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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

RAIP, n., v.1 Also rape; raep; rep; reap; reip (Sh. 1915 Old-Lore Misc. VIII. i. 61); rip. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. rope (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1818 Sawers; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson). See P.L.D. § 32.1. [rep; rɛp]

I. n. 1. As in Eng.; specif. applied to a straw or hay rope twisted on the farm. Gen.Sc.; a rope in a fishing-net (Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 262, rip).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 46:
His coots were dozn'd an' the fettle tint, Yet o' them of the raips was seen the dint.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Puir Mailie 38:
Wae worth that man wha first did shape That vile, wanchancie thing — a raep!
Mry. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 244:
Nae raip hangs lously on the ruck; Nae stane louse on the wa'.
Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xxvii.:
If there were a man left in the south who could draw a whinger, or a woman that could thraw a rape.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Tales (1874) 482:
It is like one I hae seen her hae out airing on the hay raip i' the back green.
Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 33:
Though he did hae His shanks row'd roun' wi' raips o' strae.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 124:
If a cow or other domestic animal was seized with disease, one mode of cure was to twist a rope of straw (a raip) the contrary way, join the two ends, and put the diseased animal through the loop along with a cat.
Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 88:
Dinna speak o' a raip to a chiel whase faither was hanged.
Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 50:
She was very particular aboot her rapes and liket to be at the twistin' o' them hersel'.
Abd. 1950 Buchan Observer (5 Sept.):
A tool very much in use on farm and croft in the hairst time . . . is the thrawcrook, which twined the rapes of straw or sprots, used to secure the thatch on the rick-tops.

2. Combs.: ¶(1) coat-raips, ? a jocular term for coat-tails; ¶(2) rope-gripper, a nick-name for a sailor; (3) ropeman, a member of a salmon-fishing team who draws the net rope; (4) raip-rack, an instrument for twisting ropes (Bwk. 1939 Folk-Liv III. 171); (5) rape-thackit, of a building: having the roof thatch secured by a network of ropes; (6) raip-trailer, one who trails the raip, see 3. (4).(1) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow (S.T.S.) 145:
Of coat raips well cut by the cast o' their bun.
(2) Fif. 1846 Anon. Muckomachy 25:
An auld rope-gripper, Surnamed the Skipper.
(3) Kcd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 93:
The ropemen, their assistants, who draw the net, have 3s. 9d. per week.
(5) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb i.:
One or two small “rape-thackit” cottages.
(6) Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS.:
The coo has never been like hersel' sin the rape trailers middlet wi' her this time fern-year.

3. Phrs.: (1) as raw as rapes, doltish, gauche, uncouth; (2) a thraw or a whaup in the raip, a snag, hitch, drawback, an unforeseen difficulty or obstacle in any undertaking (Mry.1 1925). See Thraw, Whap; (3) to grip one's ain rape, to rely on one's own resources, to be independent of outside help; (4) to trail the raip, see 1874 quot. See also raip-trailer s.v. 2. (6).(1) Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 156:
“As raw as rapes” is a common form of speech applied to people who are not credited with a superfluous amount of wisdom in their actions or remarks.
(2) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 305:
There is a Whaap in the Reap.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xv.:
“But famous John Semple of Carspharn,” David Deans used to say with exultation, “saw the whaup in the rape. — ‘Quit the rope,' he cried to us (for I that was but a callant had a haud o' the rape mysell), ‘it is the Great Enemy!'”
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 33:
There's aye some whaup i the raip.
Fif. 1933:
There's some thraw in the raip — which means some obstacle in the binding of corn, or it could be suitable for any other subject.
(3) Abd. 1917 D. G. Mitchell Kirk i' the Clachan 148:
We're sae keen grippin oor ain rapes, that we think we can do withoot His help.
(4) ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Olden Time 19:
There were two other methods of taking away the luck from a house. . . . The other was by trailing the raip. A rope of straw was twisted from left to right . . . and pulled round the house contrary to the course of the sun.
Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith (1913) 12:
He kent auld spells, could trail the rape an' spae.

4. Derivs.: ‡(1) raperee, a ropery, a rope-work (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1967); (2) raipfu(ll), what a rope can hold (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1967); fig., a gallows-knave. O.Sc., id., 1583.(1) Abd. 1951 Buchan Observer (18 Sept.):
The rainy days spent in the raperee or loft, at the spinning of sprot and strae rapes.
(2) Fif. c.1850 R. Peattie MS.:
Said sarcastically to one who deserved to be hanged — “Ye'd mak a gude raipfu.”

5. (1) A clothes-line. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1833 Carlyle Life (Froude 1882) II. 365:
To-day white sheets hang triumphantly on the rope.

(2) Specif. in I.Sc. and Cai. usage: a line stretched across the room or across the mantlepiece on which fish, etc. can be hung to dry or clothes to air (I.Sc., Cai. 1967).Ork. 1703 P. Ork. A.S. (1930–1) IX. 51:
He heard William Stickler say to Gilbert Cormack that there were never legs of mutton taken down from his rep.
Sh. 1896 J. Burgess Lowra Biglan 19:
A “collie”, or old-fashioned Shetland oil-lamp, was swinging on the raep.
Ork. 1912 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 9:
We see overhead long rapes, or straw ropes, stretching from side to side of the house, and hanging from them rows of half dried sillocks and cod fish.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 16:
Swappin' a hap aboot hir shoodirs, an' hüvin' hir auld polka ower da raep inby da fire, shü says, “Mam, A'll better rin ower enoo.”

