Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
TAFT, n. Also taff-. Sc. forms of Eng. toft, a homestead and the land attached to it (Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 206, Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 206; Sc. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 726; Knr. 1895 J. L. Robertson Dunbar 96; Bnff. 1904 Banffshire Jnl. (26 Jan.) 3; Ags. 1958 People's Jnl. (5 April); Ags., Slg., Fif. 1972); a small-holding (Fif. 1972). Common in place-names in Sh. and Ork. See P.L.D. § 54. [tɑft]
1. Sc. comb. and deriv.: ((1) taft-dyke, taff-, a wall, usu. of sods, surrounding a taft; hence a turf-wall in gen. (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 443); (2) taften, -an, tofting, a taft, with the house or land attached (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); the tenancy of a taft.
(1) Ayr. 1759 Session Papers, Neil v. Hamilton, etc. (6 June) Proof 4:
The old March was a Taft-dyke. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 411:
O! hatefu' it's to hear the whut-throat chark, Frae oot the auld Taffdike. (2) Sc. 1759 Atholl MSS.:
To uphold the Respective Houses and Toftings hereby sett to them and leave the same in a Habitable Condition at the Time of their Removall. Per. 1800 Edb. Weekly Jnl. (16 July) 231:
Additional toftings will be set down in the course of next year. Sc. a.1825 H. Blyd's Contract 5:
He scrapt upo' paper at the dissolments an' tanements o' the taftens.
2. A small patch of enclosed ground set apart for the rearing of cabbages, etc. (Cai. 1825 Jam., ‡Cai. 1972), esp. in comb. plant-taft, id. Cf. planti-crue s.v. Plant, n., 1.
Cai. 1795 J. Sinclair Agric. Cai. 119:
They make these nurseries or plant-tofts of small extent, that the dykes might shelter the young plants from the severity of the winter. Cai. 1916 John o' Groat Jnl. (31 March):
The greater part of our crofts had their origin in the “plant taft” and “lazy bed.”
¶3. Sod, turf, a meaning derived by a wrong inference from taft-dyke above.
s.Sc. 1835 Wilson's Tales of the Borders II. 45:
To see the auld taff o' the kirk-yard cover the moil that keeps ye frae the sicht o' her ye hae ruined.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Taft n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/taft_n>
Try an Advanced Search