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"To haver", accepted as an Enlgish word??

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Chessnia, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Chessnia

    Chessnia Junior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    Spanish/Spain/Australia
    Remember the proclaimers old son "500 miles", there's a line there which goes:

    And if I haver yeah I know I'm gonna be
    I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you

    I read somewhere that "to haver" means "To talk nonsense".

    Is it accepted as an English word or just Scottish?
     
  2. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    Hehe I love that song. I'm going to have it in my head now for the rest of the day.
    But I wouldn't mind betting that 99% of people anywhere, even in England, wouldn't know what the word meant. In fact I would even bet that more than half of people in Scotland wouldn't know what it meant either.
     
  3. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    There's a cover of that song by a band called Less Than Jake (American) where they change it slightly:

    And if I haver, whatever that means,
    I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you

    So I think that sums it up!
     
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I know it, but then I'm married to a Scot.

    I just asked him if everyone in Scotland would know the word, and he said "Yes - everyone except the English";)

    Loob

    PS I love the song too!
     
  5. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    One further postscript...

    Having done a bit more research, I believe that while the Scottish meaning is "talk nonsense", there is an alternative meaning, found particularly in the north of England, of "hesitate" or "vacillate".

    "Haver" doesn't appear in the OED; although not conclusive, this is a reasonably good indicator that it's not {yet?} standard English.

    Loob
     
  6. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    According to the Oxford English Dictionary,
    - in the sense to talk garrulously and foolishly; to talk nonsense, haver is 'chiefly Scottish and northern dialect';
    - in the sense to hesitate, to be slow in deciding, haver is 'originally Scottish dialect but now in general English use'.
    I knew the word, and not aware that it was particularly associated with Scotland.
     
  7. Chessnia

    Chessnia Junior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    Spanish/Spain/Australia
    Thanks a lot for your replies, things are a lot clearer now!

    Cheers!
     
  8. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Darn it, Teddy, I swear that when I looked for haver (verb) in the OED it wasn't there!

    But you're right, it's there now!

    You must have a good deal more influence than I have:D

    Loob
     

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