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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAIP, n.1 Also paipe (Rxb. c.1900 Scotsman (8 Feb. 1955)), pape; paep (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 17); pep (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 152).

1. The stone or kernel of a fruit, a pip (Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Dmf., Slk. 1965).

2. Specif., a dried cherry-stone used as a counter and as currency in children's games (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Lth., s.Sc. 1965); hence the paips,, a game, varying in form from district to district, played with cherrystones as counters and stakes (Ib.); also paip(e)y, paipie, id. (Edb. 1956). Deriv. paipoch, peppoch, n., a collection or hoard of paips (Rxb. 1825 Jam.). Comb. paip-poke, a bag or purse for holding paips.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Paip . . . Three of these are placed together, and another above them. These are called a castle. The player takes aim with a cherry-stone, and when he overturns this castle, he claims the spoil.
Edb. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 401:
Mimic races were at this time run for papes, in imitation purses, by all the schoolboys in Edinburgh.
Rxb. c.1840 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1908) 76:
One game, much in favour in autumn with sporting blades, was races with “papes”.
Edb. 1845 J. H. A. Macdonald Life Jottings (1915) 123:
We also had a game called “papes” — a boy's corruption, I suppose, of “pips.” It consisted in laying a row of cherry-stones along between the first and second finger, and throwing them from a short distance into a small hole made at the bottom of the garden wall opposite the school. He who got the most of the number into the hole took those of him that failed.
Edb. 1846 A. Geikie Long Life's Work (1924) 10:
In the weeks when cherries were ripe, the variously-played game of Paips. This was a Scottish form of the ancient games of Nuces, played by the Greeks and Romans with nuts or acorns. One of the forms of the game . . . was to place on the ground . . . three cherry-stones, called “paips,” with a fourth on the top of them so as to form a little pyramid. The player who, from a certain measured distance could throw a paip so as to dislodge the pyramid took the top of the pile, or the whole of it, as his prize.
e.Lth. 1876 J. Teenan Song and Satire 53:
D'ye mind examination days, Lots o' sweeties, papes, and praise!
Dmf. 1912 J. & R. Hyslop Langholm 716:
The missing student was found busy at the marbles or the “paips”, or was “rinnin his gird.”
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 23:
Black shoogir-waeter, a paep a sook.
Rxb. 1955 Scotsman (29 Jan.) 10:
Pape a Go, as I remember it, was a seasonal amusement like tops or bools . . . The standard unit was one pip (pronounced “pape”) . . . and the customary chant of all stall-holders and promoters of side-shows was “A pape a go! A pape a go! Every time you do it, a pape and another go!”
Edb. 1955 Scotsman (8 Feb.) 6:
Some 50 or 60 years ago “Paipey,” as we called it, was played by the boys of Edinburgh every cherry season. Our game . . . was played “alang the strand” . . . . The game commenced by one of the players rolling his paipes, one at a time, towards the [chalked and numbered] squares. All paipes which did not enter one or other of the squares became the property of the opposing player. On the other hand, for every paipe that lay in a numbered square one's opponent had to pay over the equivalent number of paipes.
Rxb. 1955 Scotsman (1 Feb.) 6:
(Circa 1840) “some boys had from a hundred to a hundred and fifty ‘cass,' which were kept in bags made for them by loving mothers or sisters.” Mr. Macintyre will recall that the use of such bags (“paip-pokes”) continued into his time.

3. The testicles (Bwk., Rxb. 1965).

[Variant of Eng. pip, a reduced form of pippin, †pep(p)in, O.Fr. pepin, the seed of a fleshy fruit.]

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"Paip n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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