Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
KNAP, n.1 Also knapp, (h)nap(p). [(k)nɑp]
1. (1) A lump, bump, any rounded knob; a knot or protuberance, as of wood, rock, etc. (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork., ne.Sc. 1960). Dims. knappy; and knappock, for which see (1) below.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 218:
It is a good tree that hath neither Knap nor Gaw. There is nothing altogether perfect.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 134:
Her reins, wi' siller knaps fu' clear.Rnf. 1769 in S. Collet Relics Literature (1823) 28:
I'm e'en comen hirplen ben wi' my cards to clawt the knaps out o' a pickle mair o't [flax].Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 106:
Tho' on his brow spring up apace, Twa knaps the emblem o' disgrace.Abd. 1847 W. Thom Rhymes 153:
He faun' ayont the tailor's tap, An' cam', gweed life! on sic a knap!Abd.11 1910:
Roofing tiles keep their place on the roof by a knap on the back resting on the pan, or tile lath.Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Da hnap a da staff.
Hence (k)nappie, -y, lumpy, bumpy (Ork. 1887 Jam.; ‡Bnff., Abd. 1960); of land: friable; of oatcakes: crisp and easily broken into fragments, brittle.Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 84:
The grit fock wha thee [oatcakes] dounae see, Or scarce thy nappic [sic] crust'll prie.Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 27:
Wi' cheese an' nappie noor-cakes, auld An' young weel fill'd an' daft are.Nai. 1828 W. Gordon Poems 218:
Wi' her rage she brak the pan; Davie's head she made a' knappy.Dwn. 1951 E. E. Evans Mourne Country 66:
Nearly all the agricultural land in our area overlies the shales, which break down into a warm friable stony soil, “knappy” or “chawndry”, as it is termed in South Down.
(2) Specif. (a) comb.: fir-knap, a knot of fir, a candle-fir (Abd. 1960). Also knappock, knablock, id.; (b) a joint on the stem of knot-grass (Mry. 1909 Colville 145). Hence comb. knap-girse, knot-grass, Polygonum aviculare (Mry. 1919 T.S.D.C., Mry. 1960, -gress); (c) the tassel on a bonnet or night-cap (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh., Per. 1960), a matted clump of wool, a ravelled ball of twine, a clump of heather (Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads (1875) I. 226; Ork. 1960).(a) Bnff. 1880 J. F. S. Gordon Chrons. Keith 69:
Rap upon rap, louder and louder, caused the gash auld wives to loup from their sedilia, as they “cracked” by the light of the fir-knap!Bnff. 1883 Trans. Inv. Scientif. Soc. II. 345:
This was the Spealg chrois — that is, the “crusie” on which knappocks or knablocks — that is, splinters, chips, or knots of fir — were burned.(c) Rnf. 1769 Weekly Mag. (24 May) 242:
I'm e'en comen hirplin ben wi' my cards, to clawt the knaps out o' a pickle mair o't.Ags. 1794 W. Anderson Piper of Peebles 6:
Upo' their spindles, near the tap, They biggit ay a bulgy knap O' thread, cross-brath'd, firm to defend The rest frae reav'ling o'er the end.Bch. 1832 W. Scott Poems 131:
An' penny loaves pill'd o'er an' o'er, An' twine in knaps.Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlviii.:
One of those substantial bonnets that were wont to be manufactured on big knitting wires, and the “nap”, or top, was formed of a huge bunch of worsted, wrought up right in the centre of the bonnet.
