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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.

RISP, v.1, n.1 Also resp (Gregor).

I. v. 1. (1) To file, to smooth off rough edges with a file, cut with a grating action, to saw roughly (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. rispings, filings, crumbs.Gsw. 1729 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 320:
Two sett of saws with blads, . . . for risping of logwood.
Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 60:
The airn sae rispit to the bane.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
Rispins o' bread.
Rnf. 1845 J. Mitchell Orig. Songs 19:
Whether they're pareing or rispin', O! may it aye be the best ben'.
e.Lth. 1885 “S. Mucklebackit” Rhymes 113:
Frae ilka horn risps aff the “rings” To ca' her young, the loon.
Ags. 1895 Arbroath Guide (30 Nov.) 3:
I was rispin' at a pair I'd been solin'.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (15 May):
Whin I guid ta risp apo' da teeth o' da auld saw.
Edb. 2004:
Resp the rough edge o that table coarner.

(2) specif. of a cat: to tear a wooden surface with the claws, to scratch.Fif. 1875 A. Burgess Poute 8:
Mine — keeps a kat to plese hersel' — to Risp and skart the furms.

2. To grind together two surfaces (Abd. 1966); to grind (the teeth). Also in n.Eng. dial.Slg. 1818 W. Muir Poems 14:
Nor in the stable did he risp His teeth.
Sc. 1825 Jam., s.v. Hirsp:
We still say to risp the teeth, i.e. to rub them forcibly against each other.
Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. of Hermiston v.:
Risping his teeth as he gaed.

3. intr. To make a harsh grating sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 140; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 262; I., n. and em.Sc. (a), Rxb. 1968). Rarely tr., to cause to sound harshly, grate on. Vbl.n., ppl.adj. rispin.Per. 1774 Gentleman and Lady's Weekly Mag. (8 June) 235:
The auld door risp'd on its rusty bands.
Rnf. 1806 R. Tannahill Poems (1875) 285:
The rye-craik rispt his clamorous throat.
Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rhymes 110:
The craik rins rispin' through the corn.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vi.:
Sharpin' his gullies, an' garrin' them risp forgainst the glitterin' steel.
Ags. 1914 I. Bell Country Clash 64:
To prevent the keen frosty air going down to her lungs, that often sounded like the “rispin'” valve of a pair of old bellows.
Uls. 1953 Traynor:
I heard the wheel risping along the road.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xviii.:
My singin's like 'e rispin o' the aal saa.

4. To make a grating or rattling noise with a door risp, to use (a risp). See n., 2.Sc. 1827 R. Chambers Poet. Remains (1883) 36:
He lichtit at the outer yett, and rispit wi' the ring.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped i.:
Walk back again and risp at the manse door.
Lth. 1921 A. Dodds Antrin Sangs 55:
A rich man gaed to the yett o' God, And lood he rispet the pin.

II. n. 1. A coarse file or rasp, esp. one used by a blacksmith (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. a.1908 Traynor (1953); Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Gen.Sc. Also fig.Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 44:
His throat's like a risp, and he sings like the craws, man.
Bwk. 1843 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club II. 52:
These balls are exceedingly globular, although modelled by only a hammer or a chisel, and finished by a large file or risp.
Fif. 1875 A. Burgess Poute 29:
Risps, fyles, and watir-cans.
Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk More Bits 42:
That's liker a “risp” than a razor!
Kcb. a.1902 Gallovidian (1913) 108:
Then Puirtith's raggit claws Richt's risp shall clowe.
Edb. 2004:
A resp is a big file used by joiners for example.

2. A vertical serrated bar fixed on the door of a dwelling-house, up and down which a ring is drawn with a grating noise, serving the purpose of a door knocker or bell (Edb. 1825 R. Chambers Traditions 234); the sound of this. Cf. tirling-pin s.v. Tirl, v.Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce III. v.:
At the hour of midnight, a low risp and tirl were heard on our door-pin.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller 76:
The heavy oaken staircase door, with its old-fashioned risp.
Sc. 1875 J. Grant One of the “600” i.:
The little thatched cottages, with rusty, antique risps on their doors.
Sc. 1903 Chambers's Jnl. (11 July) 510:
The “risp” used instead of a knocker.
Arg. 1918 N. Munro Jaunty Jock 28:
He hammered at the only shut door, but got no answer, plied the risp as well.

3. A scrape, a filing or sharpening, a rubbing of two rough surfaces (Sh. 1968).Sh. 1900 Shetland News (13 Jan.):
Fil I gie da joktaleg a risp apo' da herstane.

4. A harsh, grating sound, as from the friction of two surfaces (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1968). Also fig.Lnk. 1850 J. Struthers Poet. Wks. I. xiv.:
The rusty risp of the Corncraik.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 140:
Risp indicates a sharper sound than resp; and resp, than rasp.
Kcd. 1900 Crockett Stickit Minister's Wooing 322:
The risp o' a key in the lock.
Abd. 1951 Buchan Observer (11 Dec.):
The risp o' the twine as she hanks the knots ticht.

5. A curling stone that fails to reach the tee, as if its sole were rough and uneven like a file.Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 244:
Ae tee, wi' risps and lazy hoggs, Threw a' the odds now even.

6. A splinter of wood in the finger (Slg., Dmb. 1968).

[O.Sc. risp(e), a carpenter's file, 1511, to file, 1593, to grind (the teeth) 1652, Mid.Eng. rispe, to grate, O.N. rispa, to scratch, score.]

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



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