȝe suld murdir me … Leif creuelte and saif ȝour man for schame
1535 Stewart 32258.
That da tha sauit nother ȝoung or ald
1549 Compl. 100/28.
I ordand ȝou to slay doune al the Romans, and nocht to saif ane of them
a1578 Pitsc. II 263/17, 19, 20.
The laird of Virmestoune … passit to the regentis ludging and thair gave him fair vordis to come furth promeisand to saue him, quha instantlie come furth … beleivand to have beine sawit bot it stuid nocht in the handis of thair backaris to save thame at that tyme
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxi 31.
Quhen thow did all the warld distroy for Adame sine; And sauitt Lott
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 185.
[He] wes set at libertie by the Earle of Catteynes who saiffed him not out of any favor towards him … bot onlie [etc.]
absol. a1500 Bk. Chess 1033.
In batall is mor worschipe … To wyn & saif than for to sla all dovne
(b) c1420 Wynt. ii 1083.
He gert that woman sawffyt be That sauffyt hys spyis … Quhen thai come that towne to spy
Ib. v 4088 (W).
He chesit of thai twa Men erare to saufe than sla
Ib. viii 1758 (R).
Auchten schyppys gret thai wan: Off thai thai sawffyd nevyre a man
Ib. ii 1140.
Ib. vi 1080. c1475 Wall. vii 1039.
That sawfte suld be nayne Off Sotheroun blud, quhar thai mycht be ourtayn
Ib. viii 525.
Thai sawft na Sotheroun for thair gret riches
Ib. xi 1378.
To sauff thi king or spill
a1500 Seven S. 612.
a1538 Abell 22b.
Bot and thow salf me and thoill to pas hame to my cuntre haill and feire thaire salbe perpetuall remembrance of the clemence … of the Impriour of Rome
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 181.
Barclay wes hangit in Striueling, and the vther wes sauffit vpoun cautioun

b. To spare (a thing), to leave undestroyed. c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 96.
The admirall … set Craigfergus into fyre, And saifit nouther barne nor byre
1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 352.
That na maner of … persones … mak murburne … bot yeirly … and that … upone grass only, saiffand hedder and young wood
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 196.
They brunt and wasted the toun of Wick bot they saiffed the church

5. reflex. To extricate oneself from danger, to act to assure one's safety, to keep oneself safe.(a) a1568 Kennedy Bann. MS 268b/44.
Amend thy mis thy self to saif
1535 Stewart 19616.
[They] Gaif him counsall na langar for till byde … And saif him self vnto ane better tyme
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1246.
Thairfoir, deir hart, ȝour self ȝe saue, Howbeit thay tak me
c1552 Id. Mon. 3343.
1596 Dalr. I 170/5.
Thay … saifet thame selfes in wodis, mosse, and mure
Ib. 183/9.
Gif … he had nocht … fled in Irland … to safe him selfe
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xvi 479.
For this tempeste sal lest … Ay till we herbry this ded cors; For-thi, to sawfe ws, cast it owt!
c1400 Troy-bk. i 184.
Gyf that ȝe … That now may sauf ȝow, gif ȝe will, And out of dangere lithtly fare
?14.. Ship Laws c. 22 (B).
A schyp … hapnys to … ryve thai sauf thaim [A. sau thaim, H.2 saulfe thaimself] at that tyme the beste wyse at thai may
1513 Doug. x xiii 8.
Nother party wist … To salf hym self quhar away to fle

