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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

SIRPLE, v., n. [sɪrpl]

I. v. tr., intr. with at, and absol. To sip slowly, to drink in small frequent draughts, tipple (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Edb. 1900; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; s.Sc. 1970). Also in n.Eng. dial. Vbl.n. sirpling, a little drink, a sip.Sc. 1740 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 462:
And troth I think it is nae faut To sirple aff a glass or twa.
Edb. 1813 “Edinias” Ramble to Roslin 10:
He sirpl'd an' souked, but wha kens how muckle?
Slk. 1818 Hogg Tales (1837) I. 280:
I took a sirpling of rum-brandy.
Ags. 1896 Arbroath Guide (14 March) 3:
Sirple, sirplin' at the broo.
Slk. 1913 H.J.C. Clippings from Clayboddie (1921) 66:
Whenever it [calf] doesn't take its milk with a relish, but stands and sirples and bites at the edge of the pail.
Rxb. 1958:
A child wishing to stay up instead of going to bed would sirple at his cocoa.

II. n. A sip, small drink, mouthful, esp. of liquor (Sc. 1880 Jam.).s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 96:
Though a wee sirple o't [tea] may do brawly when the sap's scarce.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems (1877) 124:
We whiles wad shake hauns o'er a sirple o' yon.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xx.:
My faither an' me had a wee sirple also.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 187:
To hand a sirple O' the gude gear to her gudeman.

[Intensive variant form of Sipple. For -r cf. Hirple, Jirble, Narg, etc.]

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"Sirple v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Jun 2023 <>



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