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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Prop(e, n.1 Also: propp-, propt. [ME proppe (Prompt. Parv.), prope (north., 1483), MDu. and early mod. Du. proppe a vine-prop, a support, perh. the same word as Prop(e n.2Of unknown ulterior origin. For some discussion, see OED, s.v. Prop sb.1]

A prop, in various senses.

1. Only Sc.: A stake or pole used as a marker. a. A boundary stake.In the later dial. of the north-east = a boundary marker (e.g. of stones) more generally. 1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 151.
Nochtgaynstandand certane personis … ar cumin … and tane away the said proppis and cassyne mony of thaim in the … wattir of Cruok undoande the saidis marchis and boundis
1456 Liber Aberbr. II 89.
Strikand … est … as the proppis ar sett betuix the propirte off Aberbrothoc apon the sowth side and the said lone of Inchoke
1499 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 429, 430.
Be stracht line as we sall set propis … and the propis betwix thame … sal be corsit with mell and chesaile
1540 Reg. Great S. 488/2.
To the heid of the Grene-slak, and frathin linally discendand as the proppis ar set to Fadiswell
1562-3 Winȝet II 54/19.
Godis word cryis, Pas nocht ouer thai boundis, proptis, or marcheis quhilkis thy fatheris hes putt
c1575 Balfour Pract. 436.
He sould choose the assise, and cause thame pas furth and visie the saidis landis, and set in proppis and merchis as thay sall think ressonabill
1641 Aberd. Council Lett. II 281.
To infix and sett in constant propes and merches whair neid requyres

b. A mark or butt for shooting at. c. transf. A shooting contest. c1420 Ratis R. 1243.
Now at the prop, and vthir-quhillis Ryne at baris and at the ball
1496 Treas. Acc. I 273.
Giffin to the king himself to schute at the prop with James Mersar x s.
1503 Ib. II 401.
To the king to play at the prop
1505–6 Ib. III 179.
To the king quhilk he tynt at the prop with George Campbell vj Franch crounis, summa iiij li. iiij s.
1627 Kellie Pallas Armata 107.
During which time the pickemen stands as idle spectators, seruing onelie as a prop for the enemies shot

d. fig. The ‘mark’ or goal of a man seeking sexual intercourse. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxi 12.
He that hes for his awin genȝie Ane plesand prop but mank or menȝie
a1570-86 Scott Maitl. F. xciii 125.
With quenerie cannis and coppis Ȝe preif [v.r. pryd] ȝow at thair proppis Quhill hair and berde be daple

2. A stake or beam used to support (part of) a structure; an undersetter. Also attrib. and fig. 1496 Treas. Acc. I 290.
To cary iiij sparris fra Leith to be proppis to the hal of the Castel of Edinburgh, xvij d.
1578 Reg. Privy S. VII 253/2.
The foundament of the tenement foirsaid being so waik as it can nocht weill be … uphaldin without proppis and standertis of tymmer necessar under the stairis
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 99.
[They] dimolischit the said haill hous, be underpropping it with tymmer and thaireftir fyiring the same proppis
1583 Perth B. Ct. 22 Oct.
Castin doun the choppis being biggit thairon, distroying the haill tymmer wark thairof, setting my land vpone proppis, distroying my stane stair
c1590 Fowler I 107/74.
Who … Did bwild the same and mounted wp be manye pinnis and propps
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 340.
Fluiring nailles for the brydillis and propes of the caiphous and chimney heid
attrib. 1649 Glasg. Univ. Mun. III 538.
A prop tree in the brewhouse
fig. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 93/1.
Of thaire prince setting the commounueill upon foure proppis as ue call it
a 1624 Edinb. Univ. MS La. ii 319.
Quhen hevinlie thingis I mak my prope I knawe no chaing in anie wayisse

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"Prop n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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