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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Toft, n.1 Also: tofft, tofte, toift, taft; (tofth, topht-, touft-). [ME and e.m.E. toft (13th c.), tofte (14th c.), late OE toft, ON topt, tupt, later toft, tuft.]Also in place-names.

1. The site of a house or buildings; a homestead, also appar. sometimes with reference to land ? attached to a homestead. Freq. in collocation with croft, ȝard, etc. and with hous, byggings, etc. 11… Liber Scon 5.
[Quinque tofta vnum apud Edinburgh vnum apud Strivelin vnum apud Inverkethit
11… Liber Scon 12.
Vnum tofftum plenarium in burgo de Linlidcu
1147–52 Liber Calchou 5.
Unum toft iuxta ecclesiam
1165–1214 Liber Melros I 16.
Vnum toftum uixta aquam de Twede
a1214 Liber Melros I 37.
Illud tophtum in burgo de Glasgu
1214–49 Liber Melros I 206.
Nicholay de Eghetofft
1248–9 Reg. Episc. Morav. 276.
Hugone de Braytoftis
c1272 Inchaffray Chart. 95.
De vno toufto et duabus acris terre
12… Reg. Dunferm. 48.
Unum tofth in Edinburg
13… Liber Melros II 330.
Unum toftum cum salvia in portum de Beel
1428 Inchcolm Chart. 54.]
Uno tofto vulgariter nuncupato le Hen crofte alias le mylne crofte
a., b., c. (1) 1388 Bamff Chart. 22.
The qhuylk toftis haldis of lenthe achttene fal lang and thertene of brede
1460 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 56.
The landis of the toftis … lyand in my lardschip of Brankysholm
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I 198.
The myl sal haue … a toft iiij acris of land aucht kyis girs, and twa hors
1479 Reg. Cupar A. I 230.
He … sal set his byggyn apon his awin toft
1527 Liber Aberbr. II 479.
The fourth part of the half town of the mains of Athe … to be personally occupied and laboured by the said John, swa that he be nocht inquyet be hys nychtborrys makand common gayt throw hys toft
1549 Reg. Great S. 82/2.
Terras de Drumfyne nuncupatas the Toftis of Drumfyne
1562 Charter (Reg. H.) (Suppl.) 11 April.
The twa toftis with the ȝairdis and bygingis methit and proppit to the said Johne Levingstoun
1563 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 15.
Toftis liand in the Ill of Westray in the lordschipe of Orknay
1578–9 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 89.
Patrik Dungalsoun … to content and pay … xx s. for the male of his foir toft within xv dayis
1581 Acts III 270/2.
Oure souerane lord … confermis the charter and infeftment … gevin … to Alexander Home of Manderstoun in lyfrent … of all and haill the landis of Symprene over and nether toftis with thair pertinentis lyand within the schirefdome of Berwik
1596 Exch. R. XXIII 457.
Totarum et integrarum duarum acrarum terrarum arabilium de lie toftis ad locum de Inverkething
1608 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 112.
Sum bigingis standang upone the toft of the saids lands of Auldtonleyis
(b) 1662 Soc. Ant. XXII 229.
She thought she was more familiar with the taft than the rest, and thought to have gotten entries [sc. to the house], she came back to the window and looked from the one side thereof to the other but could not prevail
(2) 1388 Bamff Chart. 22.
The qwilke foure [sc. people] layd the lande wyth lyne and departit tham ewynly in tua, bath in tofft and foldeland
1477 Reg. Cupar A. I 207.
The hyl of land … togydder with his toftis, byggynys and ȝardis
1480 Rec. Earld. Orkney 331.
The quhilk toft and housted my fadir boucht fra Adame of Horve
1499 Reg. Cupar A. I 254.
Grantit … twa akaris of our landis … with ane toft and pairt of the greyne, as it wes propyt to byg ane hous on, to Jhone Keyr … he sal put his toft til al possibye polyci in bygin of houses, plantacione of treis [etc.]
1505 Aberd. B. Rec. I 75.
The … balȝeis [etc.] … grantit … to Schir Thomas Lammyngtone, chapellane, Sanct Clementis chapele … with ale offeringis, obuentis, proventis, toftis, croftis and fredomes pertening … therto
1505 Reg. Cupar A. I 260.
To … Wilȝame Jak … fyff akaris of land, thre liand on the Baithchelhil … and othir tua tane out of the est end of the Kemphil haucht, with the toft and ȝard liand on the southt end of the said thre akaris
1517 Fife Sheriff Ct. 79.
The alegiit wranguis occupacione … of ane toft & stede with the landis tharof callyt the Dene
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 200.
Summondis … for eiectioun of his partii furtht of thar housis & toftis etc.
1521 Misc. Spald. C. V 293.
Thai sall put the said toft, ȝard, and crofts till all possibyl policy in biggyn of gud and sufficiand ȝeird houses for haw, chawmerys and stabuls
1543 Rec. Earld. Orkney 224.
1550 Reg. Cupar A. II 74.
To halld … the said sex acris to the said Robert [etc.] … togydder with toft and croft, with all fredomes [etc.]
1550 Reg. Cupar A. II 75.
Thai sall put the saidis sex acris of land and toft fornamyt to all policie thai may, with biggyn stane howses, sufficient chalmeris, and vther housses for hospytalite and vther neidful thingis
1596 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 358.
Housses biggins tymber wark and toftis standand upone the lands of Litill Clintertie
1606 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 18.
Ane husband land, tenement, toft, croft, and thair pertinents
1647 Burnett Fam. P. Inv.
The toune & lands of Neather Sachen … houses beigings yeards tofts croffts
1674 Bk. Dunvegan 84.
House, biggings, yairds, toftis, croftis, with woods fisshinges, gressinges with mosses mauires pairtes pendicles
1695 Cullen Kirk S. 13 Jan.
A chaplain … doted with good croaft land and tofts in Cullen
(b) 1554 Liber Dryburgh 291.
Howssis, biggynnis, toiftis, croiftis

