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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

INFIELD, n. Also -feild; -feedle (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlv.), -feidle (Abd. 1900 Scots Mag. (March 1934) 431). One of the two main divisions of an arable farm of the 18th and early 19th c. before the practice of crop rotation, consisting of the best land nearest the farm-buildings, kept continuously under crop and well manured with winter dung; in Sh. and Ork. the arable land running up to the hill-dyke. More generally, the field or land lying nearest to the farm or homestead. Also attrib. Now only hist. or arch. Cf. Outfield.Abd. 1760 A. Grant Improvement Land 53:
Infield or land still in bear and oats, and dunged every third year.
Ayr. 1772 Burgh Rec. Prestwick (1834) 103:
The arrable land of the burgh of Prestwick extends to about 200 acres, but in point of quality the same do consist of two distinct or separate divisions, the one what is called the infeild, or in other terms the croft land, which are situated close or hard by the town of Prestwick.
Bwk. 1778 A. Wight Husbandry II. 343:
A part of it had been kept in tillage for time immemorial, which went by the name of infield, and was generally dunged every five years; the other part, namely the outfield, by far the greatest, was wholly neglected.
Abd. 1795 Session Papers, Leslie v. Fraser (29 March 1805) 70:
The said croft has, ever since he remembers, been considered infield ground, and constantly under labour.
Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xiii.:
The Tower of Glendearg was distant, and there was but a trifling quantity of arable or infield land attached to it.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 26:
A glebe o' guid infield land.
Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 3:
The land below what is now the new public road was infield common pasture land.
Sc. 1955 J. Beith The Corbies 70:
Here's me packed away in the in-field at Dalree picking tatties.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 13:
Bryce had doubts about that which he kept to himself for he knew, as his father did not, that Hugh absented himself too often from his work on the infield and angered other holders who relied on him when a team job was needed.
Gsw. 1986 Michael Elder Take the High Road: The Man from France 121:
It had taken him two days so far to get the barley cut in the infield, a job which she could have done herself ...

[In, + field. O.Sc. infeild, id., 1548.]

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"Infield n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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