Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
CANTRIP, CANTRAIP, Cantrap, Cantrup, n. Mostly used in pl. and sometimes attrib. Gen.Sc. [′kɑntrɪp, ′kɑntrp]
1. A charm, spell, incantation; magic.
Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shepherd Act II. Sc. ii. in Poems (1728):
Here Mausy lives, a Witch, that for sma' Price Can cast her Cantraips, and give me Advice. Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 361:
An' noo begins the cantraps roond the bilin' pot. Ags. 1866 R. Leighton Poems (1869) 294:
Now ye'll try your might on a cantrip sleight. Edb. publ. 1779 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 86:
Ne'er . . . deal in cantrup's kittle cunning To speir how fast your days are running. Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 110:
Then, by nae cantraip terrors scar'd, I'd catch th' Enchanter by the beard. Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 123:
There use't tae be lots o' cantraips cairry't on for curin orra bits o' troubles an complents. Rxb. 1820 in Edb. Mag. (June) 535/1:
The career of their misfortunes was only checked by their . . . taking out, and burning the heart of one of the horses that had died through their mischievous cantrips.
Comb.: †cantrip-time, “the season for practising magical arts” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2).
Sc. 1820 Blackwood Mag. (Aug.) 513:
I mauna cast thee awa on the corse o' an auld carline, but keep thee cozie against cantrip-time.
2. A trick, antic, piece of mischief. This is the more common use in present-day Sc.
Mry. 1887 J. Thomson Recoll. Speyside Par. 94:
Oh, the limmer! He's nae the first ane that she's played her cantrips wi'. Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xi.:
If your Auntie Bell comes in she'll — she'll skin me alive for letting you play such cantrips with her candles. Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. xx.:
“Come, come, lucky,” cried our hero, “none of your antic cantrips with me.”
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"Cantrip n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/cantrip>
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