Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ROUP, v.1, n.1 Also rowp(e); roop; rupe (Ork. 1795 P. Fea Diary (24 April)); roap, rop(e); and dim. roupie. [rʌup; Sh., Ork. rup; Rnf., †Ayr., Wgt., Dmf. ro:p]

I. v. 1. To sell or let by public auction (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Bte. 1705  Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 567:
The calfe ward being rouped . . . the same is sett to him for a yeir who is obleist to permitt the tounes calfes therin to lizour.
Rnf. 1720  W. Fraser Chiefs of Grant (1883) II. 417:
Keir's estate was roped yesterday, and bought by a friend for his own use.
Edb. 1741  Caled. Mercury (20 Jan.):
The Household Furniture of the said Robert Ramsay is to be rouped within his Lodging.
Sc. 1793  Boswell Letters (1924) 502:
Barnsdale park must be rouped for next season in grass.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xii.:
The furniture and stocking is to be roupit at the same time on the ground.
Slk. 1818  Hogg B. of Bodsbeck vi.:
The kine of Chapelhope will soon be rouped at the Cross of Selkirk.
Abd. 1865  G. Macdonald Alec Forbes vii.:
The hoose-gear's a' to be roupit the morn.
Ork. 1884  Crofters' Comm. Evidence II. 1522:
The next tenant had it for a year and rouped off the crop.
Slg. 1932  W. D. Cocker Poems 81:
Like pairtin' wi' yer flesh an' bluid It is tae see yer ain beasts roupit.

Hence derivs., combs. with ppl.adjs., and phr.: (1) rouped price, the price fetched at an auction; (2) rouper, one who puts up goods for sale by auction (Sc. 1825 Jam.); occas. an auctioneer; (3) rouping, vbl.n., a selling or letting by public auction, an auction sale (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (4) rouping clerk, an auctioneer's clerk (Cai., Lnk. 1968); (5) rouping roll, a record of transactions at an auction sale (n.Sc., Gsw., Kcb., s.Sc. 1968). See also II. 1. (11); (6) rouping-wife, -woman, a woman who buys and resells second-hand furniture, a female auctioneer (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 127). Hist.; (7) to roup the stoup, see Stowp. (1) Sh. 1776  Shetland News (29 May 1897):
To the rouped price of the wood and sleat of the old Tolbooth.
(2) Bte. 1733  Rothesay T.C. Records (1935) II. 746:
To the Clerk and officer at both roops paid equally by the Roopers . . . ¥1 16s. 0.
Lnk. 1771  Letter Concerning Roups 13:
The rouper takes care, before-hand, to employ one or two base-minded fellows, called Puffers, White-bonnets, or Decoy-ducks, who have orders to bid against you.
Sc. 1799  W. Thom Works 447:
A rouper is pursuing his interest, when he pays the bell-man to intimate his roup.
Nai. 1828  W. Gordon Poems 129:
Horse coupers, huxter wives and bauling roupers.
Lnk. 1919  G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 17:
Dod, hoo the rouper's hammer fa's wi' dool upon the hairt.
(3) Sc. 1700  Edb. Gazette (2–5 Dec.):
There is to be a Rouping of diverse sorts of Japan Work and other things for Adorning closetts.
Ork. 1729  H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 147:
I shall indeavour when the roupings come on at Martimes to purchass 1 dozen Russia Letherd chairs for you if any such are to be hade at a rouping.
Mry. 1749  Elchies Letters (MacWilliam) 281:
Tycaend and advice about the rooping of to marks.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xlii.:
After the rouping is ower, and the bills paid.
Ags. 1888  Barrie Auld Licht Idylls ii.:
Then took place the rouping of the seats in the parish church.
Sh. 1898  Shetland News (13 Aug.):
Wi' dis roopin o' der herrin'.
Lth. 1924  Edb. Ev. News (10 April) 4:
The custom of rouping the fish on the pier or harbour side at the various ports.
Fif. 1938  St Andrews Cit. (20 Aug.) 8:
The rouping of the Lammas Market stances.
(4) Clc. 1882  J. Walker Poems 180:
Would'st [thou] be degraded to a rouping clerk.
(5) Ags. 1734  Arbroath T.C. Minutes MS. (1 Aug.):
The same was caryed conforme to Articles of the Roup by Thomas Wilkie Sailor in Arbroath at Three hundred threty six pound Scots being the highest offer and signed the Rouping Roll with his cautioner.
(6) Edb. 1762  Edb. Testaments MSS. (Reg. Ho.) CXIX. 1:
Mrs Fraser rouping woman in Edinburgh.
Edb. 1792  W. Creech Fugitive Pieces (1815) 63:
A rouping-wife or saleswoman of old furniture.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian iv.:
His neighbour the rouping-wife, or saleswoman.
Sc. 1931  J. Lorimer Red Sergeant v.:
The greedy crones whom we call rouping-wives.

