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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

RIPE, v.1, n.1 Also ryp(e); reip; ripp.

I. v. 1. (1) tr. and intr. To search thoroughly, examine (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 261; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc., esp. for stolen property; to hunt (through), grope, rummage. Also fig. Vbl.n. rypin, searching, deriv. ryper, a searcher.Per. 1715 Trans. Gaelic Soc. Inv. XXXIX. 113:
To kill any that would offer to rype or make search for any such thing.
Kcb. 1721 Session Rec. Kelton MS. (15 April):
Some body had taken away his harrow and he was designed to cause rype for it.
Ayr. 1746 Session Rec. Dailly MS. (23 March):
A search was made and when the rypers came in they found them.
Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems 47:
Syne ripet a' my shallow pow For hamie lays.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Let. xi.:
When he had riped the turret weel.
Gsw. 1842 Children in Trades Report II. I. 46:
Their persons are searched, or as it is called “riped”, every time they leave the [tobacco] works.
Fif. c.1850 R. Peattie MS.:
Tam's rypin' up ma coats — feeling among her petticoats.
Dmf. 1870 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 71:
The fairy ripes amang the cradle strae, and pu's oot a pair o' pipes.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 77:
Some ane, ripin' after lear — . . . , May find an' read me.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 109:
To rype this kittle affair to the bottom.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 249:
She had a keg o' contraband gin in the hoose, an he wud hae tae rype the hoose for't.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xix.:
Aibby hid fun a reed-cwytit offisher lyin deid an' hid gotten 'im ripit an' a mutchkin o' brandy teen aff o' 'im.

(2) Specif: to rummage through or turn out the contents of (a pocket, wallet, etc.); to pick (a pocket). Gen.Sc. Comb. rype-pouch, a schoolboy word for a pick-pocket (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ‡1923 Watson W.-B.).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 23:
Ryp ilky Poutch frae Nook to Nook; Be sure to truff his Pocket-book.
Sc. 1739 Session Papers, Erskine v. Reps. Erskine (25 June) 31:
As well as the Deponent had riped the Pockets, it would seem Peter had riped them better.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 79:
We'll ripe the pouch, an' see what scaff is there.
Sc. 1829 Scott Guy M. Intro.:
We maun ripe his pouches a bit, and see if the tale be true or no.
Ags. 1848 Feast Liter. Crumbs (1891) 55:
My Whittle's lost! Yet I dinna ken: Lat's ripe — lat's ripe my pouch again.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 109:
Betty, ripe the story wallet! Betty, turn it inside oot!
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Bog-Myrtle 208:
I ripit a' my pooches, yin after the ither.
Per. 1897 C. R. Dunning Folk Lore 6:
He reipit his pouch for a knife.
Fif. 1912 D. Rorie Mining Folk 386:
Ye canna lie fou' at the roadside noo wi'oot gettin' your pooches ripit!
Abd. 1931 A. M. Williams Bundle of Yarns 53:
Fan A ripit ma pooch, A fan' it wis ma ain saxpence.
Gsw. 1950 H. W. Pryde McFlannel Family Affairs 95:
Ripin' ma pooches when Ah'm sleepin'.
Per. 1990 Betsy Whyte Red Rowans and Wild Honey (1991) 58:
She was ryping her pockets as she spoke. 'Betsy, run and see if ony o' them has an inch o' tobacco to give me.'
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 36:
A gambler o fame, McGrew wis his name,
- thir then wis this lady caa'd Lou,
wha cradle't his frame but, bein a dame,
saw rypin his pooches her due.

