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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

APRIN, AWPRON, A(a)pron, Aupron, Ahpron, n. Sc. (esp. ne.Sc.) forms of apron. [′ɑ:prən, ′ɑprɪn]

1. In ordinary 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore N.E. Scot. 156:
A blacksmith would on almost no consideration work on Christmas — in common language, “file his ahpron.”
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 122:
There's the masons, wi' cockit hatties an' auprons.
Bnff. 1922 The Uninspired Peat, Banffsh. Jnl. (Feb. 21) 6:
But I'll jist dicht them on my ahpron.
Abd.(D) 1915 H. Beaton At the Back o' Benachie 31:
I hae fesen a puckle duds in ma aapron.

2. (See quot.)Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 8:
Aprin, the abdomen of the Brachyourus crabs.

3. Combs.: (1) apronman, as in Eng. one who wears an apron at work, an artisan; specif. in Inverkeithing a member of a friendly society of the local trades, masons, joiners, blacksmiths, etc. (the Apron Society); (2) awpron strings, âpron-strings; (3) apron-washing. See Wash, v., 1(1)Fif. 1831-2 Fife Herald (30 June, 5 July): 
The Friendly Society of Apronmen at this place [Inverkeithing] held their annual meeting on the 21st. . . . The Apron Society here held their annual meeting on the 29th ultimo.
(2)Abd. 1862 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod I. vi.:
To set them the example o' hingin' at a quean's âpron-strings.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlix.:
Sin he leeft's mither's awpron strings.

4. In plumbing: a strip of lead folded over the edge of a gutter, etc. to conduct rain water into it, a lead-flashing (Sc. 1889 Cent. Dict. 2255). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1842 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Farm 468: 
The joinings of the slates with the walls are to be covered with aprons (or flashings) of 6-pound lead, at least 12 inches broad.
Sc. 1876 W. P. Buchan Plumbing 25: 
To prevent the rain getting down the back of the gutter, a long narrow strip of lead, called the "apron", is put along the front of the chimney so as to overlap the back of the gutter.

[Older Sc. has approun, approwne. Mid.Eng. napron, O.Fr. nap(p)eron, a large cloth, from nap(p)e, cloth, from Lat. mappa, napkin.]

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"Aprin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Feb 2024 <>



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