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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

CHAPMAN, n. As in St.Eng. = pedlar, but note the following Sc. phrase and combs.: (1) chapman gill, "a toll of one shilling levied annually by the sheriffs of Carrickfergus from each vessel trading to the port. It is to pay the cost of burying the bodies of sailors or others cast on shore" (Uls. 1823 McSkimin Hist. Carrickfergus quoted in W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn. (1880)); (2) chapman's drouth (drowth), (see quots.); (3) chapman's law, a practice whereby a publican allows a salesman or any other person(s) to transact business in his premises without charge but the company is expected to buy drinks. Comb. Chapman Society (Per. 1715 Stat. Acc.1 XX. 432). See also Lord, n., 1. Combs. (26).(2) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 132:
Chapmen's drowth. People are said to have this drowth, drought, or thirst about them, when they are not only in need of some fluid to slake it, but food to take with it.
Kcb.4 c.1900:
A chapman's drouth included both hunger and thirst. When a pedlar asked for a drink he wished some food along with it.
(3)Abd. 1960 Stat. Acc.3 270: 
Most social and public meetings are held in the hall, but smaller committee meetings are held in the bar parlour of the inn, under what is known locally as "Chapman's Law."

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"Chapman n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Oct 2022 <>



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