2. To sell up, “put to the hammer”, esp. to turn out a bankrupt and sell his effects. Gen.Sc. Freq. with preps. aff, oot, up and in phr. to roup out at or tae the door. Dmf. 1822  Scots Mag. (May) 636:
The cauld snawie day when he rowped honest Saunders Laidlaw out o' house and hauld.
Slk. 1829  Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) ii.:
Sin' he roupit out yon poor family yesterday.
Edb. 1844  J. Ballantine Miller (1869) xvi.:
Auld Cauldwell, to whom I was awin twa three bawbees, roupit me aff.
Rnf. 1861  J. Barr Poems 62:
Poor folk roupit to the door, To pay the needfu' laird.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxvi.:
He was merely “roupit aff” at Claybogs and transferred to a croft near by.
Sc. 1886  Stevenson Kidnapped iii.:
Every day since I had the limmer rowpit!
Edb. 1900  E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 14:
There was naething for't but we maun be roupit to the door.
Ork. 1912  Old-Lore Misc. V. ii. 68:
Bruicie buist hae his rent, sae Geordie was rooped oot.
Kcd. 1933  Scots Mag. (Feb.) 329:
As he neared his lease-end, a Galt would break and be rouped from his place.
Abd. 1967  Buchan Observer (21 Feb.) 2:
Afore the hinmost term cam roon That saw them roupit tae the toon.

II. n. 1. A sale or let by public auction (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1700  Fountainhall Decisions II. 102:
The Lords interlocutor, sustaining Colonel Erskine's caution, as he who bad most at the roup of that estate.
Rs. 1712  W. MacGill Old Ross-shire (1911) II. 87:
The common customes of this burgh put to publict rop.
Ags. 1726  G. Hay Arbroath (1876) 238:
In 1726, “the cry of roups and wad-shootings”received the attention of the Presbytery as violations of the sacredness of the Lord's-day. This intimating of auctions took place in the parish churchyard before or after Divine service, and it was commonly a church functionary, the beadle, who made the intimations.
Wgt. 1742  G. Fraser Sketches (1877) 34:
The Fiscall officer to apprehend the horses belonging to each of the afore-named persons, and bring them to the Cross, and expose them to publick roap.
Ayr. 1791  Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 466:
After the roup was over, about thirty people engaged in a battle, every man his own hand, & fought it out for three hours.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxii.:
He died just at the roup of the stocking and furniture; it stoppit the roup and mony folk were disappointed.
Slk. a.1835  Hogg Tales (1874) 605:
Dear, what wad hae com'd o' your roup then?
Fif. 1887  S. Tytler Logie Town I. iv.:
You cannot expect a wedding, or a funeral, or an election, or even a roup of a dyvour's goods, ilk a day.
Kcb. 1899  Crockett Kit Kennedy xix.:
The Tuesday before the Martinmas term, and the day of the Armours' roup.
Sh. 1909  :
At Mavis Grind (about a mile from Brae in the Parish of Delting) sales of cattle took place in May and October; the sale was referred to as the roop.
Abd. 1934  D. Scott Stories 60:
Ye ocht t' ken better than t' come t' a rowp wi' a ticht collar.
Sc. 1967  Scotsman (9 Feb.) 12:
By Public Roup (unless previously sold privately) the above well-known and very old-established, licensed hotel.

