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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SUPPER, n., v. Also sipper (D mf. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (Nov.) 154; Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb viii., 1898 J. R. Imray Sandy Todd vii., 1926 Dieth Bch. Dial. 46). Sc. form and usage. [′sʌpər; ne.Sc. + ‡′sɪpər]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., occas. in pl. used distributively of one meal partaken of by more than one person.Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 106:
Just at our sippers, as we sat.
Gsw. 1922 J. J. Bell Pie in the Oven 9:
A weel, we best tak' oor suppers.

Combs.: (1) fish-supper, pie-supper, fish- or pie-and-chips, esp. as served (and freq. consumed) in a restaurant or fish-and-chip shop. Also haddie-supper. Gen.Sc.; (2) supper-barley, an allowance of barley-meal given to harvest-workers for their evening repast; (3) supper-meal, meal for one's evening porridge.(1) m.Sc. 1990 Douglas Lipton in Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway New Writing Scotland 8: The Day I Met the Queen Mother 65:
Hey, goanny gie's a bit o' yir haddie-supper, pal?
Gsw. 2000 Carl MacDougall Mozzarella shavings 76:
The opera was familiar: the flamboyant cigarette girl who ruined an army officer by going off with a bullfighter. Afterwards she and Willie had shared a fish supper and argued. You've changed, he said. You're not the same as at home.
Sc. 2002 Sunday Herald (3 Nov) 16:
Now my cosy world of haddie suppers is under threat. I confess to taken rather a laisser-faire line on the environment.
(2) Hdg. 1848 A. Somerville Autobiog. Working Man 9:
The shearer was allowed breakfast and dinner in harvest time, and a bushel of grain called “supper barley.”
Bwk. 1927 R. S. Gibb Farmer's 50 Years 28:
For the “home-goers,” who could get what they required at home, “Supper Barley” (1½ bushels of barley per worker) was delivered at each house before harvest began.
(3) Dmf. 1820 J. Johnstone Poems 130:
Lang Neddy, that works at the draining — Wha borrowed his sipper-meal late here yestreen.

2. The last meal for the night given to an animal. Gen.Sc. Cf. v. 1.m.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 90:
I hae the cow's supper to get in.

II. v. 1. Occas. with up: to give livestock their last feed for the day (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. Sometimes with up. Vbl.n. suppering.Ayr. 1767 Ayr Presb. Reg. MS. (28 Jan.):
From the time of his having suppered the Horses till about twelve or two in the morning.
e.Lth. 1794 G. Buchan-Hepburn Agric. E. Lth. 56:
Many of these tenants . . . regularly suppered, as we call it, their horses; that is, fed them for the greater part of the summer in the stable during the night, with the thistles their servants pulled in weeding their corn fields.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxxviii.:
Assuring the stranger that the horse was properly suppered up.
Sc. 1829 J. Loudon Encycl. Plants (1836) 683:
The suppering of housed cattle.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb viii.:
Fan the men gae's oot to sipper the beasts.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 110:
Aboot lowsin' time when the horses were suppered.
Kcb. 1904 Crockett Strong Mac xxvi.:
I was helpin' to supper the horses.
Per. 1910 D. R. Kyd Rev. T. Hardy 178:
“Haying”, and watering, and “suppering-up”.
Bnff. 1927 E. S. Rae Hansel fae Hame 31:
[He] suppert's weel wi' corn and bran.
Abd. 1971 Buchan Observer (1 June) 2:
Up at five in the morning and back to supper-up in the evening.

2. To serve or suffice for the supper of (Cai., Abd. 1971).Sc. 1759 Session Papers, Petition J. Montgomery (18 Dec.) 4:
As much Hay as would have moderately suppered a Horse.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxx.:
As muckle as would supper a messan-dog.
Fif. 1905 S. Tytler Daughter of Manse i . iii.:
If the flowers had been real there was enough of them “to have suppered a coo.”

[The i form appears to be developed from Mid.Eng., O. Fr. soper. Cf. Simmer, summer.]

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"Supper n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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