2. To rifle, to plunder. Also fig. Hence deriv. ryper, a plunderer.Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 33:
An ripe wi' candle light Their benner pauntries.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 209:
The benmost part o' my kist nook I'll ripe for thee.
Kcb. 1815 J. Gerrond Works 212:
What traveller e'er met sic folk, To nestle kists or ripe a poke.
Bwk. 1873 Lady J. Scott Songs (1911) 153:
They've brak into our King's palace, They've ripit his treasury.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 40:
Gae ben the hoose, an' rype the press.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xxix.:
My desk was riped; the siller box was gone.
Rxb. 1961 W. Landles Penny Numbers 20:
A spielin' callant riskin' screeve and cloure, Rypit the reid cheeked aipples whaur they hung.
m.Sc. 1979 Tom Scott in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 89:
kittit oot byordinar weel wi teeth
for his omnivorous, voracious appetite
... His hide's that thick and coorse he can rype oot
bykes o wild bees and wilder wasps
impervious o their stings.

3. (1) To clear (the bars of a fireplace, etc.) of ash, esp. in phr. to ripe the ribs (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; ne. and m.Sc. 1968). See also Rib, n., 2.Sc. 1720 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 223:
Then fling on Coals, and ripe the Ribs.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Gathering of West 69:
The sound of ripping the ribs of the grate.
Dmf. 1937 T. Henderson Lockerbie 10, 19:
Mrs. Johnstone riped the ribs of the big grate and poked the peats. . . . The riping out of the grate in the kitchen below.
Arg. 1946 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 219:
Erchie lights the double-burner lamp . . . rypes the stove, and arrays the china mugs on one of the lockers.

(2) To clear (ash, etc.) out of the bowl and stem of a pipe, to clear (a pipe) of ash (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Ork., Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; I., n. and m.Sc. 1968).  Hence deriv. riper, in comb. pipe-riper, a pipe cleaner (Ib.); to clear out a drain (w.Lth., Rxb. 1968).m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 60:
Can ye len's a preen, to ripe Oot the stapple o' my pipe?
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 156:
A long nose is likened to a “pleugh cooter”; a sharp one to a “pipe-riper”.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 73:
Robin rypit the dottle oot o' his pipe.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (19 Nov.):
I wis tryin' ta ripe me pipe wi' a strae.
Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 17:
Bence, the plant stool-bent. The hard stems are used by the herds to ripe the pipe.
Sh. 1928 Manson's Almanac 188:
A waand nae ticker as a pipe riper.

Comb. ripeing-spoon, a spoon so shaped as to be able to scrape the unmelted sugar from the bottom of a tea-cup.Dmf. 1757 Dmf. Testaments MS. XIV. 392:
Ten silver tea spoons and a ripeing spoon.

(3) To blow (one's nose) (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); to rub or clear (one's eyes).Abd. c.1810 Robin Hood & the Beggar II. in Child Ballads No. 134. lxxxiii–iv.:
“The shaking of my pocks, I fear, Hath blown into your eyne; But I have a good pike-staff here Will ripe them out full clean” . . . In the thick wood the beggar fled, E'er they riped their eyne.

4. To dig up potatoes (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1968); also to strip berries from a bush or peas from a pod (Sh., Abd. 1968).Sh. 1897 Shetland News (16 Oct.):
Hit wid only be a just punishment if He didna gie wis a' a tattie ta ripe.
Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Iktober):
Da grice needs nae böddie, whin he's rypin taaties.
Sh. 1961 New Shetlander No. 59. 18:
We're shorn an we're ripit as alweys we're dün.

5. To seize, arrest (Kcb. 1909).

6. By conflation with Rip, v.: (1) to plough up old fallow ground, to break in (Wgt. 1968). Also in n.Eng. dial.Kcb. 1897 G. O. Elder Borgue 29:
Ripin' up a' the bits o' green hoams.

(2) to unravel or take out (a piece of knitting). Cf. Rip, v., 3.Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes li.:
To ripe oot the stockin' frae the wrang en' o't.

II. n. A poke, a stir with some instrument which will clear an obstruction (I., n. and m. Sc. 1968).Lnk. 1892 W. Ewing Poems 20:
I then settled down, And gave the ribs a bit ripe.
Sc. 1927 J. Millar Scotland Yet 103:
Ye'll may be tak' yer pipe. . . . At times, nae doot, ye'll gie't a ripe.

[O.Sc. ripe, to search thoroughly, a.1420, O.E. rȳpan, to engage in robbery.]

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"Ripe v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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