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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Abufe, Above, adv. and prep. Also: (a) abeof(e, abeouf(e, abeuf(f, abuf, abuff(e, abwff(e, abwfe, abouf, abowff; (b) abuif(e, abuiff, abuyf, abwif(e, aboif(fe, abof; (c) abeove, abeowe, abow(e, above, abuve. [ME. above, abuve, reduced from aboven Abovin by loss of final n (already appearing in ONhb. bufa). The pronunc. is most clearly represented by the spelling abuve, but the forms with f are the more frequent. It is difficult or impossible, except in rhymes and in printed texts, to distinguish aboue from abone Abone, as u and n are made alike in the manuscripts.]

A. adv. 1. Above, on high, aloft. Also fig.(a) 1375 Barb. xii. 172 (God that sittis abuf). a1400 Leg. S. xlix. 83 (vndire & abeofe). 1456 Hay II. 39/37 (to halde his honour abufe). c1450-2 Howlat 16 (the brays bair branchis abuf). a1500 Henr. Fab. 1665 (baith vnder and abufe). a1500 Rauf C. (twa creillis cuplit abufe). 1513 Doug. i. i. 5 (by fors of goddis abufe). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1383 (couerit weill abufe). a1568 Scott xii. 35 (nixt God abufe).(b) a1500 Henr. Robin & M. 30 (my scheip gois aboif). a1540 Freiris Berw. 182 (his curage wes aboif). a1568 Scott x. 45 (scho dois moif my hairt aboif). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 102/5 (pouer geuin frome abuif). a1570-86 Maitland M. Fol. civ. 26 (to God abuife).(c) c1475 Wall. vi. 102 (to the makar abow). 1490 Irland Mir. I. 30/16 (in hevin above). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5531(apone his hous above). c1568 Lauder Minor P. iii. 116 (God that rings aboue). a1570-86 Maitl. Fol. clxx, 21 (blissing from abowe). a 1700 Greyfriars Interm. 687 (buried abowe).

2. With past pples., as above-mentionat, namit, nominat, etc.1634 Stirling Merch. Guilds 51 (wthers aboue-mentionat). 1644 Melville Chart. 173 (the vthir tutouris abouenominat). 1647 Aberd. B. Rec. 75 (the counsell abouenamit). 1649 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 688 (the landis abowe wodset).

B. prep. 1. Above, over, higher up than.(a) a1400 Leg. S. vii. 272 (abeoufe the citté); xxiii. 262 (abeoufe the ȝettis). a1500 Rauf C. 816 (abufe thair heid). 1513 Doug. i. v. 55 (abuf the sterrit sky). 1549 Compl. 38/15 (abufe oure oriszone). 1550 Reg. Cupar A. II. 74 (as weill vnder the ȝird as abouf). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 162 (abufe the erth).(b) 1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 176 (abuif the southt buyrd). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxv. 66 (aboif the sterris sevin); xxxv. 50 (aboif the mone). a1568 Scott xxxi. 46 (to fle Aboif the pest and plaig). 16.. Hist. Kennedy 2 (the hill abuiff that house).(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 255 (abeowe the wattyre). c1420 Ratis R. i. 289 (abowe thaim … and wnder thaim). c1500-c1512 Dunb. lx. 51 (abowe him sett at tabell). 1553 Edinb. B. Rec. 338 (the hous above the kirk duir). a1585 Montg. Maitl. Q. lxiii. 39 (aboue the zodiak). 1657 Aberd. B. Rec. 165 (multipleing burialls abuve others). 1665 Ib. 219 (abowe ther said loft). 1689 Leven & Melv. P. 228 (abow board).

b. In the phr. als wele under (etc.) … as above. 1441 Reg. Great S. 69/2.
Als wele under yerde as above
1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 396.
Als weill within wattar as abuf

c. Further up from (a place). 1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 395.
Ane … brig … abuf the Kyngis fuird
1596 15th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. ix. 36.
The coiff abowf Dulskellie
1639 Annandale Corr. 33.
Sum aucht or ten millis [= miles] aboiffe mie

d. Higher than, superior to (in rank or quality).c1420 Ratis R. 297 (that wice is far abowe wertew). 1490 Irland Mir. I. 6/31 (aboue kingis and emperouris). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxviii. 6 (aboif all sanctis). a1568 Scott xiv. 17 (abof the revenous fowlis).

2. Beyond, more than, exceeding.a1400 Leg. S. i. 21 (abeove the lafe); v. 76 (ȝarnyt abeoufe althinge). 1456 Hay II. 66/27 (honourit abufe al ordre that ever was). c1500-c1512 Dunb. viii. 29 (welcum, abufe all livand leyd). 1513 Doug. iii. vi. 132 (abuf al othir, this a thing … ). 1549 Compl. 123/7 (the thing that is abuif my pouer). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 894 (the subtellest aboue all beistis). a1570-86 Maitland M. Fol. cvii. 3 (aboue all thing luif God).

b. Exceeding (a certain sum, etc.).1558 Inverness Sheriff Ct. 39 (newyr abuiff tuay hundreth pundis). 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 11 (abuve the space of viij yeir); 13 (nocht abuve xl s.).

3. Over (in rule or authority).1549 Compl. 91/21 (ane tirran ryngand abuf them). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1978 (power imperial abufe all nationis). 1609 Douglas Corr. 194 (ane prosperous raigne aboiff ws).

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"Abufe adv., prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2022 <>



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