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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.

DOUP, n.1, v.1 Also dowp, dup, †doop, †doap, ¶dolp. [dʌup Sc., ‡Rnf. + dop: dup I.Sc.]

I. n.

1. The bottom part of an egg-shell (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, dowp; Ork. 1929 Marw., doop; Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10 1940).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 56:
Better half Egg, as toom doup.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 141:
That all the birds might be hatched much about the same time the eggs were put below the hen all at once . . . with the words . . .: “A've set a hen wi' nine eggs; Muckle luck amon hir legs. Doups an shalls gang ower the sea, Cocks an hens come hame t' me.”
Bch. 1832 W. Scott Poems 22:
Transform a ploughman to a horse to prance, An' sail in egg-doups to the coast o' France.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) iii.:
All the eggs . . . might have found resting-places for their doups in a row.

Phr.: to die i' the doop, “used of a chicken that is formed in an egg-shell but dies before hatching” (Ork. 1929 Marw.).

2. (1) The buttocks (of a person or animal). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 36:
They'll rive ye'r Brats and kick your Doup, And play the Deel.
Sc. 1830 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 38:
Skelping your dolp, James, with storm, sleet, snow and rain.
Abd. 1980 David Toulmin Travels Without a Donkey 34:
Walls of the keep lined with priceless books and a cloth covered chair in a corner, a chair it is said which was used to house the doup of Mary Queen of Scots when she visited the castle ...
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 22:
and mither at the tap eidently protectin her brood
frae the storms o divisions in retour for lealty,
as we ken noo, seein their doups jig up and doon.
Abd. 1995 Sheena Blackhall Lament for the Raj 24:
His dowp, behouchie, his dock or hurdies
Are twa roon meens ower grim fur wirdies.
Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 15:
Ye'd up wi' yer windy an' doon he'd loup Frae the shaft o' the cairt by the sheltie's doup.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 64:
The airt you gie me's aye the north.
Heid tae the wun or dowp tae yirth,
nae maitter, the harns pirl roon
an' wi a shoogle an' a trummle syne settle doon
and point me whaur I'd be.
Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 95:
An' ow! as owre the brig I drew, I whumult doon upon my dowp.
Ayr. ? 1787 Burns To the Toothache (Cent. ed.) ii.:
Raving mad, I wish a heckle Were i' their doup!
Dmf. 1731 Langholm Proclamation in Gentleman's Mag. 123:
He shall have his Lugs tacked to the muckle Trone . . . untill he down of his Hobshanks, and up with his muckle Doaps, and pray to Hea'n, neen times God bless the King.

Phr. and Combs.: (a) doup-scour, a thump on the buttocks caused by a fall (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1940); †(b) doup-scud, id.; (c) doup-skelper, lit. a bottom-smacker, used contemptuously for (i) a schoolmaster; (ii) a lecher; (d) to land someone on his dowp, to reduce someone to a state of poverty.(a) Abd. 1825 Jam.2:
I'll gie ye a doup-scour.
Abd. 1926 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (July) 221:
Haith, an' A hidna gotten a claught o' the sneck o' yer door, A wiz aweers o' gettin' a gey doupscour.
(b) Abd. 1811 Garland of Bon Accord (1886) 37:
God prosper lang our Lord Provost Town Clerk, an' Baillies a'; An' grant that i' their reeling fits [dancing], Doup-scud they minna fa'.
(c) (i) Abd. 1828 “J. Ruddiman” Tales and Sk. 63:
By no ither name shall I be called, you doup-skelper.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 89:
Some doup-skelper o' a dominie that Willie Nandsense couldna thole.
(ii) Ayr. c.1789 Burns To a Gentleman (Cent. ed.) ll. 7–8:
That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph, If Venus yet had got his nose off.
(d) Sc. 1788 R. Galloway Poems 38:
The factor treasures riches up, And leaves the laird to sell; And when they land them on their dowp, Gude morning, fare ye well.

(2) The seat of a pair of trousers (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.17, Fif.13 1940).Sc. 1819 Hogg (ed.) Jacobite Relics I. 118:
A pair o' breeks that wants the doup.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 31:
We gat them hidet in the doup o's breeks.
Abd. 1879 G. Macdonald Sir Gibbie I. iv.:
Wi' little o' a jacket but the collar, an' naething o' the breeks but the doup.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 37:
They tak him by the cuff o' the neck and the dowp o' the breeks.

