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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CRAP, Crapp, Krap(p), Krop, Crawp, n.1 Sc. forms of Eng. crop, the produce of the ground; the craw of a bird (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kroppi); a close hair-cut. See P.L.D. §§ 54, 105.2. The following senses are peculiar to Sc-, and crop is illustrated only when it occurs in these senses. Dims. croppie, kroppi. [krap, krɔp]

1. The top of anything (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., krap; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); esp. used of: (1) the top of a plant or tree; a head of corn (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Bnff.2 1940; Abd.13 1910); obs. in Eng. (N.E.D.); in pl.: “the seed-pods of Runches or wilwild mustard [charlock, Brassica arvensis]” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B., obs.). Also used for runches in gen. (Ib.) and for jointed charlock (wild radish), Raphanus raphanistrum (Bwk. 1886 B. and H. 127, crawps); †(2) the head of a person; (3) “the essence of whey, extracted when the whey is boiled, off the top” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov Encycl. 145, crapp); “boiled whey, a dish somewhat like sowens” (Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 22); also attrib; also comb. crap-whey, id.; (4) the handle of a plough; †(5) “the uppermost section of a fishing-rod” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); obs. in Eng. since 15th cent. (N.E.D.); †(6) “the surface of the ground” (Ib.); (7) the top of a potato (Mry.1 1928); (8) the top of a wave (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., krap); (9) the tip (of the fingers); (10) “a head of tangle” (Cai.1 c.1920, croppie); (11) the top of a coal-seam.(1) Sc. a.1827 Prince Robert in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 87 B. xvi.:
And these twa [trees] grew, and these twa threw, Till their twa craps drew near.
Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan II. v.:
Tak' thae wheen craps like a man, and ca' thae beasts [geese] into the water again.
Mry. after 1750 Pluscarden MS. 149:
The band of the sheaf was drawn up to the crap.
wm.Sc. 1835–37 Laird of Logan II. 262:
Wi' their lang, bare, skybald shanks, looking as skranky as if they had been fed on craps o' heather like muircocks.
(2) Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 40:
Scarce had he shook his paughty Crap, When in a Customer did pap.
(3) Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc. 65:
Be't [milk] sour in crock or pig — Or be't crap whey or whig.
Ayr. 1895 J. Walker Old Kilmarnock 174:
On another occasion he was getting "crap whey" to his porridge. Crap whey, it may be explained, is a kind of frothy substance that comes to the top when the whey is brought to the boil, and is sometimes used instead of milk; it is, however, but a poor substitute.
Dmf. 1834 H. Johnston Poems 21:
And we put on the big pot for to scad our whey; We sup o' the crap, an' our lips we do smack.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan III. xi.:
Oh for a mouthful of Howeboddom crap of whey!
Dmf. 1838 Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 276:
I was immediately supplied with a cog o' crap-whey, bannocks, and a ram-horn spoon.
(4) wm.Sc. 1835–37 Laird of Logan I. 162:
I lost sight and grip at last o' the crap o' the stilts . . . and doon I tum'led an' the fur aboon me.
(7) Mry. 1883 F. Sutherland Sunny Memories 158:
Wi' tawtie craps tied tae their [kites'] tails Tae keep them balanced there.
(9) Sc. 1835 H. Miller Scenes and Leg. 293:
A stalwart young fallow o' sax feet, wi' a grip that would spin the bluid out at the craps o' a chield's fingers.
(11) Lth. 1789 J. Williams Nat. Hist. Miner. Kingdom I. 4:
The upper edge of every individual stratum in the section is called by Scotch colliers the crop of it.

2. The stomach (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.17, Fif.10 1940), the throat. Extension of Eng. crop, Sc. crap, the craw of a bird. Also in Eng. dial.Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings 11:
Lat's see a drappie o' yer beer, To scour my crap.
Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 94:
And they roopit, to gust their gabs and craps, Right mony a cadger's cavie, o.

