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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HAPPERGAW, n., v. Also Anglicised form hoppergaw.

I. n. A gap in growing corn caused by unequal sowing (Bwk. 1825 Jam.).Sc. c.1708 Copie of a Baron's Court 10:
I jamph a boll? or yet a Peck? No, no! I rather baily brake my Leg in two. God bless the Caird! I trow his Worship knaws, I am a man that hath no Happer-Gaws.

II. v. To sow grain unequally (when using a happer) so that the resulting crop is patchy (e.Lth. 1825 Jam.; Teviotd. Ib., hoppergaw). Ppl.adj. happer-gaw'd (e.Lth., Ib.); vbl.n. happergawin. Also found in n.Eng. dials.Sc. 1849 H. Stephens Bk. Farm I. 539:
This species of bad sowing is named in the country laddering, or happergawin.

[Happer, n., 2. + Gaw, n.2, 3., a gap.]

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"Happergaw n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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