A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Napkin, Napekine, Naipkin, Nepkine, Neipkin, n. Also: napkine, -kyn(e, -kaine, (-kynin), nappkyn; napekyn; naipkine, -kyn, -kein, -king; nepkyn, -king, -ken; neipkine, -kyn; neapkin(e, -kyn, -kein; also Naping and Naptaine. [Late ME. and e.m.E. nappekyn (1420), napekyn (Prompt. Parv.), napkin (a 1483), -kyn, appar. OF. nappe, also nape, a cloth, + dimin. suffix -kin.] A piece (? usu. square or oblong) of linen or other cloth with the following specific uses.

1. a. A (pocket-) handkerchief. b. A neckerchief. The usual uses also in the mod. dial. In the majority of instances the contexts are insufficiently specific to enable the examples to be distinguished with certainty. (a) Vnum napkyn pro domino episcopo; 1436 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 139.
For sewin of serkis and napkinnis; 1513 Treas. Acc. IV. 419.
Napkynnis; 1518 Ib. V. 147.
My lorde governouris sarkis and napkynines [sic. in pr.]; 1546 Ib. IX. 45.
Napkynnes; 1547 Ib. 83.
To be kemmyng claithis, nycht quaffisand napkynnis to his grace viij elnis holand claitht; 1551 Ib. X. 18.
Thay snycht thocht thair na mister be That ȝe may thair trim napkyne se; Maitl. F. clxxviii. 100.
Anie part … of foule linnen cloth … as shirt, handkercher, napkin or any other thing; 1590 Crim. Trials. I. ii. 218.
We must do as those who keep the bloody napkin to the baillie, and let him see blood; 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1822) 134.
Thrie stand of clais … with sarkes, ruffes, napkines [etc.]; 1644 Edinb. Test. LXI. 1 b.
1656–7 Fam. Rose 367.
Marioune Willisone … confesses her ressait of the tuentie shilling peice and napkaine and ane night cap; 1682 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 28 Sept.
(b) Napekynnis; 1551 Treas. Acc. X. 38.
His eyes being covered with a napekine or cloath; 1584 Misc. Bann. C. I. 105.
(c) For vij quartaris of Hollande clayth to be naipkynnis to the King; 1488 Treas. Acc. I. 150.
Naipkinnis; 1502 Ib. II. 38.
1511 Ib. IV. 322.
Ane brest curch, ane naipkyn; 1522 Dunferm. B. Rec. 209.
For ane doubill hanke of gold to corde the saidis naipkynnis; 1545–6 Treas. Acc. VIII. 438.
The said Patrick shew certane cloutis and naipkynnis and laid the money … upoun ane burd; 1564 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnsoun 142.
He … coft ane pund of feggis and … put thame in his naipkin; 1576 Crim. Trials I. ii. 56.
Thre naipkynnis of crisp [etc.]; 1578 Inv. Wardrobe 236.
The soum of iiijxx ix merkis knyt in ane naipkyn; 1583 Prot. Bk. J. Borthwick 16.
They stoppit ane naipkine in hir thrott; 1585 Reg. Privy C. IV. 35.
The slauchter … of ane barne … be rubbing of hir face with youre naipkin … quhen sche fell vpoune the calsey; 1591 Crim. Trials I. ii. 254.
1600 Ib. II. 357.
For twa camrage naipkinnis; 1602 Tailor's Acc. Bk. 29.
Sex dosane of gold knapis to naipkinis; 1613 Edinb. Test. XLVII. 226b.
1618 Ib. L. 78.
Ane naipkin … quhairin he … imprentted the ressemblance of his visaige; Bisset II. 342/2.
Ane naipkein of holland claith sewit about with goldin threid and goldin knappis; 1623 Inverness Rec. II. 162.
Naipkine; 1632 14th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. iii. 235.
(d) Item four sarkis & four nekkis, item tua nepkynnis; 1585 Perth B. Ct. 27 Apr.
Dipe the end of the nepking in the patients water; 16.. Nat. Lib. MS. 22.2.11 penult. p.
Nepkyn; 1609 Crim. Trials III. 46.
1662 Haigs of Bemersyde 472.
For my poynt nepken 13 lib. 14 s.; 1674 Sc. Ant. I. 178.
[That] he hade gotten blood and called for a nepkyne from his wyfe to keap it; 1676 Forbes Baron Ct. 301.
(e) xxj neipkins & brest cowrchis … thre nek cowrchis; 1530 Balmerino & L. Chart. 32.
Smale lynnyng to be sarkis, neipkynnis and muchis; 1565 Treas. Acc. XI. 421.
Tway sarks with ij neipkynis; 1566 Old Ross-shire I. 58.
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 21.
That no persoun … salhave pearling or ribbening vpoun thair ruffes sarkis neipkines and sokkis except [etc.]; 1621 Acts IV. 625/2.
(f) Skarslie could Marnock hir secreat chalmer-boy gett neapkynes to hold hyr eyes drye for the tearis; Knox II. 387.
Ane quhyt neapkein; Moysie Mem. 54.
With twa piece of gold in a neapkine; Melvill 25.
His neapkin full of blood; 1684 Monimail Reg. Ct. 29 Apr.

c. Attrib. with knop (knap) (= tassel), nucke (= corner), teap (= tape). Certane naipkin knoppis sauld for ij s.; 1592 Edinb. Test. XXIV. 73 b.
Naipkin knapis; 1617 Ib. XLIX. 267.
Ten pundis stirling furth he tuike And knit it in a neapkyn nucke; 1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 819.
Four pair of bandstringes sex stand of napkine teaps [etc.]; 1658 Brechin Test. VI. 163.

2. a. An altar-cloth. Tua nappkynnis for the he alter ane nedill werk and ane dornwik; a 1500 Coll. St. Salvator 158.
Ane chaleis … thre naipkingis ane broodin and tua quhyt; 1530 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 129.

b. Appar., a table-napkin. The commonest Eng. use: the Sc. word for this was serviet, serviot, servit. Ane dossone damask and dornick table clothes and twelff dossone nepkines estimat to Ic. lib.; 1697 Old Ross-shire I. 129.

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"Napkin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/napkin>



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