6. To deliver, preserve or spare (one's own or another's life, also banys, blude, liffis savite).(1) a1400 Leg. S. xlii 190.
That na man acces suld hafe To leche hire na hir lyf safe
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2540.
Gif me some Of ȝour mete … That I tharewith my lyve may saif [: haif]
?1438 Alex. ii 1904.
The Bauderane … tane With men that wald him sone haue slane Na war Cassamus … That safit his lyfe as man of pris
1456 Hay I 200/29.
I say, treuly he awe to save his lyf and defend him
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2929.
Fra thow be bund thow may mak na defence To saif thy lyfe nor ȝit thy libertie
c1475 Wall. vii 936.
To saiff his lyff thre ȝer he duelt in But
a1500 Seven S. 483, etc.
The grewhound savit his sonnis lyf
1533 Bell. Livy II 99/23.
The fidenatis slang away thare wappynnys, and askit thare live to be saiffit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 569.
Thay war fane … To saue thair lyfis, for to cut thair mane mast
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 101.
[He] said that gif thaj wald let in my lord Bothwill he wald saif all thair lyvis and let thame gang hame
1596 Dalr. I 182/26.
Quhen Donald had tint the victorie, he thocht best to saif his lyfe be flychte
(b) 1375 Barb. x 703.
Ilk man to sauff his lyff, Fled
a1400 Leg. S. xl 1143.
To saufe his lyf I hicht lely
c1420 Wynt. ii 1194.
That kyngys fyve Crape in a cove to sawffe thare lyve
1456 Hay I 198/34.
All man is behaldyn to sauf his awin lyf
Ib. 201/21.
I say he may defend him lefully and sauf his lyf again his juge
Ib. 183/20 (see 7 c below). Id. Alex. 3442.
Bid him salff oure livis and honoure
1570 Leslie 200.
Be quhais defence his lyf was saufeit
1596 Reg. Privy C. V 293.
[They] had not faillit to have slane thame, wer not Nicolas and Gilliechallum Rossis, brethir to the said George, saulffit thair lyveis
(2) 1375 Barb. iv 537 (C).
Ane is our liffis savite That suld on na vis savit [E. sawft] be Gif thai had vs at thair liking
1460 Hay Alex. 1793.
To saif the blude of man Nane vther way [sc. than by single combat] as now counsall I can
1513 Doug. ii x 161.
And we agane … Besowth my fader to salue his wery banys, And not be wilful to perys

b. With inanimate agent or instrument. 1375 Barb. iv 137.
That bataillyne with-owtyn dout Sawyt [C. saffit] thar lywys
1531 Bell. Boece II 476.
Ane woman … leit meill fall doun throw the loftis of the toure, be quhilkis his life wes certane dayis savit
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 133.
The said Haggerstoune … shot in his corslate of pruife, which sauet his lyfe
1640–1 Ruthven Corr. 72.
My lyf with the lyfe of the skipper and companie miraculusly saived by the kok bot

7. To keep intact or unsullied, to maintain, preserve, safeguard (honour, chastity, conscience, etc.). b. To maintain or uphold (a right, privilege, or the like). c. To keep, not to break (an oath). d. To maintain, preserve, not to allow to lapse or be lost or destroyed. Also const. to (= for) a person. e. To reserve or retain (to oneself) from destruction, alienation, etc.: cf. Sav(e)and pres. p. 1. f. In expression of benediction, by way of compliment: (May God) preserve (the attribute of the person). Cf. 2 b.(a) 1375 Barb. ii 341.
Wyrk yhe then apon swylk wys That ȝour honour be sawyt ay
c1420 Ratis R. 356.
Be besy concord fore to draw … gif that thow may, Saifand thi consciens alway
1460 Hay Alex. 3442 (see 6 (1) (b) above). a1500 Henr. Fab. 2929 (see 6 (1) above). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1008.
And grant the frekis on fold farar to fall, Baith thair honouris to saif
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 99/44.
I pray God better his honour saiff Na to be lychtleit sua
Id. Tua Mar. W. 284.
A lufsummar leid … That couth be secrete and sure and ay saif my honour
Ib. 461.
Fy on hir that can nought feyne her fame for to saif
1525 Douglas Corr. 99.
Gyf thaire be ony service at ȝoure grace wyll command me or ony of myne alegeance saiffyt, we sall be redy at command
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5947.
I alone, the quhilk abone all men Suld saif ȝour schame and als ȝour honestie
1562-3 Winȝet II 61/13.
Timothe, says he, saue that thing geuin thé in keiping, eschewand the prophane nouelteis of woices
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary II 282.
Sa my private and publick impugnatioun did saife my conscience sufficientlie
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xvii 78.
To saif hir pure virginitie
(b) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1102.
I sall thi kyndnes quyte, And sauf thyn honoure
1533 Boece 115b.
Thai suld … nocht fle bot be vassalage sauf thare honoure
a1538 Abell 13b.
That be deid thai mycht saufe thare wirginite
1586 Cal. Sc. P. VIII 383.
I did gritly mervell that he … shuld not haif considerit of these materris befor thay wer brocht in suche termes that culd not be calde back agayn, princely honour salveit
1657 Balfour Ann. IV 89.
Sir James Hackett and Colonell Scotte [were] cleired by the comittee, ȝet that did litle salue ther honor amongest honest men
1681 Lauder Observes 54.
A slender paper used by him for salving his conscience at the swearing of the Test
b. c1420 Wynt. vii 740.
Till ilke kyrk [the] rycht suld stand … Before all sawffyde [C. sauffyt, W. sauf, A. sauff] the dygnyte
Ib. 3578.
Till all prestys he dyd reverens And sawffyd thare statys wyth diligens
Ib. viii 4470.
The Erle Jhon dyde besynes … To sawffe the rycht off [his] cwntre
Ib. ix Prol. 49.
To sauff my state I haiff maid hir my advocate
1681 Edinb. Surgeons II p. 238.
To advyse with lawyers how their priviledges might be salved if such a patent should pass
c. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 548.
Quhen he cowertly To sauf his aith did felny
1456 Hay I 183/19.
The said knycht is in a difference: to enter to sauf his ath, or to absent him to sauf his lyf
d. (1) a1538 Abell 3a.
Be him … God disponit to saufe the natur of man all othir distroyit be ane flude
(2) 1513 Doug. ii x 140.
Gif goddis lykyt lenth my life langar space Thai wald haue salwyt to me this litil place
1533 Bell. Livy I 15/20.
The realme of Latynis and Troianis was sauffit to this childe Ascanius be prudent tutorie of Lavinia his moder
e. 1587 Acts III 436/1.
Our souerane lord according to the libertie and priuilege saulffit to him selff … hes [etc.]
f. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1078.
‘Aa, souerane lord, saif ȝour mercie!' quod he. ‘My purpois wes with him for to haif plaid’

