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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.

Lufe, n.2 Also: luffe, luif(e, louf, loof(e, loaf(f)e. Plur. lufis, luiffis etc. and looves. [North. and north midl. ME. and e.m.E. lufe (c 1400), lofe, loove, loofe, pl. loves (14th c.), ON. lófe.In various forms in the mod. Sc., north. Eng. and north. Ir. dialects.]

The palm of the hand.b. In various special contexts.(a) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2072 (Bass.).
I sall off it [the fox's pelt] mak mittenis to my lufis [Ch. luifis]
1513 Doug. v. v. 24.
The eldar huntaris … Clappand thar lufis [Sm. luiffis] and thar handis … Sayr awondryt gan the starnys behald
Ib. viii. ii. 5.
In the holl lufis of his hand quhar he stude Dewly the water hynt he fra the flude
1540 Lynd. Sat. 906 (B).
Schaw me the luffe, schir, of ȝour hand And I sall gar ȝow vndirstand Gif ȝour grace be infortunat
1620 Melrose P. 380.
1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 13.
I'll lay thee saxpence in thy lufe
(b) 1513 Doug. xii. ii. 89.
The byssy knapys … with thar holl luyffis [R. luffis] gan thame cheir
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 135.
Thow … plucks thrie fedders aff of hir [a goose], laid thame on the luif of thy hand
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII. 223.
Ye stracked his side three several times with your luif
(c) c1620 Boyd Fl. Zion Exc. xxii/1.
Tender ladies, with soft velvet loof, Must now be servants
1640 Dundonald Par. Rec. 467.
According to the qualitie of the faults the maister shall inflict punishment, streking some on the loof with a birk wand
a1651 Calderwood VI. 71.
Doctor Hereis … taketh her by the hand, looketh upon her loofe and said, ‘Maistres … a great disaster sall befall you’
1665 Lauder Jrnl. 40.
[A wine pedlar] lets any man taste it that desires, giving them their loof full
1685 Sinclair Satan's Inv. World 87.
My hand is more black in the loof
Ib. 90.
And the claps of his loof upon their buttocks would have been heard [etc.]
pl. 1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 394.
The bishops … oyle him [the King] in the boughts of his armes, looffes of his hands [etc.]
1684 Law Memor. (1818) 246.
Their hands gripping closs together, so as the very nails of their fingers makes holes in their looves
(d) a1663 Pappity Stampoy 15.
Clap a carle on the culs and he will shit in your louf
(e) 16.. Admir. Ct. Form 66.
Spit on your loaff with a little allome
1665 Lauder Jrnl. 70.
[An instrument of torture] so crusheth the leg that it makes it as thin and as broad as the loafe of a man's hand
b. 1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 71.
Na laubour list thai luk till, thar luffis ar byrd lyme
1573 Sempill Sat. P. xxxix. 203.
The suddartis luiffis wes sa ouirlaid with lyme, Sum gripit gold [etc.]
c1620 Boyd Fl. Zion 54.
If in your loof yee all this silver had
a1661 Rutherford Cry from the Dead (1765) 8.
Christ made an exchange; Christ would cross looves with you, and make a niffer
1637 Id. Lett. (1891) 164.
We are fools, to be browden and fond of a pawn in the loof of our hand
1680 Sempill P. 52/32.
Indemnity thought nothing due; The deil a farthine for my loof

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"Lufe n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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