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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

CRIPPLE, n., adj. and v.

1. n. Used as in Eng. The form crupple is also found but is not common. The following combs. are peculiar to Sc.: (1) cripple Dick, crupple —, a lame person; Gen.Sc.; †(2) cripple-justice, “a designation contemptuously given to one who is lame, and at the same time proud of his personal appearance” (Cld. 1825 Jam.2); †(3) cripplemen, “oatcakes toasted before the fire; probably denominated from the crooked shape they often assume from being set on edge while toasting” (Fif. Ib.).(1) Sc. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 16:
Cripple Dick upon a stick, Sandy on a soo.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick ix.:
What needs ye gang hauchlin an' hirplin alang, like crupple Dick upon a stick?
Kcb. 1896 S. R. Crockett Grey Man xlv.:
The Dominie of Maybole, a crippledick and piping merry-Andrew.

2. adj. Lame (Sc. [1779] J. Beattie Scoticisms (1787) 23; 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 32; e.Rs.1 1929; Abd.2, Slg.3 1941). Now obs. or dial. in Eng. except in attrib. use (N.E.D.).Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 15:
An syne aroon ma feet there lowped
A cripple-fittit cooshie,
A bauchled, shauchled, manglit quine
Bumbazed bi aa the stushie.
Her bladded taes she tucked aneth
Her bosie as she hirpled.
Ags. 1825 J. Ross Sermon, etc. 17:
O! that his godship had been cripple, That I the vagabond might find.
Fif.10 1941:
He brak's leg at Lammas an' has been aye cripple sin-syne.

3. v., intr. To walk lamely, to hobble. N.E.D. says “now chiefly Sc.” Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.10, Slg.3 1941.Ags.(D) 1890 Brechin Advertiser (5 Aug.) 3/3:
An' whiles he sat upon a stap, syne crippled on again.
Fif. 1940 St Andrews Cit. (16 March) 2/4:
The dead man's father . . . said that his son came home crippling.
Edb. 1801 H. MacNeill Poet. Works I. 50:
Crippling on a wooden leg, Gathering alms frae melting pity.

[O.Sc. has crippil(l), cripill, n., a cripple or lame person, a.1400, lameness, c.1500, also adj. crip(p)ill, 1584, but the verb does not appear (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cripple n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



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