Nief vs Rief - What's the difference?

nief | rief |

As nouns the difference between nief and rief

is that nief is a serf or bondsman born into servitude or nief can be (chiefly|scotland|ireland|northern england) a fist while rief is (robbery).



Etymology 1

From (etyl), from (etyl) .


(en noun)
  • A serf or bondsman born into servitude.
  • * 1886 , "The Fight at the Pass of Coleshill", The Red Dragon "Notes and Queries", page 471
  • That is, because the girl was his nief , or bondwoman, the daughter of one of his villains
    Alternative forms
    * neif

    Etymology 2

    From Old Norse hnefi'', ''nefi , of unknown origin.


  • (chiefly, Scotland, Ireland, Northern England) A fist.
  • *1934 , (Lewis Grassic Gibbon), Grey Granite'', Polygon 2006 (''A Scots Quair ), p. 597:
  • *:Ake thought if ever he was walking alone on a dark-like night and Jimmy came on him, he with his bare nieves and Jimmy with a knife, he'd stand as much chance of getting home safe as a celluloid cat that had strayed into hell….
  • * 1989 , (Anthony Burgess), The Devil's Mode :
  • Nestorius exploded at that and hit out. He roared and dismissed the class, hitting out with his old mottled gnarled niefs .
  • * 2004 , Jeff Silverman, The Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told , p. 160:
  • "But t' Maister can stop and hit rarely. Happen he'll mak' him joomp when he gets his nief upon him."
    Alternative forms
    * neif * nieve


    * * *




  • (robbery).
  • * 1567 July 19, Proclamation by the Earl of Bedford'', quoted in ''Calendar of State Papers, foreign series, of the Reign of Elizabeth, 1566-8 (1871), volume 10:
  • [The earl] commands all within his charge to abstain from reiving or stealing from the subjects of Scotland. For such riefs as have been made upon them, the Queen minds to have the same mended by justice.
  • * 1822 , Alexander Peterkin, Notes on Orkney and Zetland , page 61:
  • here the record is quite defaced and worn out, insomuch that only the words of the charge, viz. extortions, insolvencies, riefs , and oppressions, can be discovered
  • * (rfdate) James Taylor, The Pictorial History of Scotland , volume 2, page 133:
  • Murders, riefs , and spoliations became more common on the Borders after this raid than they had ever been before.


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