8. To deliver (a person, his or her soul, etc.) from sin and its consequences; to bring to spiritual a1400 Leg. S. iv 66.
He … til [his] mayster consale gaf To do sa and hymself sawe
Ib. xv 14.
He callit Paule To safe & succur syndry sawle
a1450 Fifteen Ois 304.
Thy blud that sauit ws all
a1500 Henr. Abbay Walk 36.
God of his iustice mon correct And of his mercy petie haif He is ane iuge … To pvneis synffull man and saif
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 580 (Asl.).
To saif thi saull now schawe thi sapiens
1490 Irland Mir. II 126/15.
It is mekle better finaly to saif the man na to tyn him
Ib. III 128/14.
Lang tyme eftir that he [sc. Trajan] deit … Sanct Gregor … prayit for him and at his prayer God of his mercy savit Traiane
c1500 Rowll Cursing 17 (B).
He that saulis saifis and dammis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 21/167.
Saife [BD sayffe]
Ib. 13/25. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 4535 (B).
Vthir sawlis to saive it settis thame weill, Syne sendis thair awin saule to the deill
1567 G. Ball. 94.
The king is not saif be his greit armie … And mony thousand hors may na man saif
Ib. 193.
Na sanct can saif ȝour saule
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 80.
Of hyme that sal ws sauf on tre
Ib. xvi 4, etc.
c1420 Wynt. i 494.
Jhesu Cryst [was] of Mary borne Tyll sawffe oure lyff that wes forlorne
c1460 Regim. Princ. 158 (Fairf.).
Justice … Haldis pepill in pes & gude prosperiteys Salfis thaire saulis makis thaire saluacioun
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Jude 23.
(c) 1490 Irland Mir. II 13/4.
And vthir sempill peple trowit as the kyrk trowit that tym and that saffit thaim
1551 Hamilton Cat. 38.
He saffit us nocht be the mediation of Moyses, bot be the bitter … passion of his awin naturall sone
passive a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 66.
& mony sonnis of Israel … To God, thar lord, turne sal he, & sagat thru hyme sawit be
c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 268.
He … that treuly kepys this informacione … he beis sauit
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 669 (Harl.).
Saiffit or damnit, knew we in speciall, We suld na prayer … for thame expreme
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John iii 17.
1551 Hamilton Cat. 127.
1562-3 Winȝet I 81/18.
Qvhat haif ȝe for ȝou, that the infantis of the faythful ar saifit alrady but baptim
1593 Edinb. Test. XXV 121b.
I … luikis to be sauit be na mene bot be … Jesus Christ
1600 in Melvill 475.
In tham that ar saiffed and in tham that pearishe [2 Cor. ii 15]
1615 Edinb. Test. XLVIII 256.reflex. 1593 Innes Rev. III 103.
This way heffing seffit my lyff … the Lerde of Fentre thinking on guid ressoun … to seff him selff sufferit allenerle for his relligioun

b. In asseverative expressions, esp. sa God or Christ me save.(1) 1375 Barb. xx 220.
Sa God him self me saiff [: haff v.; C. saff] Ik hald me rycht weill payit
?1438 Alex. ii 2381.
The Bauderane said, ‘Sa God me saif, The ressoun quhy fane wald I haif’
c1420 Wynt. viii 243.
Schyre, (sayd he,) sa God me sawe, The kynryk yharne I noucht till have
c1450-2 Howlat 120 (A).
So me Crist saif
a1500 Rauf C. 500.
Sa Christ me saue
c1475 Wall. v 675.
Yhe sall it haiff, als God me saiff in saille
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 71/22.
My sempillnes … Wait off na way, sa God me saiff
Ib. 121/98.
Sa God me save
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4461 (Ch.).
(2) 1619 Perth Kirk S. MS 7 June.
Marge Gelletlie … purgit hir be hir great aith Lat neuer hir saull be saifit if euer scho knew him

