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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

REEVE, n.1, v.1 Also reive, rieve; riv(e). [ri:v, Abd. + rɪv]

I. n. 1. A pen or enclosure for confining an animal, e.g. a pen or fold for sheep or cattle, a pig-sty, a chicken-run (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144; ne.Sc., Slk. 1968). Also fig. and applied by extension to a prehistoric hill-fort. Hence in fancifully altered form riva- in 1899 quot.Abd. 1720 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. I. 162:
Each plough was bound to put up fold dykes, reeves and penfolds, for cattle and sheep, and again to take down the reeves yearly as needed.
Rnf. 1724 Session Papers, Petition R. Orr (11 July 1759) 10:
He hath helped the Officer of Glen to gather the waff Sheep and he knew a Vestige of a Rieve upon the said Ground.
Abd. 1735 Abd. Estate (S.C.) 16:
Cutt five Aller Trees for a Flaik Rive and used 30 Backs.
Slg. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XV. 377:
These mounds are perfectly circular, with regular fosses; the one is styled the Meikle Reive.
Abd. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XII. 426:
A round knoll or eminence . . . called the Earl of Marr's Reive or Ree.
Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 153:
Reeves, . . . a permanent sheep fold surrounded with a wall of stone and feal.
Fif. 1899 J. Allan Cracks wi' Flutorum 34:
Heich, Baron Glessie's vassals met In coonsil owre their plea, Mark'd by the hillfort riva chair O ancient pedigree.
Abd. 1941 C. Gavin Black Milestone xiii.:
There was a squeal or two of hunger from the swine's rieve.

2. A yard used for the storing and retailing of coal.Gsw. 1818 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1915) 451:
The property is . . . occupied as a coal yard or rieve.

II. v. To confine an animal in a pen or enclosure (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144).Abd. 1781 Session Papers, Earl of Aboyne v. Earl of Aberdeen (21 July) Proof 2:
The place where Lord Aboyne's said tenants are presently reeving their sheep.

[Appar. a variant of Ree, n.1, q.v., with excrescent v, as in the synonymous Cruive, n., 2.]

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"Reeve n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2024 <>



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