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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DRAVE, n. Also †draif, †drewe. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. drove. Cf. Dreef. [dre:v]

I. As in Eng.

1. “A drove of cattle” (Sc. 1808. Jam.) or sheep (Abd.27coast) 1949). Also attrib. Cf. drove n. and v. 1. (1) (a).m.Sc. 1996 John Murray Aspen 7:
Note: The Street is a drave road that rins ower the Cheviots atween Northumberlan an Roxburrie Countie.
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems, etc. 18:
When lambs, alang the flowery dell, . . . Or roun' their guardian master's cell. Gaed nibblan in a social drave.

2. “A crowd, a throng of people” (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Ags. 1912 A. Reid Forfar Worthies 35:
Ilk meenit brings anither drave, And sune the Mossie's seen As black wi' loons in rings and raws As e'er was tattie field wi' craws.

II. Sc. usages.

1. The herring fishing (Fif.17 Bwk.2 1950).Sc. 1733 P. Lindsay Interest Scot. 203:
Two or three Fishermen assume six or seven Landmen to make up a Crew for this Fishing, which is called the Drave.
Abd. 1825 Jam.2:
When a shoal of herrings appeared off the east coast of Scotland, all the idle fellows and bankrupts of the country run off under the pretence of catching them; whence he, who runs away from his creditors, was said to have gane to the Herring Drewe.
Fif. 1950 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 370:
Peter was making his first trip to sea as a breadwinner, fishing during the summer “drave” at Aberdeen and other north-east ports.
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 110:
I knew then that the time was near when grandfather would be bringing back his lines and taking down the black nets from the garret, ready for the early drave and for the summer herring.
Hdg. 1880 A. I. Ritchie Ch. St Baldred 75:
This arrangement was suspended during the harvest and draif.
Bwk. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 III. 116:
Formerly they caught the herrings at what they called the Ground Drove, which lasts only a few days; but now they also fish for them by a Float Drove, which lasts for some months.

Comb.: drave-boat, a herring boat.Fif. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IX. 613:
Both the seals of the corporation [of Anstruther], the old and the new one, bear testimony to it, — the former exhibiting a drave-boat well manned.

2. A fisherman's share in the profits of the fishing (Bnff.2 1940).Bnff.9 c.1927:
Wait till I get my drave (wages).

3. A shoal of fish; a haul, a catch.Sc. 1771 Weekly Mag. (5 Sept.) 319:
A great shoal, or what is commonly called a drave of herrings, appeared off that place [Dunbar].
Cai. 1929 Scots Mag. (May) 94:
True, there had been bad fishings. But what of the time when the “Gleaming Star” had “put home” with a drave of two hundred crans and prices at the bell forty shillings a cran!
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 37:
Thrang swallowin' wi' their greedy een His drave o' haddocks clear and clean.

[O.Sc. has drave, a drove; a shoal, from c.1520; the annual herring fishery, from 1597, and drave-boit, a boat used in the herring-drave, from 1557; O.E. drāf, a drove or herd, a crowd. The drewe form is doubtful.]

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"Drave n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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