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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TRUMPH, n., v. Also trumf. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. trump, the chief suit in a card game, a splendid person, etc. (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 453, Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. [trʌmf]Kcd. 1819 J. Burness Plays, etc. 286:
Again Will deals the cartes about Says he, Lads, hearts is trumph.
Gsw. 1880 J. J. Bell I remember (1932) 167:
They sometimes played whist for an hour, the older ladies referring to ‘trump' as ‘trumph'.
Ayr. 1896 H. Johnston Dr. Congalton xviii.:
Janet, ye'r a trumph.
Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xi.:
What did you say was trumph?
Edb. 1969 J. T. R. Ritchie Golden City 76:
Ye turn the tope card over to see what's to be trumph.

Phrs. (1) trump-about, a form of whist. Also fig. in phr. to play trumph about, to keep on an equal footing with, to vie in achievements with; (2) what's (to be) trumph(s)?, = Eng. “what's doing, how are things, what's on the agenda, what's the latest, what's to be done next?” (Sh., ne.Sc., Per. 1973).(1) Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 29:
Achilles played na' trumph about Wi' him, he says; but judge ye.
Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1873) 22:
Syne, uncle soon produc'd a pack An' trump-about gade on as snack.
(2) Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii., xxx.:
Fat's trumph ower by at Slains? . . . Fat's lickly tae be trumph noo?

[The -ph has been retained in Sc. from triumph, of which trump is a corruption.]

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"Trumph n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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