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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

WHAUP, n.1, v.1 Also whawp, wha(a)p, whape; whowp; quhaup, quhaip. See also Faap, Faup. [ʍɑ:p, ʍǫ:p]

I. n. 1. The curlew, Numenius arquata (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 197, whaap, 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., whaap; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). Gen.Sc. Also attrib. For combs. land-whaup, little-, sea-, stock-, tang-, see the first element in each case.Dmf. c.1700 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. (1901) 57:
Lamprey with a beck stretching like a whaap's.
Sc. 1725 W. MacFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 222:
Severall wild fowls such as swane duck and drake, teil and arteil, whape.
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 IX. 490:
The curlew or whaap, and clocharet, are summer birds.
Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf iv.:
I ance heard ane whistle ahint me in the moss, as like a whaup as ae thing could be like anither.
Bwk. c.1860 Minstrelsy Merse (Crockett 1893) 289:
The muircock, whaup, and plover.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xlv.:
The great marled eggs o' the whaup.
s.Sc. 1909 W. Ogilvie Whaup o' the Rede 13:
The cry of the restless whaup as it circled by.
Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes 21:
Whaup-cry answering whaup-cry a' aroon me.
Dmb. 1948 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 120:
He knew every curlew (whaups he called them).
wm.Sc. 1965 Alan Sharp A Green Tree in Gedde (1985) 22:
The hills were everywhere around them, behind the ridges further ridges piled, tawn upon tan upon grey upon blue distant outlines. From their long calm cambers an aura of silence, sweetened by the tunes of the streams and the mimic burbling of a whaup.
Sc. 1969 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 142:
Where the whaups still cry and golden plover and dunlin still find sanctuary.
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 31:
I will sink into the earth and become the earth, this my flesh my body my blood will be; and the flowering hawthorn will know me in its roots, and the whaups will cry for me, and the white clouds will be my prayers, ...
wm.Sc. 1989 Anna Blair The Goose Girl of Eriska 141:
Then to a low moan from the crowd and a few brave jeers the soldier waded ashore and shook himself like a dog, while the whaups cried a dirge over the estuary and the fields beyond.
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 115:
Hornshottle croftlaund, whaur the wind sings tae the gress
At catches the yett's fingers; whaups cown.
Black-broukit music sheets scouk in the press.
When the lift's lown
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 87:
The whaups wheebled over the fens.
Ork. 1995 Orcadian (20 Apr) 15:
A whaup is stalking around near the house; Pansy seems to regard him as a boky.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 30:
A whaup flew overhead making its plaintive cry and the boy looked up at the long thin curve of its beak.

Phrs. and combs.: (1) whaup-houghed, having long, scrawny thighs; (2) a whaup i(n) the nest, fig. in proverbial phr. of something, gen. of a vexatious or unpleasant nature, which is likely to make its presence felt, something brewing, hatching or afoot, poss. orig. adapted from Whaup, n.3; (3) whaup-neb, the beak of a curlew (Sc. 1825 Jam.); fig. a long pointed nose, used in phr. the auld whaap-neb, as a soubriquet for the Devil. Adj. whaup-nebbed, -it, having a long beaky nose (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Per. 1974); also fig. long-drawn-out, polysyllabic; (4) whaup-neckit, having a long thin neck; (5) whaup-nose, a long sharp-pointed nose.(1) Slk. 1823 Hogg Perils of Woman I. 93:
Yon toop-lambs o' Selby's . . . a wheen shaughlin, whaup-houghed gude-for-naethings!
(2) Ayr. 1784 Burns Reply to J. Rankine ii.:
But now a rumour's like to rise — A whaup's i' the nest!
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xxxi.:
This bookseller in the end, however, proved a whowp [sic] in our nest, for he was in league with some of the English reformers.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail lxxxiii.:
But if ye had the second sight o' experience as I hae, ye would fin' a whaup in the nest.
(3) Sc. 1706 Short Survey Married Life 13:
A Whap-nebbed Bursen Body.
Lth. 1815 L. Penrose Journal III. 93:
These Indians wad devour the auld whaap-neb himsel' gin he were weel cooked.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 264:
Whaup-nebbed Samuel fell aff the drift too.
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness xxiii.:
English is an awesome language for whaup-nebbit, pheasant-tailed words.
wm.Sc. 1934 J. Bridie Marriage is no Joke 1:
A whaup-nebbit yowe-backit, gleed-eyed, roupit beast.
(4) Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xx.:
My mither brocht furth the lang-whaup-neckit bottle, an' gi'ed him a stirrup-dram.
(5) Dmf. 1822 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 306:
Tibby Affleck's lucken brows, whaup-nose, fiddle chin, and projecting teeth.

II. v. 1. To whistle shrilly, like a curlew (Bwk., Dmb., sm., s.Sc. 1974); to have a whistle in one's breath, to wheeze (Fif. 1825 Jam.); to tootle (on a flute); to whine. Agent n. whaper, a whiner, a complaining person.s.Sc. 1836 Wilson's Tales of the Borders II. 167:
Dinna be whaupin' there on that auld flute when the minister comes ben.
Ags. 1848 Feast Liter. Crumbs (1891) 34:
Nae whingin', cringin', wheeplin' whaper.
Kcb. 1878 Zoologist II. 428:
In country houses when children have been whistling, I have heard their parents order them to “stop their whaupin.”

2. Transf., of persons: (1) a nickname for an inhabitant of the Lammermuir area of Bwk., from its moorland nature as the haunt of curlews.Bwk. 1840 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1885) 218:
Loudon loots, Merse brutes, Lammermuir whaps.

(2) a long lanky thin-legged person, freq. as a school-boy nickname (Rnf. 1930 A. M. Stewart Stickleback Club 103); also as a gen. term of contempt, for reasons of geographical distribution appar. different from Whaup, n.2Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 154:
There's no yin to men' anither. Noo there's the Biggar yins — sic whappies I declare!
Lnk. 1928 W. C. Fraser Yelpin' Stane iii.:
“Aye, ye twa impident whaups!” cried Peggie Baillie.

3. “A goblin or evil spirit, supposed to go about under the eaves of houses after the fall of night, having a long beak resembling a pair of tongs for the purpose of carrying off evil-doers” (Ayr. 1808 Jam., quhaup, quhaip).Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy G. Chalmers x.:
The blue whaups of mischief were gathering fast around him.

4. An oilcan with a long spout (Dmf. 1957, whaap), from its similarity in shape to the curlew's bill.

[O.Sc. quhaip, = I. 1., 1512, quhap, 1538, an unexplained variant of O.E. hwilpe, a kind of sea-bird, of uncertain orig. but poss. imit. of its cry and cogn. with whelp, a puppy, sc. ‘the yelper, whiner.' The Sc.. form suggests the existence of an older variant *whelp > whalp > whaup. See P.L.D. § 56. See also note to Whaup, n.2]

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"Whaup n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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