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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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.

DEAVE, De(e)ve, Deive, Da(i)ve, De(a)v, v., n. [di:v Sc., but Cai. + deiv, Ags. deɪv; de:v Sh., Ork., Per., Fif.]

I. v.

1. To deafen (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), dev, 1914 Angus Gl., deav; Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Ork. Par. (1922) 150, dave; Cai.7 1940, deive, deeve; Lnk. 1949 (per Mearns 6); Uls. 1934 Dial. Words in Mid-Uls. Mail (Dec.), deave). Also ¶deaven (Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 177). Ppl.adj. and vbl.n. deavin', deevin', deafening (noise). Gen.Sc.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 33:
But dinna wi' ye'r Greeting grieve me, Nor wi' your Draunts and Droning deave me.
Abd. 1932 R. L. Cassie Sc. Sangs 21:
An' noo an' than we hear a flist, A reerd wud deeve Van Winkle.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 60:
But in a' that deavin' din Like the cry o' the lost in Hell.
wm.Sc. 1988 Christine Marion Fraser Storm over Rhanna (1990) 261:
' ... I'm thinkin' he was maybe pleased to be rid o' it for it's fair deeved my own lugs all mornin' wi' its shoutin'.'
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 7:
Oceans an bens will flee awa,
Deaved wi the dour trumpet's rummle, ...
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 12:
The howlet screamt, the liche fowle's hoarse Did sairly deave her ear.

Hence deavesome, deivesome, davesam, deafening, noisy.Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 134:
The davesam brats wur hungry aye.
em.Sc. 1913 J. Black Gloamin' Glints 76:
Keep quate, and sae be strong, Nae clish-ma-claver heedin', Nor deavesome ding-a-dong.
Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 102:
That's the saecret o' the scrammie, An' this deivesome steer.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 27:
Workin' awa frae morn till e'en, Wi' deavesome clatter.

2. Hence extended to mean to bother, to annoy; esp. to annoy or weary by constantly talking or asking questions, to bore (Ork. 1929 Marw., daive; Cai.7 1940; Mry.1 1925; Bnff.2, Abd. correspondents, Fif.1, Slg.3 1940).Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian v.:
Houts, Mrs Saddletree . . . dinna deave me wi' your nonsense.
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 7 Jan 7:
But by the end of Ne'er Day, anyone listening non-stop to Radio Scotland would be quite deaved with monotony.
Sc. 1995 Scotland on Sunday 18 Jun 10:
More than once I have deeved you with news of bickering and grievous bother over the theft of songs - pinched, as it were, from the public domain of traditional folk music, ....
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 56:
Lass, dave na dy faider wi a lock o' dirt.
Ork. 1908 J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 320:
Wir M. Pay jeust daves folk teu wi' 'is clatters aboot da trallers 'at am sheur never deud 'im ony herm.
Ags. 1889 J. M. Barrie W. in Thrums vii.:
We'll be hae'n Tibbie ower here on Saturday to deve's to death aboot it.
wm.Sc. 1986 Robert McLellan in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 26:
Ye dinna need to deive me wi't.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 65:
Apart from his insufferable vanity there were three matters on which he deaved Glasgow citizens so, that they could barely stomach him.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 70:
'I'll no deave ye wi the details ... '
Lth. 1928 S. A. Robertson With Double Tongue 19:
Tam's deavin me aboot the cries, And some day I'll say “Aye.”
Ayr. 1789 Burns Tam Glen (Cent. ed.) iv.:
My minnie does constantly deave me, And bids me beware o' young men.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders v.:
As sune as the breath o' yin gaes oot, the ither yin'll tak' up the tale, and the deevin' will juist be eternal.

Hence deavement, a worry, a trouble.w.Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes in Homespun (1921) 60:
Ye're on the young side to be trauchled wi' an auld man's deavements.

II. n. An interminable talker (Abd.2 1900; Abd.9 1940).Abd.7 1925:
He's a rale deeve.
Mearns 1933 “L. G. Gibbon” in Scots Mag. (Feb.) 332:
Once in a blue moon or so he'd come round, he fair was a deave as he sat by your fire.

[O.Sc. has deve, deive, deave, to deafen; to stun or annoy with talk or din, from 1420; O.E. (ā)dēafian, to become deaf. The I.Sc. forms may also represent O.N. deyfa, to make deaf.]

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"Deave v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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