3. The bottom or end of anything.

(1) In gen.Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ancient Sc. Ballads 22:
Syne lay her head upo' her dish doup, And sleep like onie sow.
Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 286:
I canna pictur him to my mind's ee sittin wi' his finger in his mouth, at the doup o' the furm.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall in Neil R. MacCallum Lallans 51 15:
There wes a dunt, a shuggle, an a rickle o flames teirin out o the rocket's dowp, ...
Lth. 1813 G. Bruce Poems 16:
Nor budge we till the last year's doup Is kick'd out by its brither.
Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-Head 259:
We ken wha Lord Glum favours, and wha he wad vera pleasantly gie awa the doup half o' his estate to see returned.
wm.Sc. 1835–37 Laird of Logan II. 121:
As muckle harns as will be contained in the doup of a nit, or the steely point of a woman's thimble — for, as to tailors' thimbles, they hae nae doup whatsumever.
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 89:
Ye'll may be weather't twa-three year, An' snoove thro' life right sweetly; But, or the doup o' things, I fear, The scene'll change completely.
Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems and Sk. 29:
It wasna stane at a', but guid clean solid mother pearl, made oot o' the doup o' an auld snuff-box that belonged to the family.

(2) More specif.: (a) the end of a used candle (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis); Gen.Sc.; see also Cannle, Comb. (1); (b) the stub of a cigarette or cigar (Cai., Bnff., Fif., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s); Gen.Sc.; (c) a loop or the set of loops of the short heddle used in weaving gauze; comb. doup-end, id. (Sh., Per., Ayr. 1975); (d) “the remaining part of a potato from which sets have been cut” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., dup). (a) Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary v.:
A servant-lass that dressed it hersell, wi' the doup o' a candle and a drudging-box.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) x.:
I'm frighted to gang out my lane. Do ye think the doup of that candle wad carry i' my cap?
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xix.:
Look at them two candles! — burned down to the dowp, and they were almost hale last night when we were bedded.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish xxi.:
They beheld daft Jenny . . . with a score of candle doups . . . placed in the window.
(b) Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 2:
Auld Attie sookit the blaik rikk ooto the dowp o his fag an gied a dry hoast, his een nerrawin.
Gsw. 1985 James Kelman A Chancer 142:
Tammas took the dowp from behind his ear and struck the match, got it going. Billy asked, Give us a drag man?
Gsw. 1998 Alan Spence Way to Go (1999) 46:
Dragged at a stub of cigarette between his thumb and first finger. Flicked the dowp into the gutter.
(c) Sc. 1807 J. Duncan Art of Weaving i. 20:
Another way of easing the heddles is now, most generally, practised. The lower links, or doups, are lifted by small rods, and the heddles are pushed back by moving the lay.
Sc. 1831 G. R. Porter Silk Manuf. 285:
The half leaf . . . passes through the upper doup of the standard.
Sc. c.1900 W. J. Murphy Textile Industries IV. 143:
When gauze is to be woven, the doup is called into play.

(3) Phr. and Combs.: (a) dupstone, the impost of an arch; (b) doupwark, the arrangement of the doups or loops in a loom (see (2) (c) above).(a) e.Lth. 1880 A. I. Ritchie Ch. St Baldred 43:
The hood moulding round the arch has terminated in carved dupstones, now too much decayed to be deciphered.
(b) Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 152:
There's A—m sae active at our shopwark, In doctering our draughts an' doupwark.

II. v.

1. tr. To dump someone down smartly on the buttocks (Abd.9, Fif.10 1940). Also in Nhb. dial. Used specif. in quots. of the initiation of burgesses by bumping them on the boundary stones. Hence doup-free, doupin(g), doupin(g) stane.Abd. 1782 F. Douglas E. Coast Scot. 161:
By antient custom, a particular mark of respect was put upon novices, or those who rid the marches for the first time. It was called Douping. . . . They were hauled to it [doupin stane], with much unfeeling mirth, by those who were doup-free-burgesses.
Abd. 1840 Abd. Constitutional (11 Sept.):
Some two dozen were duly douped, among whom were the Provost, the Dean of Guild, the Town-Clerk, the Chamberlain, the Town's Assessor.
Abd. 1949 Abd. Press and Jnl. (22 Sept.):
Yesterday members of the Convener Court of Aberdeen Incorporated Trades carried out the “Doupin' Stane” ceremony. The occasion was the annual inspection by the Court of land and property they own in the city, and the initiation of new members by “doupin'.”

2. intr. With doon: to sit down (Abd.26 c.1920); to squat (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang.).Bnff. 1862 R. Sim Leg. Strathisla 53:
To come in and doup doun in your ain seat.
Bnff.2 1942:
Come in bye t' the fire an' doup doon aside Tibbie there.
Abd. 1994 Sheena Blackhall in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 139:
Aik Coutts dowpit himsel doon aside her, pechin wi swat.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 47:
"I dinna think ye sud dowp doon on the puddock-steel, Maisie" she'd say.
Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 5:
He aft doup't down, to shade him frae the blast.

[The word is found first in O.Sc. (1513) as dolp in e-dolp, eye-socket, but the -l- may be due to false analogy, as in Nolt for Nowt, etc. Doupe, doop (of an egg) dates from a.1641. Prob. of L.Ger. origin = the rounded exterior of anything (Grimm); cf. L.Ger. dop(pe), egg-, nut-shell, finger-tip, Mid. Du. dop, dup, egg-shell, Du. dop, shell, knob. For the diphthongal forms, cf. Howp, Sowp, Dowg.]

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"Doup n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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