Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GAMP, v., n. Also gaump, gamph.

I. v. 1. intr. To gape widely (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; ‡1923 Watson W.-B.); of a dog: to prowl about with open mouth in search of food. Ppl.adj. gampin, “gaping, like an half-hanged dog” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 218). Sc. 1746  in Jacobite Minstrelsy (1829) 293:
Hell's black bitch mastiff lapt the broo, . . . And, maddening wi' perdition's porridge, Gamph'd to and fro for wholesome forage.

Hence gampy, adj., gaping, fig. over-large, having many bare, empty spaces. Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
Oors is sic a gampy kirk it's no easy ti heat or fill.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 14:
What a different shapes . . . Jethart Casle saw . . . Did the deed-raap soond throwe its gampy ends, A wunder, i the nicht efter guid King Alisaunder's waddeen-foy?

2. tr. To eat or drink greedily, to devour hurriedly; to gulp (sometimes with up or doon) (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ga(u)mp; ‡1923 Watson W.-B.). Rxb. 1805  A. Scott Poems (1811) 105:
A wally dish o' them weel champit, In time o' need How glibly up we'll see them gampit, “As clean's a bead!”
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
Gamp it doon.

3. intr. To stutter (Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 165).

II. n. 1. “The opening of the throat; also, the mouth: ‘Shut eer gamp!'” (‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

2. “The act of snatching like a dog” (Twd. 1825 Jam., gamph).

[Prob. echoic. Cf. also note to Gam.]

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"Gamp v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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