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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

TUIP, n., v. Also tup(e), tip, †toop, †toup; teep (ne.Sc.). [m., s.Sc. tøp, tɪp; Sh., Cai. tup; ne.Sc. tip]

I. n. 1. An entire male sheep, a ram (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. and Uls. dials.Sc. 1722 Atholl MSS.:
Tuo wedders, one Toup, and a yeld Eue.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) H. 19:
My Tupe that bears the Bell, And paths the Snaw.
Rxb. 1749 Border Mag. (Oct. 1931) 148:
17 Brodly toops at 6 shillings the pees.
Abd. 1777 Abd. Journal (9 June):
Also One Year old Teep, all of the real English Brood.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Poor Mailie's Elegy vi.:
She was nae get o' moorlan tips, Wi' tawted ket, an' hairy hips.
Sc. 1804 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) I. 222:
Long sheep, and short sheep, and tups and gimmers, and hogs and dinmonts.
Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 245:
The young horse took fricht at a tup loupin ower the wa'.
Per. 1878 R. Ford Hame-Spun Lays 47:
Were a body a tuip it micht alter the case.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 62:
He gaed hame dancin like a mad tip.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 37:
His furthy coat o' tup's 'oo spun at hame.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 1:
Kye an tuips an keilies an yowes.
Sc. 1973 Glasgow Herald (20 June) 7:
A massive 24-stone tup was again supreme. Blackface champion was a two-shear tup.

Combs. and phrs.: (1) tup-eild, -y(i)eld, of a ewe: barren, infertile (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Sc. 1869 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 726; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Cai., m. and s.Sc. 1973). See Eild, adj.2; (2) tup-head, used attrib., shaped like a ram's head; of a sword: basket-hilted. Adj. tup-headed, foolish. stupid, block-headed (Ayr. 1973); (3) tup-hog, a male sheep till its first shearing (Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm II. 38). See Hog, n.1, 1. (12); (4) tup-horn, a ram's horn, esp. one made into spoons or used as a drinking horn or musical instrument. Also attrib.; (5) tup-i-the-wind, in phr. to rin like a blind tup-i-the-wind, applied to a young woman who indiscreetly haunts men's company (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (6) tup-lamb, a male lamb. Gen.Sc.; (7) tup-park, a field for sheep to graze in (Cai. 1973); †(8) tup's head dinner, a special town-council dinner held at Michaelmas, at the nomination of the next term's councillors (see Michaelmas, 4.), at which a sheep's head was the chief dish; (9) tup-stane bottle, a bottle with a rounded bottom and a somewhat oval shape (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). See Stane, 6.(1) Sc. 1823 Farmer's Mag. 278:
At the lambing time there were found 99 tup-eild ewes and gimmers.
Sc. 1889 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm I. 175:
A ewe that has borne a lamb and fails to be with lamb again is a tup yeld or barren ewe.
(2) Slg. 1804 G. Galloway Luncarty 65:
Their toop-head swords are glitt'rin.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary vi.:
Did you ever hear such an old tup-headed ass?
(3) Peb. 1772 Indictment of A. Murdison 1:
To shade out from his wedder-hogs some ram or tup-hogs.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man (1972) xxix.:
Ten tup hogs aff the Crib-law.
(4) Sc. 1715 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 75:
Twall Toop Horn-spoons down Maggy lays.
Ayr. 1788 G. Turnbull Poet. Essays 179:
Meikle toop-horn spoons, and plates to haud the kail.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 178:
My tip-horn, syne, I loudly tooted.
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Trad. Tales II. 209:
All the tuphorns of Dryfesdale and the heads they grow upon.
(6) Nai. 1765 Session Papers, Gordon v. Brodie, (3 Jan.) 5:
The moment they are castrated, which must be done when they are young, they are wedder lambs in contra-distinction to toop lambs or ewe lambs.
Ayr. 1782 Burns Death Mailie 43:
My poor toop lamb, my son an' heir.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Tales (1874) 224:
A ewe lamb is a far nicer, bonnier, sweeter little creature than a toop lamb.
Sc. 1968 Trans. Highl. Soc. (Ser. 6) ix. 134:
A tup lamb being shown for the first time.
(7) Gall. 1810 S. Smith Agric. Gall. 81:
A good tup park, which serves, also, for various important purposes, at the different seasons of the year, when it is not necessary to separate the rams from the ewes.
(8) Sc. 1826 M. Dods Manual i. 57:
“The Tup's-head Dinner” about Michaelmas-day is still a high festival with the dignitaries in certain of our royal burghs.

2. Applied to male persons in a familiar or disparaging way (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial. Comb. Teviotdale tup, a contemptuous term for a man from the Scottish Borders.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxvi.:
‘He'll be a Teviotdale tup, tat ane,' said the chairman, ‘tat's for keeping ta crown o' ta causeway tat gate.'
Lnk. 1880 W. Grossart Shotts 8:
He had always a supply of stones in his pocket, and one in his hand to “chip” the boys running after him; from this evil habit of his he received the sobriquet Tup.

II. v. Of a ram: to copulate, to beget (a lamb); ¶of the ewe: to admit the ram. Also in n.Eng. dial. Vbl.n. tipping, the mating-time for sheep. In 1807 quot. extended to other animals.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 306–7:
Tip when you will, you shall lamb with the leave . . . The Lamb where it's tipped, and the Ewe where she's clipped.
Dmf. 1807 J. Ruickbie Wayside Cottages 176:
A neater messin ne'er was tippet.
Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm III. 1108:
Most of the ewes will be tupped during the second week.
Sc. 1934 A. Fraser Herd of the Hills 32:
The storm that had broken before tupping was over, so that lambs would be late and scarce.
Abd. 1954 Abd. Press and Jnl. (12 Jan.):
Tupped by the highly successful breeding Stud Rams.

[Of unknown orig. O.Sc. tup, 1423, tuip, 1582, tip, 1614.]

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



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