9. In prec. senses, with participial or adjectival complement: To rescue, keep, preserve, etc. lefand, on plunderit, etc.(a) c1420 Wynt. ii 408.
For thare hele … God had hym sawyt than lefand
a1578 Pitsc. (1814) 201.
To saiff the lordis injustified [a1578 Pitsc. I 183/13, from iustifieing] in the tyme of the kingis furie
c1650 Spalding I 213.
The toun wes saiffit on plunderit by payment of this soume
(b) c1420 Wynt. v 1445.
Fere leware he had … A man off his to sauff wnslayne Than off hys fays to sla … a thowsand
1513 Doug. ix iv 98.
So hail and feir mot salf me Jupiter
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 53.
Ȝe may sauff the bairnis of Fergus vndefraudit of thair kyndlie heretage
a1540 Freiris Berw. 65 (M).
I pray to God him speid And sauf him sound in till his leill travale
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 306.
He wald haif sauffit the sone of ane theif, being his tennent, unjustifiit, allegeand [him] … to be his awin

10. a. To keep undisposed of, to retain intact in safe keeping (goods). b. absol. To save up (money, goods), accumulate by saving.a. 1622-6 Bisset II 213/1.
That sic schip … nor na thing within hir salbe adiudged wraik bot the guidis sall be saifed and keiped be the sicht of the schiref coronall
b. a1568 Bann. MS 147a/4.
Gett and saif and thow sall haif, Len and grant and thow sall want

11. a. To safeguard or deliver a person from (disgrace, shame).e.g. by behaving discreetly. Const. possess. of the person and noun as direct object. 1513 Doug. v vi 112.
It moste be to me leful rewth to haue Of my frendis myschance, hys lak to save, Quhilk in hys awyn defalt tynt not the gre

b. (To take the action needed) to avoid or prevent (an undesired outcome). 1629 Cranna Fraserburgh 184.
That Wm. Fraser … would be excommunicat the next sabboith day according to ane process led and deducit againis him befoir the Presbytry unles he saveit the same
1639 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 215.
To … saive the schedding of much innocent blood

12. To give protection from, fend off, keep out (something material).With inanimate agent. 1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv Pref. 46.
The plesant plane-trie will the leavs vnfauld With fairest schaddow to save the sone in symmer
1595 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 582.
Thre daillis to saiff the weit abowe the sclaittis that na weit cum within the scoole

