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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCRAPE, v., n. Sc. usages:

I. v. 1. As in Eng. Phrs.: (1) ill-scrapit, weel-, etc., of the tongue: lacking or possessing refinement and courtesy (in speech), foul-or pleasant-mouthed, (un)civil in address (Ayr. 1880 Jam.; Ags. 1969). See also Ill-scrapit; (2) scrapit-face, n., a person with a thin, pinched face (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., Sh. 1969); (3) to scrape one's throat, to speak, esp. in a pompous or affected manner, to hold forth (Ags. 1969). Cf. Eng. dial. to scrape the tongue, id.(1) Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xxvi.:
Martin should keep a weel-scrapit tongue in his head.
Per. 1835 R. Nicoll Poems 112:
Deaved to the heart by her ill-scrapit tongue.
Gall. 1896 Crockett Grey Man x.:
Let it learn you to be better scraped as to the tongue.
Edb. 1900 E. Strain Elmslie's Drag-net 218:
Fishwives when angry have proverbially what Janet herself would have described as ‘gey-ill-scrapit tongues'.
(3) Per. 1901 I. Maclaren Young Barbarians xiii.:
When ye've scrapit yir throat they thought it was Gospel.

Derivs.: (1) scraper, (i) a kind of plough with a double mouldboard, a variety of shim (see quot.); (ii) one who scrapes a living by frugal, acquisitive or laborious means. Also in n.Eng. dial.; (iii) see (3); (iv) a kind of peaked “fore-and-aft” cap. Colloq. in Eng., esp. in naut. usage; (2) scrapie, (i) see II. 3.; (ii) a disease of sheep marked by constant itch and scratching (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Cf. scratchie s.v. Scratch; (3) scraping-club, a kind of golf-club of the niblick or bunker iron sort, earlier called scraper; (4) scraple, a metal scraper used for cleaning a baking-board (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); a hoe for scraping the floor of a byre (Slk. 1825 Jam.). The form may be a conflation of scraper and Scartle, n., 2.(1) (i) Per. 1797 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 511:
There are other ploughs used for drilled crops. . . . One called a scraper, with a broad flat sock, made to cut a space of about 6 inches, and from each wing of the plough a thin plate of iron runs down to the level of the sock, with a cutting edge in the direction of the drill, and its point turned inwards, and so contrived that these three, i.e. the sock and two wings, shall cut or brush along the whole space between the drills, and cut up every weed at about 2 or 3 inches deep.
(ii) m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 22:
The little scraper there, thinkin' the chance guid for tae get a ride.
Rxb. 1919 Kelso Chronicle (14 March) 4:
Envious, onlooking neighbours in the village delighted to designate her a “scraper” and were wont to say of her that she “could make money out o' amang other folks feet.”
(iv) Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xi.:
He had a well-worn scraper on his head, peaked before and behind.
Gsw. 1865 J. Young Homely Pictures 133:
My leal auld scraper.
(2) (ii) Sc. 1913 Trans. Highl. and Agric. Soc. XXIII. 305:
Sheep have suffered from the usual diseases, “louping ill”, “braxy”, “scrapie”.
Bwk. 1927 R. S. Gibb Farmer's 50 Years 115:
Some sheep-men began talking about what they called “Scrapie,” a new, incurable disease that was rife in the district [c.1900].
Sc. 1951 J. R. Greig Shepherd's Guide 39:
The disease of sheep known in Scotland as “scrapie” represents a nervous disorder, characterized by symptoms of intense and progressive itch, progressive debility, and locomotor incoordination.
(3) Fif. 1805 Session Papers, Cleghorn v. Dempster (17 Dec.) 52:
When a ball got into a [rabbit] scrape, the player used to get it out by an iron club, or a scraping club.

2. To write, compose in writing, scrawl.Ags. 1824 Literary Olio (3 April) 106:
He might have threshed a firlot o' bear i' the time that he was scrapin' that lang label o' stark mad havers.

II. n. 1. A mark made by a pen, a piece of writing, a letter (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 265), most freq. in phr. a scrape o the pen, id. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1709 Analecta Scot. (Maidment 1834) I. 189:
I expect a return from you for this short scrape for a beginning.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xlii.:
It wad cost but the scrape of a pen to mak it out.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xiii.:
Ye have nott sent mee the scrape o' a pen this six weeks.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 157:
Ye hinna a scraip o's vreet o' nae kin-kin'.
Fif. 1894 J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 72:
Withoot e'en condescendin' to let me hae ae scrape o' the pen.
Kcd. 1897 Bards Ags. (Reid) 244:
To tell hoo Donald fared ava There's ne'er a scrape to Jenny.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie v.:
Whit can be wrang wi' him? No' to write a scrape o' a pen a' that time!
Sc. 1920 A. Gray Songs from Heine 74:
If I'm no back in a year again, Ye sall get frae me a scrape o' the pen.

2. The shallow first furrow made by a ploughman in commencing a rig (Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 183; wm.Sc., Kcb. 1969).

3. In dim. form scrapie, see quot. Scrape, a miser, is now obs. exc. dial. in Eng.Fif. 1827 R. Chambers Picture Scot. II. 192:
Before the year 1816, when the partition of the Lomond hill took place, a vast number of people lived in this town [Falkland] with no other visible means of livelihood than what was supplied by a single horse or a single cow. They were called Scrapies, for a reason which will appear. . . . They roamed with their little light carts through the whole country-side, picking up whatever liftable gear they could lay their hands on, or which they could transport home — chiefly food for their bestial, as clover, corn, etc.

4. As in Eng., a predicament, an awkward situation, †specif. in Sc. of the 1715 Jacobite Rising.Sc. c.1730 E. Burt Letters (1815) I. 193:
He had not been in the affair, or the scrape, as they call it all over Scotland, being cautious of using the word Rebellion.

[O.Sc. skrapell, = II. 4., 1668.]

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"Scrape v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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