Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CRAFT, n.1 A Sc. form (now mainly ne.) of Croft. Also vbl.n. craftin. [krɑft]

1. As in Eng. croft, a small piece of land adjoining a house, in Sc. usu. referring to the infield or cultivated land. Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 90:
The big peat stack and the craft o' bier.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 49:
Now brawny aft wad leave the craft, An' wander by hersel'.

2. A small land-holding. Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxx.:
Dear me, aw thocht the crafts hedna tacks but jist gaed on superannuat like?
Abd.(D) 1920 G. P. Dunbar Guff o' Peat Reek 14:
Her fowk belangt the Sauchen wye, an' hed a craftie there, A but an' ben, a byre, a barn, an' nae jist muckle mair.
Ags. 1844 W. Jamie Muse of the Mearns 13:
The lads they noo were nearly daft, To get hersel', and then the craft.

Hence crafter, one who occupies such a holding (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.17 1940). Abd. 1844 W. Thom Rhymes and Recoll. 40:
Look ye, here's A crafter carl upon our hook Ahint these twa “ha'f years.”
Abd.(D) 1920 G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 8:
Her faither wis a crafter, bit he thackit reefs forbye.

3. The Forfar cattle-market (Ags. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XI. 225) “held previous to the establishment of Marts” (Ags.17 1940). Cf. Croft, n., 2.

4. Combs.: (1) craft lan', craftin lan, land of superior quality because of its being constantly manured; “the old infield land which received all the manure” (Sc. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. (1869) II. 722); “good green fields” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 144, craftin lan); (2) craft rig, a ridge (field) of fertile land, see (1) above; (3) gudeman's craft, see Gudeman. (1) Lnk. 1802 R. Lochore in J. G. Wilson Poets and Poetry of Scot. (1840) 385:
I've braid craft lan', green braes an' knowes.
(2) Ayr. publ. 1803 Burns There's News, Lasses (Cent. ed.) iii.:
I hae as guid a craft rig As made o' yird and stane.

[Croft is the regular form in O.Sc. Craft appears in 1591, and crafting in 1597 (see D.O.S.T. s.v. croft).]

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"Craft n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2020 <>



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