3. “The quantity of grain put at one time on a kiln, to be dried” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2, crap).

4. Phrs.: (1) crap and root (reet), also root (reet) and crap, completely, entirely, from top to bottom, “root and branch”; known to Abd. correspondents, Fif.10 1940; used as n.phr. in Ross quot. = everything; †(2) crap o(f) heaven, the horizon (crap alone is given in S.D.D. with this meaning); †(3) crap o' the causey, the crown of the causeway (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); (4) crap o' the wa', the vacant space, inside a house, between the top of the wall and the roof, often used as a handy shelf, or hiding place (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), krapp; Mry.1 1925; Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.2 1940; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 241; Fif. 1994); (5) crap o' the water, “the first water taken from a well after midnight of Dec. 31, supposed to bring good luck for the new year” (S.D.D.); (6) to clear one's crap, to get a piece of news “off one's chest” (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.2 1940); (7) to craw in some one's crap, gen. that will never craw in your crap, you will never taste that sort of food: “the allusion is to the crowing or self-gratulating sort of sound that a fowl makes when its stomach is filled” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2). Hence to craw in another's crap, to triumph over, to henpeck (someone) (Ags.2, Fif.10 1940); “used metaph. as to painful reminiscence; as ‘That'll craw in your crap,' that will be recollected to your discredit” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.2); (8) to get the crap on, to get frightened, to get “the wind up”; known to Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940; (9) to have a crap (crop)for a(ll) corn(s), to be greedy; to be omnivorous (lit. and fig.); to be ready to eat anything (Slg.3 1940); fig. to be on the outlook for any advantage (Bnff.12 1860); known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.2, Fif.10, Edb.1, Lnk.11, Kcb.10 1940. For other forms of this phr. see quots.; (10) to redd one's crap, “to say all that one has on one's mind concerning some person or incident” (Abd.7 1925); cf (6); (11) to shake one's crap, to give vent to grievances (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (12) to stick in one's crap, to cause one resentment (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Abd.9, Slg.3, Lnk.11 1940); (13) to teem one's crap, to give vent to one's feelings (Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940); cf. (6) and (10).(1) Mry.(D) 1806 G.S. in J. Cock Simple Strains 93:
Your dainty letter, faith! I'm glad to see't; And closely ha'e I view'd it, crap and reet.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 34:
An, ye may mind, I tauld you crap an' root, Fan I came here, an' that I ne'er wad do't.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxii.:
The thing's rotten, reet an' crap.
(2) Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc. 57:
But fareweel, lass, for faith the sun Ayont the crap o' Heaven has run.
(3) ne.Sc. c.1850 The Water Warbler 4:
Gin the drouthy meet the couthy, O' the causey's crap.
(4) n.Sc. 1913 in J. Allardyce Byegone Days in Abdsh. 251:
Cuttings of rowan and also of woodbine were kept over the byre door or in the “crap o' the wa',” and when it was desired to specially protect a cow a small cross made of rowan wood was tied to her tail with a scarlet thread.
Bnff.(D) [1847] A. Cumming Tales of the North (1896) 81:
I, the little housie an' i' the hole aneath a pickle peats, he wou'd get a wee kegie wi' a drap gin in't, and a horn tum'ler i' the crap o' the wa' abeen.
Ags. 1875 Brechin Advertiser (20 April) 4/4:
He bankit his rent — just thretty pounds i' the year — i' the crap o' the wa'.
Ags. 1990s:
Crap o the waa: recess at angle of wall and roof.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc. 13:
A poor German daw's got the crap o' the wa' And our ain bonny dow it has poucket.
(5) Knr. 1894 “H. Haliburton” Furth in Field 29–30:
The “water” custom of Hogmany night [in a Perthshire hamlet not many years ago] wwas to slip from the house when the clock pronounced the doom of the old year, and, pitcher in hand, make for the nearest well in time to secure, before any of your neighbours, what was variously called the “crap,” the “flooer,” and the “ream” of the water for the New Year just begun. The custom was restricted to the women of the hamlet or homestead; in some localities only the young unmarried women. The ream of the well brought good fortune for the year.
(6) Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlvi.:
Then Hairry had a perfect budget of general news to unfold but . . . he did not get his “crap” fully cleared, until a favourable opportunity occurred when Johnny was absent.
(7) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 31:
He widna gi' me the len o' a poun' or twa fin a socht it; bit a'll gar't craw in's crap yet.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxviii.:
Tibbie had begun . . . to craw somewhat kniefly in my crap.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 34:
But she'll craw kniefly in his crap, Whan, wow! he canna flit her Frae hame that day.
Hdg. 1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 37:
But Sandie, wha right eithly saw This night's wark in Meg's crap wad craw, Thus to her spake, “Ye stupid ass, I tald ye what wad come to pass.”
(8) Gsw. 1935 A. McArthur and H. K. Long No Mean City 97:
“Got the crap on (wind up)?” said he in a clear voice that ended on a laugh.
(9) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 378:
You have a Crop for all Corns. Spoken to them who love and eat all Kinds of Meat.
Abd.27 1947:
He's a crap for a' corn: he reads a'thing that comes his wye.
Bch. 1929 (per Abd.1):
He has a crap for corn an' a bag for rye, yon billie; see an' haud yer ain wi' 'im. [Also — an' a pockie for rye (Ags.17), — pease (Ags.2 1940).]
s.Per. 1933 (per Lnk.3):
“Ye've a crap for a' corn, and ane for rouch bear” — applied to a greedy person.
(10) Abd.(D) [1903] W. Watson Auld Lang Syne (1905) 253:
Baubie would not then rest at ease until she went and “redd 'er crap” to the astonished Jean.
(11) Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 54:
Afore ye lat him get o'er meikle time To shak' his crap, and scauld you for the quean, Be bauld enough to tell him a' your mind.
Abd.(D) 1916 G. Abel Wylins 54:
I aince wis at a gidderin' o' the cracksmen o' oor toon, Fin a' the Sikes's shook their craps wi' ugly sweer an' froon.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse of Mearns 93:
Sae tak a pinch, and shake your crap.
(12) Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick iii.:
It kind o' stuck in my crap to hear him gaun on at siccan a rate.
(13) Abd. 1993:
Tell's fit yer girnin aboot ... come on an teem yer crap.