d. Toft and croft, an entire holding comprising site, buildings and arable land of a homestead. 1165–1214 Liber Melros I 54.
Cum quodam plenario tofto et crofto
1225 Reg. Episc. Morav. 20.
Uno plenario tofto et crofto ecclesie de Abyrtarf
13… Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 66.
Vnum toftum cum quodam crofto continente vnam acram terre infra tenementum de Drumdurnach
1431 Liber Melros 524.
Four akiris of land in tofte and in crofte lyand togithir at the west end of the toun
1494 Acta Conc. I 329/2.
Neil Stewart … dois wrang in the occupacioun and intrometting with the landis of Dailry & of the toft & croft callit Candois Croft
1556 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 29b.
The said Johne … sall remayne still in the said toft and croft quhill the nyxt flitting Fryday
c1567 Thomson Hist. Dundee App. viii.
The quhertt myln … with the toft and croft thairof

2. attrib. and comb. With dyke, gres, house, maill, rig, stede.attrib. (1) 1525 Wigtown B. Ct. 218a.
Schallans for the vith haldyne fra hym of xvi d. of toft mayll ȝeirlye thir tua ȝeire bye gayne
1610 Inverurie B. Ct. 21 July.
The toft maill vthirwayis callit the kingis few dewatie
(2) 1574 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 15a.
Thair gudis … eitting of the toft gres
1595 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 94b.
The wrangus making of scheills in the middis of his toft gres and will not cum in to toft as us is
comb. (1) 1516 Fife Sheriff Ct. 26.
The half toft sted of the landis callit Lithquois landis
1517 Fife Sheriff Ct. 79.
Quhilkis landis of Dene & tofsted with the pertinentis gevis of ȝerly maile & profyt iij b. of wittale [etc.]
1579 (1580) Reg. Great S. 832/2.
2 lie toft-steadis
1593 Reg. Great S. 803/2.
Ane cothous seu toftsteid with yaird
1593 Reg. Great S. 804/1.
Twa cothowsis et toftsteid [pr. tofteidis] cum hortis ibid.
1593 Reg. Great S. 804/1.
6 acras arabiles ibid., cum lie cothous or toftsteid [pr. toftheid] et horto
1662 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 262.
Att the ryding of the marches these places in the muir most fitt & convenient for bigging of the toft staids … be sightit and mackit
(2) 1563 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 3 April.
And settis to the said Villiam ane toft rig in the toftis reid land
(3) 1611 Perth Kirk S. in Lawson Bk. Perth 267.
A number of young men … behaved themselves in a lascivious manner, having an pipe playing, and fighting in the taft-house
(4) 1684 Symson Descr. Galloway 73.
Deal-wool is not usualy so good as the moor-wool … in regard of the toft-dykes which enclose the sheep-folds … neer the shore

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"Toft n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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