Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
GRIEVE, n., v. Also †greive; †greave (Abd. 1845 P. Still Cottar's Sunday 37), †greeve; †grive (Ork. 1795 P. Fea MS. Diary (7 Nov.)). [gri:v]
I. n. 1. The overseer on a farm, a farm-bailiff. Gen.Sc., rare in Bwk., Rxb. Also in Nhb. dial.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 5:
A good Grieve is better than an ill Worker.Ayr. 1787 Burns Add. Beelzebub 33–34:
Your factors, grieves, trustees, and bailies, I canna say but they do gaylies.Inv. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 IV. 135:
A grieve (or overseer) has from £4 to £7, besides his shoes. Women-servants have from 8s. to 20s. besides 3 pair of shoes.Slk. 1798 R. Douglas Agric. Slk. 241:
[They] commit the cultivation of their fields and their marketings to bailiffs, here called overseers or grieves.Sc. 1814 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) III. 460:
My children are . . . “rinning about my grieve assures me like mad nolt.”Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 9:
Paetie Linklid — that wus the grieve.Sc. 1896 Stevenson Weir of Hermiston i.:
His grieve, that had been his right hand in many a left-hand business.Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle (1923) vi.:
Petullo the writer body is the only Drimdarroch there is to the fore, and he has a grieve in the place.Kcb. 1909 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness v.:
The dwelling house of the old steading, with its windows looking on the open square, had been given up to the “grieve,” or foreman.Fif. 1939 St Andrews Cit. (28 Oct.):
The death occurred on Wednesday of Mr J- S-, . . . who for many years was grieve with Mr D- at Kirkmay.Abd. 1953 Abd. Press & Jnl. (20 Oct.):
Young Married Man, meantime carrying on outfarm, wishes Situation as Grieve, Grieve-Tractorman or similar.Abd. 1991 David Ogston in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 119:
Rowster o sweir chiels,
Christ the grieve. Abd. 2000 Herald 20 Mar 19:
He got the Young Laird's voice on the answerphone: "Hellew, I'm sorry I'm away at Cruft's. If it's urgent phone the grieve."
Hence grieveship, the office of farm bailiff.Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-Head 294:
Promoted to the grieveship of the large and fine farm of Leddyslove.
†2. A manager or overseer in general. Often in such combs. as Check-grieve, q.v., coal-grieve, field-grieve, moss-grieve, road-grieve, salt-grieve, grieve-master.Ayr. 1701 Dailly Kirk Sess. Records:
26 Oct. Andrew Kair coal grive.Sc. 1715 Morison Decisions II. 1397:
Erskine drew a bill upon his salt-grieves to deliver 420 bolls of salt.Abd. 1719 Fintray Court Book (S.C. Misc.) I. 36:
John Sinclair is appointed as moss greeve to oversee the same.Sc. 1749 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 101:
One of the Earl's grieves was standing on a little mount of earth, near to one of the engines.Sc. 1763 “Theophilus Insulanus” in R. Kirk Secret Commonwealth (1851) App. 78:
[He] saw a Pillar of Fire ascending out of Joseph Bell's Chimney (Grieve-master of the Lead Mines), moving slowly in the Air.Abd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIV. 345:
The county roads are made and kept in repair by the statute-labour. . . . The proprietors employ a proper road grieve, with a party, to work on days-wages.Sc. 1812 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 156:
At Whins, Mr Thomas Beveridge, aged 73 years, grieve to the Alloa Colliery, which situation he filled for forty-six years.Bwk. 1837 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1885) 156:
A pond at the base of the hill near the field grieve's house.Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 33:
Grieve, a weigher; a pitheadman; a hill salesman.
II. v. To superintend, to act as overseer (to) (Abd.27, Ags. 1930, rare), ‡to oversee reapers during harvest.e.Lth. 1713 Country-Man's Rudiments 34:
Let him . . . Project and Contrive, Grieve and Oversee the Execution of his Project.Sc. 1772 Edb. Ev. Courant (28 Oct.):
As a farmer was grieving his shearers at a little distance from that place [Jedburgh], he observed them kemping with one another, and spoiling his corn.Sc. 1773 Boswell Tour Hebrides (1936) 328:
Sir Allan . . . stood by grieving us (the Scottish expressive term for overseeing as a taskmaster).Abd. 1809 J. Skinner Amusements 93:
Or greeving follows at their flails, In barns weel thackit.Sc. 1810 Lockhart Scott (1837) II. 321:
As for grieving my shearers, as we very emphatically term it in Scotland, I am always too happy to get out of the way.Fif. 1882 “S. Tytler” Sc. Marriages I. 209:
Balcairnie was 'grieving,' or 'leading,' or 'forking' in the fields and in the stack-yards.
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"Grieve n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/grieve>