13. In prec. senses, const. fra (from) and for a. A person, b. An impending misfortune, undesirable consequence, etc.a. c1475 Wall. v 691.
I a maid; and standis in mony stour, Fra Inglismen to saiff my womanheid
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 102.
Than think I hiddowus Mahowne hes me in armes Thair ma na sanyne me save fra that auld Sathane
Ib. 145.
Fra sic a syre God ȝow saif [M. sauf] my sueit sisteris deir
1549 Compl. 63/14.
Quhou Perseus sauit Andromada fra the cruel monstir
b. (1) 1375 Barb. x 576.
Giff God ws sawys fra persawing Off thaim
a1400 Leg. S. xvi 246.
The ded he tholyt … To safe ws fra the wethirwyne
Ib. xliii 120.
a1487 Gud Wyf & D. 226.
Tharfor women suld kepit be, That thai mycht na licht women se, … It savis thame mony a tym fra ill
1531 Bell. Boece II 378.
He commandit the round tempil … to be cassin down. … Yit the inhabitantis saiffit the samin fra uter eversioun
1533 Gau 36/1.
He is callit … saluiour for he saiffis ws fra our sinnis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 298. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 1809.
This fell serpent he hes ouircum … And sauit the childe fra perrell
Ib. 9572.
Ȝe haue saift this day fra schame and skaith Ȝour awin honour & als my douchters baith
1565 St. A. Kirk S. 251.
To procur in the caus of Elizabeth Payt … to save hyr caus fra paresing becaus sche is seik and maye nocht compeir
1567 G. Ball. 13.
Defend vs from temptatioun … , Saif vs from schame and from dispair, From unbeleue and Lollardis lair
Ib. 19.
To … saif vs fra exces and drunkinnes
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 17. 1570 Sat. P. xvi 56.
From forfalting he sauit his lands
Ib. xviii 9.
He saift thé from the gallous
a1578 Pitsc. II 103/28.
As they might saiff thair contrie fre skaith and boundage
Ib. 239/21.
1581 Bk. Univ. Kirk II 503.
Of the office of ane Christiane magistrat … To hauld hand to thame alsweill concerning thair awin personis, saifing thame from iniurie and oppin violence
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxiii 36.
Sawitt [Cullen Chron. Aberd. 61, saifitt]
c1630 Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 187.
A verie high mountaine … which saiffs and gairds the shipps from the wind which doth come on the east
c1650 Spalding I 278.
Monro causit big wp … ane court de guard, for saifing of his soldiouris fra weit and cauld on the nicht
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 78.
To sauf thame fra his venyme
c1420 Wynt. iv 799.
And we sall sawffyd be fra blame
Ib. 1223.
All that ryfft togyddyre crape And sa was sauffyde the cyte Fra stynk than, and mortalite
Ib. v 4203.
Devotly Prayer he mad … For till relewe hym … And tyll sauff hym fra that deffame
1456 Hay I 29/29.
[They] suore to sauf thame and kepe thame sekirly fra all harme
c1475 Wall. v 1127.
The wemen sone he sauffyt fra the dede
1533 Boece 286b.
Ambrois … in ane littir tursit be twa grete hors to sauf his person fra troubill
1533 Bell. Livy II 209/4.
Traisting throw strenth of the place … to sauf thare flamynis, thare preistis [etc.] … fra occisioun & fire of inemyis
a1540 Freiris Berw. 88 (M).
Our lord Jesus me sauf from sic ane cace And keip me out of perrell and fra schame
(c) 1513 Doug. i iii heading.
Quhou Neptune his navy salvyt [Sm. saifit, Ruddim. sauit] fra wraik
Ib. iii Prol. 45.
Be my laid star virgyne moder … from hell, salue al go not to wraik
Ib. xi Prol. 72.
God salf ws all from sik a syre as this!
c1575 Balfour Pract. 470.
Because he tuke the saidis gudis be ane pretendit titill … the quhilk at that time not beand declarit null, aucht and sould salve him fra all crime of spuilȝie, albeit the samin may not salve him fra wrang
a1578 Pitsc. II 55/25.
(d) a1400 Leg. S. iii 1124.
The pylgram, that sa Saffyt hym fra his felone fa
reflex. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2004.
He counsalit hir to seike remeid, To saif hir-self frome felloun deid
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 966.
Now Crist, … Cum of the croce & saife thé fra the ded
1513 Doug. xi xiii 68.
Hys hed coverit, to salf hym fro the dynt
1531 Bell. Boece I 152.
As maist cowart … bestis saiffis thaimself for dangeir
1533 Boece 365.
King Druskene … with ane fewe cumpanye salfit him self fra dangere
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxx 257.
Sa ma thu thé sauf fra hel
c1420 Ratis R. 1038.
Gyf thow will sauf thé fra schowris Of gret dises, of new amouris Be weil ware [etc.]
(2) 1387 Edinb. Chart. 35.
Alswa betwene the chapellis guteryt with hewyn stane to cast the watir owte and to save the werc for the watir

14. To clear oneself from (the imputation of legal default, or its consequences) by offering an acceptable excuse. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 102 (A).
At the ferd court of the mut he sal at his entra warand his essonȝes and gif he may set for hym certane resonis to sauf his distres thai salbe sufferit
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 5.
Sa that … the tennande sal be neuermar herde thairof [sc. if he fails to appear on the fourth day] bot gif that he may sauf the dais of his defalt be the lorde the kyng warande & be the kyngis breff
14.. Quon. Attach. c. 4.
And gif the ferd day the party deffendand aperis & cumis & can salf his defaltis he sal nocht be amercyt bot he sal ansuer til his party of the querel

15. To sauff occurs in Barb. and Wynt. in senses of Sav(e)and prep. and of Safe prep. a. prep. Excepting only, except for, except. = Sav(e)and prep. 2 a. Only in Wynt. b. With due respect to, without offence to. = Sav(e)and prep. 2 c.a. c1420 Wynt. iii 541.
Quhare nowthire man na wywe To sauff geawntis thare he fand
Ib. iv 1598.
For nane thare governale than had To sauff barnys off yhowthad, Threllys [etc.]
Ib. viii 1326.
But barnys tha bredyre deyde ilkane, To sawff Robert oure kyng allane
Ib. iv 1168, 2438, v 420.b. 1375 Barb. iii 173.
‘Schyr,’ said he, … ‘To sauff ȝour presence it [is] nocht swa'

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