Combs. and phrs.: (1) articles of roup, a formal statement of the conditions governing an auction sale, conditions of sale. Gen.Sc.; (2) clerk of the roup, one who notes the bids and buyers at an auction, an auctioneer's clerk (n.Sc. 1968). See also I. 1. (4); (3) judge of the roup, a person appointed as arbiter in any dispute arising from buying or selling at an auction (n.Sc. 1968); (4) roup-bill, a list of items for sale at an auction (Sh., Cai., Ags. 1968); †(5) roup-crier, a public crier who proclaims auction sales; (6) roup-day, the day on which an auction sale is to be held (Sh., n. and em.Sc.(a) 1968); (7) roup-folk, the people attending an auction sale; (8) roup green, a piece of grassland on which an auction sale is held (Sh. 1968); (9) roup-maker, one who exposes property for sale by auction; (10) roup-price, the price fetched at an auction (Sh., ne.Sc. 1968); (11) roup-roll, a record of the goods put up for sale, the buyers, and the prices paid at an auction (Cai., wm.Sc., Kcb. 1968); transf. exaggerated stories, tall talk (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), ruproll); (12) roup wife, a female auctioneer (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). Cf. I. 1. (6); (13) to bring to the roup, to bring to bankruptcy, to ruin (Per., Fif., Lnk. 1968); (14) to cry (scry), a roup, to proclaim publicly that an auction sale is to take place (Abd., Per. 1968, obsol.); (15) to put to the roup, to offer for sale or let to the highest bidder (Sh., n.Sc., Per. 1968). (1) Sc. 1711  Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 124:
We are bussie in adjusting the articles of the roup of the coales of Sheriffhall and Coudoune.
Abd. 1765  Aberdeen Jnl. (6 May):
The Rental, Articles of Roup, and Progress of Writs, to be seen in the Hands of James Ramsay Advocate in Aberdeen.
Sc. 1794  Collection of Styles (Judicial Soc. Edb.) 410:
The foregoing articles of roup being read over in the presence of M., judge of the roup.
Sc. 1880  Chambers's Encycl. I. 544:
‘Conditions of Sale', or ‘Articles of Roup', as they are called in Scotland, constitute the terms on which the seller offers his property.
Sc. 1896  W. K. Morton Manual 255:
In the case of a sale of heritage upon written Articles of Roup, an offerer, after subscribing his offer, cannot withdraw it.
(2) wm.Sc. 1869  A. Macdonald Settlement (1877) 98:
Archy often acted as clerk of the roup.
(3) Edb. 1726  Edb. Ev. Courant (7–9 June):
The Judge of the Roup having, pursuant to the said Advertisement, met at the said Day and Place, he Adjourned the Roup of the Saids Lands.
Sc. 1807  Morison Decisions xvi. App. 8:
It was . . . the duty of the judge of the roup, by laying the sand-glass on its side, or making it run backwards to prevent it from running out so long as there appeared offerers bidding against each other.
Ayr. 1754  Ayr. Arch. & Nat. Hist. Soc. V. 200:
Each offerer should subscribe his offer and be thereby bound in terms of these Articles and consign in the Hands of the Judge of the Roup one guinea if his offer is Fifty pounds Sterling and upwards.
Sc. 1838  W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 64:
They name a person to be judge of the roup, before whom the procedure takes place, and who is empowered to declare the purchaser.
Sc. 1927  Encycl. Law Scot. II. 25:
The auctioneer is “judge of the roup” and has exclusive jurisdiction to decide questions arising during the course of the sale.
(4) Sc. 1876  Bk. of Sc. Story 379:
Poor Pob made a sad mess of long roup-bills and documents of a similar kind.
Ayr. 1890  J. Service Notandums 5:
Shall I reprint the roup bills o' my rye-grass parks?
(5) Dmf. 1873  A. C. Gibson Folk Speech Cum. 125:
There was roup-crier Awnro' Jimmison.
(6) Sh. 1898  J. Nicolson Aithstin' Hedder 9:
The morning of the “roup day”.
(7) Sh. 1898  J. Nicolson Aithstin' Hedder 12:
The “roup folk” had something to talk about.
(8) Sh. 1898  J. Nicolson Aithstin' Hedder 12:
Rasmie Peterson was seen walking over the “roup green” in the company of a lass.
(9) Inv. 1785  E. Grant Letters from Mountains (1813) II. 110:
Roups are a source of great amusement here and a very expensive one to the roup-makers.
(11) Sc. 1754  Session Papers, Memorial J. Clark (3 July) 1:
Some time after the Roups were concluded, the Pursuer sent to the Defender, desiring him to send him the Roup-rolls.
Slk. 1829  Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) ii.:
She [the cow] is valued in my roup-roll at fifteen pounds.
Fif. 1863  St Andrews Gazette (7 March):
Parties leaving the district can (if required) for a small remunerative commission, have full Payment of Roup Roll at Close of Sale.
Abd. 1923  J. R. Imray Village Roupie 5:
The roup-roll, as follows, 'twill plainly be seen, Didna draw muckle cash.
Dmf. 1954  Scotsman (1 Sept.) 5:
The average price as ascertained by the roup roll was 239/6.
Cai. 1966  Glasgow Herald (2 Sept.) 10:
A small mart in the parish of Latheron in Caithness holds two lamb sales in August. The total roup roll in 1965 came to ¥34,428.
(13) Edb. 1900  E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 17:
What had brought my ne'er-do-weel o' a man to the roup.
(14) Abd. 1822  Innes Review (Spring 1962) 84:
My Roup was cried yesterday at the Kirk.
Rnf. 1827  W. Taylor Poems 46:
When order'd whyles to cry a roup . . . The articles he got by rote.
Rnf. 1861  J. Barr Poems 122:
Like a roup that's been cried wi' the bell.
Abd. 1881  W. Paul Past & Present 55:
A beadle who used to “scry the roups”, and make other notices in the churchyard.
(15) Sc. 1775  L. Shaw Hist. Moray 172:
They must pay an additional rent which, if they refuse, the farm will be put to the roup.

2. A lot bought at an auction (Ags. 1968). Ags. 1906  Arbroath Guide (16 June) 4:
I met a chap wha had been at the harbour an' had bocht a roup o' fish.

[O.Sc. rolp, to shout, 1450, rowp, to auction, 1552, an auction sale, (in Latin MS.) 1587. Formally the word could derive from O.N., Icel. raupa, to boast, brag, raup, a boasting, though the meaning agrees more closely with O.E. hrōpan, to cry out, shout (cf. Norw. rope op, to sell by auction). But the latter is phonologically inadmissible. The spelling roup is now standard usage but Rowp would be preferable on phonetic grounds.]

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"Roup v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Mar 2018 <>



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