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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BUFF, n.3

1. “Silly talk; irrelevant speech” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Very common in phr. buff an' styte. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.2, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1936. Also found in Eng. slang, 1721 (Farmer and Henley).Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 28:
Nae tae be mealie-moo'd wi' ye, Captain, that's jist doon richt buff — havers, ilka word o' 't.
Abd. after 1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd MS. Intro. p. 4:
When last my pen ye favour'd with a Puff I ran no likely risk of speaking buff.
Abd. 1877 G. Macdonald M. of Lossie I. xv.:
“What put sic buff an' styte i' yer heid, sir?” rejoined Meg.
Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 10:
Folks may lauch; but never heed them, Claiv'rin silly buff.

2. Phr. a' buff owre muckle, far too much; also a' buff and nonsense — (Mry.2 1937).Abd. 1903 Rural Talk in Abd. Wkly. Free Press (8 Aug.):
There's a' buff owre muckle said aboot th' butter.

[? Onomatopœic. Partly phs. imitating a dog's bark, partly an instinctive excl. of contempt (N.E.D.).]

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"Buff n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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