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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old Norse haf (the sea); cognate with Danish hav.




  1. (Shetland, Scotland) The open sea, especially as a place to fish.
    • 1822, Walter Scott, The Pirate, 1826, Novels and Romances of the Author of Waverley, Volume 19, page 320,
      The banks to which they repair for the haaf fishing, are often many miles distant from the station where the fish is dried; so that they are always twenty or thirty hours absent, frequently longer; and under unfavourable circumstances of wind and tide, they remain at sea, with a very small stock of provisions, and in a boat of a construction which seems extremely slender, for two or three days, and are sometimes heard of no more.
    • 2003, Juliet Marillier, Foxmask: Saga of the Light Isles: 2, page 28,
      The haaf-boat was as well maintained as any vessel in the islands; her master had a reputation for thoroughness, for all he was barely twenty years of age.
  2. (Shetland) The practice of sea fishing for such as cod, ling and tusk.
    • 2005, James Coull, 7: The development of fishing communities with special reference to Scotland, Jonathan Potts, Hance D. Smith (editors), Managing Britain's Marine and Coastal Environment: Towards a Sustainable Future, page 145,
      Although men concentrated at the main haaf stations during the summer fishing season, they reverted to their homes in crofting townships for the remainder of the year.

Derived terms[edit]