6. The network of ropes that are used to secure thatch on a roof or, most freq., on a corn rick to secure it against the weather. Gen. in comb. thack and raip (Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. 1967), see also Thack, and cf. rape-thackit, 2. (5). Phr. to gae ower aa thack and raip, to be beyond restraint or bounds, to go over the score (Ags. 1954).Ayr. 1787 Burns Brigs of Ayr 25–6:
'Twas when the stacks get on their winter-hap, And thack and rape sccure the toil-won crap.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. l.:
We'll a' be as right and tight as thack and rape can make us.
Slk. 1817 Hogg Tales (1874) 155:
One wished them . . . “a bien rape o'er their heads.”
e.Lth. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rural Rhymes 35:
Now hairst is ended: — thack an' rape Secure a sonsy, weel-won crap.
Bnff. 1892 Trans. Bnff. Field Club 59:
In the country, the old clay biggin, . . . with its thack and rape, . . . has almost passed.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders 11:
It is not the least of the Lord's mercies that . . . the crops of corn . . . should be in the stackyards under thack and rape by the second day of September.
Bwk. 1914 Rymour Club Misc. II. 133:
And dune my best, in every shape, To keep the hoose 'neath thack and raip.
Abd. 1956 J. Murray Rural Rhymes 8:
Tae see the stacks 'neth thack an' raip Ilk shorn tap tied fu' ticht.

7. A straw band for a sheaf of corn (ne.Sc., m.Lth., Rxb. 1967). Hence raep-makin, the twisting of bands.Fif. 1806 A. Douglas Poems 150:
But you maun gie me Sandy Bell, To make my raip again, Sir.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 339:
The same rape-makin', the same bin'in . . . fither it be cuttit wi' machine or scythe.
Bnff.1 1930:
The bairns are handy for makin' raips for their mithers fin gaitherin' in hairst.

8. A straw rope band used as a handle for a Kishie or to sling it on to the back, leaving the hands free (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.). Cf. v., 7.

9. A derogatory term for a length of worthless material or a long dowdy dress (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 139).

10. In pl. ropes, skipping games with ropes.Edb. 1985:
I want tae play at ropes.
Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 9:
At ropes you used to play two and out and if you got caught in the ropes you have to take an end.

II. v. 1. To twist (straw or hay) into ropes (Bnff. 1967).ne.Sc. 1909 G. Greig Folk Song No. xcii. 2:
When we were to the barn sent To raip and draw the strae.

2. Specif. to secure the thatch of a corn rick with a network of straw ropes (Sh., ne. and em.Sc., Lnk., sm. and s.Sc. 1967). Also with doun. Vbl.n. raipin, rapein.Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 174:
When hairst was owre, an' stacks were raipit ticht.
Abd. 1920 G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 36:
The cornyard wis snoddit up, the soo wis raipit doon.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 170:
Foo partic'lar they ees't to be aboot sic things as rapein' an' thackin'.

3. To fix a fishing net to the head rope (Sh. 1967). Vbl.n. in phr. the rapin' o' the nets, see quot.Bwk. 1906 D. M'Iver Eyemouth 198:
The “rapin' o' th' nets” was matter for ceremonial also. When a net is being prepared for use, it . . . has to be suspended to a long rope by so many “noozles”, or small pieces of twine which are tied to the rope by means of nooses. For this purpose the rope is tied at both ends to nails in a wall, at a height of about four feet from the ground, and then, bit by bit, the net is attached to the rope by means of the “noozles” and made ready for use at sea.

4. To coil up, to wind up into a ball (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 139).Sh. 1900 Shetland News (2 June):
I raepid up me line an' set her at da stoop o' da mill.

5. To hang like a rope or clothes line. See n., 5. (2).Sh. 1955 New Shetlander No. 41. 8:
Da moose-wubs hang raepin' fae da twart-backs.

6. To tie about or round (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 139; Sh. 1967); with aff: to untie, unwind (Ib.).Gregor:
He raipit a bit thrum o' a nepkin roon's neck.

7. Ppl.combs. raepin band, -string, reppin-, a rope laced through the top of a Kishie which could be pulled tight to close its mouth. Cf. n., 8.Sh. 1900 Shetland News (30 June):
We'll need a bit o' some kind o' tow fir a raeppin' baand.
Sh. 1952 New Shetlander No. 31. 6:
He gjoppened dem aa in'ta da kishie an pooed apo da raepin-string so at dey couldna win oot.
Sh. 1962:
Reppin string. A string tied across a message-basket to keep in the contents.

8. To sew roughly in making a temporary mend (Cai. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Sh., Cai. 1967).

[O.Sc. phr. thak and raip, 1551.]

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"Raip n., v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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