2. The process of a bone or joint: (1) in the human body (Ork. 1903 G. Marwick Old Roman Plough (1936) 5), e.g. the knee-cap (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 306; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Kcd., Ags., Fif. 1960), the point of the elbow (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., rare; Sh. 1960), the Adam's apple (Ork. 1929 Marw.), etc., see Ork. 1922 quot.; (2) of cattle: a shin or joint of beef. Hence combs.: (i) (k)nap-bane, the knee or knuckle-joint of the animal's leg (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 141; m. and s.Sc. 1960); (ii) knap-layer, a shin of beef, the slice of beef round the shin. See Lire, n.1(1)Sc. 1724 W. Macfarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 341:
The hole where the knap of the thigh bone joyns it.Slk. 1829 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) xiv.:
His breeches came exactly to the knap of the knee.Fif. a.1850 R. Peattie MS.:
She had been troubled wi' the pains i' the knaps o' her knees.Mry. 1875 W. Tester Select Poems 77:
I crept up the stair, an' I dirl'd at the door Wi' the knaps o' my knockles.Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 107:
The bases of measurement to be attended to were the human limbs — the breadth of the hand and the span; the arm from the “knap o' the shackle-bane” . . . to the “knap o' the shoother” . . . from the “knap o' the cuit” to the “knap o' the hainch bane”.(2) Sc. 1829 Mrs Dalgairns Pract. Cookery 72:
The names of the various pieces, according to the . . . Scotch method of dividing the carcass, are as follows: — . . . the Lair — Neck and Sticking-Piece — the Knap — Cheek and Head.Sc. 1849 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm II. 693:
The nap or shin is analogous to the hough of the hind leg.Lth. 1955 Scotsman (1 Dec.) 5:
We watched first the neck piece and then the hough and knap removed from the fore-quarter.(i) Gsw. 1951 H. W. Pryde M. McFlannel's Romance 124:
Ach, it'll be that wife McCorduroy in for the len' o' the nap-bone ye made soup wi' yesterday.(ii) Sc. 1736 Acts of Sederunt (24 Jan.) 310:
The Magistrates . . . had come to a resolution to exempt from weighing in sale the following particular pieces of flesh, viz. knap-layers, mid-layers, shoulder-layers, and craigs or necks.
3. A small hill, hillock, knoll, mound, a rise in the ground (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1960), a rock in the sea (Bch., Kcd. 1960); in pl.: patches of shallow ground in a piece of cultivated land (Sh. 1960). Found as a place-name. Dims. knappie (Abd. 1925 R. L. Cassie Gangrel Muse 13), knappock. Also in Eng. dial.Kcd. c.1800 Fraser Papers (S.H.S.) 57:
On the top of an eminence or knap on the estate of Allardice called Tilly Martin.Mry. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 17:
The gadsman whistles loud and shill, 'Mang knaps right benty.Fif. 1812 W. Tennant Anster Fair v. viii.:
Turning their faces to the knap of ground, Whence burst upon their ears the loud assaulting sound.Abd. 1890 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1) IV. 52:
O'er hills and o'er hapocks, O'er cairns and o'er knapocks.Ork. 1914 M. Spence Flora Orc. 45:
Hoy Hills and Knap of Trowie Glen.Abd. 1927 E. S. Rae Hansel fae Hame 50:
It's jist owre the ley knappie there.Bch. 1943 W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 19:
Afore the tide sweels roun' your sheen And drives you aff the knap.
4. (1) A sturdy, well-built lad (Mry.1 1925; Cai.8 1934; Abd. 1960), a fellow, chap. Also in dim. forms knap(p)al (Cai. 1902 E.D.D.), knappik (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 97), (k)nappy (Ork. 1929 Marw.), id., also a familiar name for a troll, a water spirit, a Kelpie, and deriv. napsie, “a fat little animal, such as a sheep” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 359). Cf. Knab, n.2, 2.Edb. 1825 Jam. s.v. knape:
The boys of the High School of Edinburgh . . . call one “a queer nap” or “knap”, who is a sort of quizz, or . . . “an odd fish”.Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. viii.:
The napps wi' apples, to have a dive . . . and I give ilka ane liberty to pouk my stacks.Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 36:
I was then a “gey knap o' a loon”.Ork. 1909 Old-Lore Misc. II. iii. 131:
When the tirl refused to go, [he] would take a “teengs o' brands” and run out and throw it underneath in the water, where it came boiling out from the tirl, in the dark evening, to make “knappy” a trow or water spirit — let go his hold of the wheel.Rs. 1916:
The duke's sons wir twa knaps o' sheelies (lads).ne.Sc. 1928 J. Wilson Hamespun 46:
The knaps wi' nimmel heel To bank return.
Hence (k)nappy, nappie, stout, sturdy, strong (Marw.), knapply, thick-set, dumpy (Cld. 1880 Jam.).Ayr. 1825 Jam.:
A nappie callan.Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 47:
Nappy, knoity Donal' Mac, A gentle an' a kind loon.
(2) Specif. a schoolboy name for a pupil of George Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh. Cf. Edb. 1825 quot. under (1) above.Edb. 1898 J. Baillie Walter Crighton 22:
The exclusive idea which separated all boys into two classes, viz., Herioters or knaps as they called themselves, and non-Herioters.
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