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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Grof(f, Grofe, Groiff, a. Also: groffe, grouff, grouiff. [MDu. (and mod. Flem.) grouf, groef, grof (Du. grof), MLG. grof.]

1. Coarse of grain or texture; of coarse or inferior quality; consisting of rough or bulky parts. a. Of cloth and garments.(a) 1551 Treas. Acc. X. 20.
Item to be fals coveringis to my lordis sadillis, vj quarteris groff russettis
1563 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 171.
To the vthir beir samekill groffer claith as will suffice
1596 Dalr. I. 94/22.
Thair heid thay laid vpon … a groffe seck spred vndir thame
1611 Edinb. Test. XLVI. 252 b.
Nyne vnce of groff blak silk
1616 Ib. XLIX. 67 b.
Fyftie nyne dosone of grof glufes … Item threttie pair groff glufis [etc.]
1637 Brechin Test. V. 224 b.
I lewe to my seruitrix ane pair of my groffast bed plaidis
1654 Edinb. Test. LXVIII. 39.
Twa pair of groff stockinges
(b) 1610 Brechin Test. II. 102.
xv elnis of groiff Inglis claytht
1610 Ib. III. 122.
xv elnis off grouiff Inglis claytht, … thre groiff haitis, … halff pund off grouff blak silk

b. Of particular material things or commodities. Freq. grof ware(s.(1) 1533 Gau 66/18.
Our body is alsua oncleyne and foul and groiff
1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 205.
Item … to Patrik Martene, barbour, for xxvj li. weycht grof powlder to the toune
1562-3 Winȝet I. 114/22.
Sklate, thak and grof stanis, rottin tymmir and siclyke
1565 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 360.
Tuentie stanis of groff pulder
1593 Edinb. Test. XXV. 310.
Ane maser of groff siluer
1699 Dundee B. Laws 353.
In baking of any flour bisket grofe or smoth
No bisket … of flour, grofe or smoth
(2) 1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 339.
Seing ȝe and ȝour wairs gros and grof
1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 277.
That na gild brether vse the tred of topping and selling in smallis of sic grof waires as efferis nocht to the honestie of ane gild brother
1602 Reg. Privy C. VI. 375.
Accustumat to pak … within pakis and treis of grof wairis … geir of better valour
1668 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 112.
Ilk load of timber, fisch or uther groff wair tuo shilling

2. Of language or a literary work: Rude, gross, unrefined. 1681 Colvill Whig's Suppl. 19.
The shape and fashion of his head, Was like a con, or pyramid: Or for to speak in terms more groff, It was just like a sugarloaf
a 1700 Watson's Coll. i. 67.
Now have ye heard the tragedy … though it be both groff and rude, And of all eloquence denude

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"Grof adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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