Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

SOWP, n.1, v.1 Also soup, †soupe, †sowpe. [sʌup]

I. n. 1. Gen. with omission of o(f) before the word governed: a small amount of liquid, a spoonful, a sip, freq. used ironically of a rather larger amount when applied to spirits, a draught, a swig (Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., obsol.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Slg., Fif., Lth., wm.Sc. 1971). Also fig. Also in Eng. dial. in form saup.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 188:
After ilk Tune he took a Sowp, And bann'd wi' birr the corky Cowp.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 68:
They'll ablins a' their siller coup And swallow o'er a dainty soup.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Earnest Cry xxv.:
God bless your Honors, a' your days, Wi' sowps o' kail and brats o' claise.
Ags. 1818 J. Nevay Poems 5:
Aft they took an' ga'e him sowps o' whey.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xi.:
A sowp of brose, or a bit of bannock.
Slk. 1830 Hogg Tales (1866) 211:
I suld clash a sowp cauld water on you.
Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 45:
Auld Donald Blue, a drover, frae Braemar . . . Could sneck a mutchkin like a sowp o' jeel.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Merry Men iv.:
“Ha'e,” holding out the bottle, “tak' a sowp.”
Gall. 1889 Bards Gall. (Harper) 22:
Come wi' me an' ye'll get a sowp milk.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 171:
No' a single sowp o' a' thae reforms we've been waitin for.
Ayr. 1895 J. Walker Old Kilmarnock 174:
The sowpes ye took oot o' yer plate.
Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 203:
Keep twa sowps gaun, i.e. sup fast.
Bwk. 1947 W. L. Ferguson Makar's Medley 59:
But Deil a sowp could we get doon For Pussy's constant intervention.

2. A drink, something to drink. Phr. a bite and a sowp, a little to eat and drink. Comb. loan soup, a drink of milk fresh from the cow at milking-time, given to strangers. See Loan, n.1, 1. Combs. (4).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 371:
You are as white as a loan Soup.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Cotter's Sat. Night xi.:
The sowpe their only hawkie does afford.
Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 104:
Be wi' her neibours frank and free Wi' bites and soups.
Abd. 1876 R. Dinnie Songs 96:
I like a sowp when it's for nocht.
m.Sc. 1887 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) X. 306:
For sair's the fecht, an' hard the scrapin' To get our sowp, an' bite, an' happin'.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 42:
Wi' sowp an' sang we'se fill oor mooth.
Uls. 1928 Irish Breeder 18:
Less subject tae dwams, kan dae on poor fare An' gee a brave “sowp” on grazin' that's bare.

II. v. tr. To provide one with mouthfuls of liquor, to fill up with drink.Sc. 1722 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 24:
[She] to her Closet leads the Way, To soup him up with Usquebae.

[O.Sc. sowp, a sup, 1500, O.N. saup, spoon-meat, related to O.E. sūpa, to sup or sip. Cf. Norw. saup, whey, Icel. saup, soup. See also Soup, n.1, Sup.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Sowp n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: