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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SOWP, v.2, n.2 Also soup. [sʌup]

I. v. tr. and intr. To soak, drench, saturate, seep (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff., Kcd., Lnk., Dmf. 1971). Also in n.Eng. dial. Chiefly in ppl.adjs. sowpin (weet), sowpit, soaking, drenched (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 176).Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 117:
Quo' Meg, “the fint ane dry I'll get, They're soupet sae, wi' sna' an' wet.”
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 176:
The rain souppit through the reef.
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 71:
I'm soupin' wi' sweat.
m.Sc. 1967 Scotsman (3 June) Suppl. 6:
A gorse spike, about two feet above the pressed, sowpit grass.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 39:
I made up ma min' I'd jist mak for hame
It wis hardly a nicht tae dauchle
I wis sowpit an' sodden an' looked sic a sicht
An' ma sheen were beginnin' tae bauchle.

II. n. 1. Rain, wet weather (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd. 1930).Abd. 1734 Session Papers, Principal King's Coll. v. Forbes (11 June) 2:
If green Divots had been put thereon, they would, by the Soup of the Winter, have carried off the Couples and the whole Roof.

2. A state of wetness (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 176); specif., a marsh, a bog, a wet spongy piece of ground (Abd. 1925).

3. Water for washing, lather, soapsuds (Lnk., sm.Sc. 1971). Comb. a dirty sowp, a quantity of water made dirty (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Phr. to give (clothes) a sowp, to wash clothes.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 432:
When washing, she [a washerwoman] gives the clothes her first sowp, and then again her second sowp; which means, first and second washes.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong R. Rankine at Exhibition 26:
His dochter wad be nane the waur o' bein' ca'd through a warm sowp, ranged, wrung and hung oot to dry.
Kcb.4 1900:
When the sowp is nicely risen all over with soapy bubbles it is said to be freeth.

[O.Sc. soup, to soak, a.1508. Sc. form of Eng. sop, by the regular change of [ɔ] > [ʌu] before labials. Cf. Doup, Howp, and see O, 2. (2) (v).]

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"Sowp v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2023 <>



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