5. Combs.: †(1) crap-sick, crop-, adj., sick as the result of over-eating or drinking. Obs. in Eng. except dial. (N.E.D.); (2) crap-wa', “coom-ceiled recess of the hayloft where floor and joists meet” (Fif. 1909 Colville 128). Cf. 4 (4); (3) crap-weeds, “short-rooted surface-weeds” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); †(4) ill crap, bad feeling, venom.(1) Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 320:
On which Jupiter . . . micht hae got drunk, and Apollo, after a haill nicht's screed, risen up in the morning wi' . . . not the least of a headache, nor crap-sick as he druve his chariot.
Sc. 1830 J. G. Lockhart Life of Scott (1838) VII. vii.:
In the predicament of an honest drunkard when crop-sick the next morning, who does not ascribe the malady to the wine he has drunk, but to having tasted some particular dish at dinner which disagreed with his stomach.
(2) Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxv.:
She wad find it lyin' in a particular corner o' the crap-wa'.
(4) Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xii.:
I'm seer fowk wudna ken fat to dee to keep doon the ill crap o' some creaturs.

[O.Sc. has crop, cropt, etc., in sense of: the top, head or highest part, esp. of a tree or plant; the crop or produce of the land; the crop of a fowl, the earliest appearance in all senses being c.1420 in Wyntoun: crop and rute appears in Kennedy c.1500 (D.O.S.T.). Cf. O.E. cropp, sprout, bunch (of flowers or berries), ear (of corn); crop (of bird). For change of vowel in Sc., see P.L.D. § 54.]

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"Crap n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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