Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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THRAPPLE, n.1, v.1 Also .†thrapill, †thraple (Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 163); thropple, ¶throapple, †thropill (Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 50); and I.Sc. forms trap(p)le, trappel. See T, letter, 9. [Sc. ′θrɑpəl, I.Sc. ′trɑp-]

I. n. The windpipe (Sc. 1755 S. Johnson Dict., 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 129; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein: Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. Freq. also applied more loosely to the gullet, the throat, of human beings and animals. Obs. in Eng. exc. dial., and applied chiefly to horses. Also in fig. contexts. Sc. 1735  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 131:
Bring to the Warld the luckless Wean, And sneg its Infant Thrapple.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 69:
The sky's now casten, and, wi' thrapples clear, The birds about were making merry cheer.
Ayr. 1785  Burns To J. Goldie iv.:
Now she fetches at the thrapple, An' fights for breath.
Per. 1801  Letters J. Ramsay (S.H.S.) 57:
One of the chief's ancestors who said the sweetest morsel he ever ate was the thrapple of an Englishman.
Sc. 1817  Scott Rob Roy xiv.:
‘When we had a Scotch Parliament, Pate,' says I (and deil rax their thrapples that reft us o't!)
Slk. 1826  Hogg Poems (1874) 413:
The great muckle village of Balmaquhapple? 'Tis steep'd in iniquity up to the thrapple.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xv.:
He was primed to the tap o' the thrapple wi' some confoondit clashes.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxii.:
A bane that'll stick i' the thrapple o' the Moderate pairty.
Sc. 1889  Stevenson M. of Ballantrae ii.:
The Master — the deil's in their thrapples that should call him sae!
Ork. 1904  Dennison Sketches 14:
The de'ilie sic wine ever geed doon the traple o' a Auld Reekie man!
Dmf. 1915  J. L. Waugh Betty Grier 93:
It seeps doon through your thrapple into your lungs.
wm.Sc. 1944  J. Bridie Mr Bolfry iii.:
To have the thrapple of you out by the foots.
Bwk. 1947  W. L. Ferguson Makar's Medley 62:
Till a' oor cocks flee up and craw Wi' lusty thrapple, “Duns dings a'”.
Abd. 1970  Press & Journal (30 Jan.):
Yer thrapple shuts ticht wi' the kink-hoast.

Combs., phrs. and derivs.: (1) dry thrapple, the curlew, Numenius arquatus, used as a sea-taboo term (Bwk. 1959); (2) knot o' the thrapple, the Adam's apple; (3) thrapple-bow, id. (Rs., Mry. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Mry. 1972). See Bow, n.3, etym. note; (4) thrapple-deep, up to one's throat; (5) thrapple-drouth, dryness of the throat; ¶(6) thrapple-girth, a cravat or necktie; ¶(7) trapple-herse, hoarse in the throat; ¶(8) thrapple-redding, clearing the throat, hawking. See Redd, v.1, 4. (4); (9) thro(a)pply, throaty, coming from the throat, “haw-haw”, gobbling; (10) to wat or weet one's thrapple, to quench one's thirst, to have a drink. Gen.Sc. (2) Ags. 1857  A. Douglas Hist. Ferryden 65:
I'll rather part wi' the knot o' my thrapple.
(4) Slk. 1819  Hogg Tales (1874) 141:
Tak' care, Wattie; I widna say but it may be thrapple deep or the morn.
(5) Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 120:
Whin wi t'rapple-drouth he wheezed.
(6) Sc. 1787  W. Taylor Poems 106:
In a gizzy big An' thrapple girth drest up fu' trig.
(7) Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 51:
He cried while he wus t'rapple-hers'.
Ork. 1956  C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 182:
I spok' for twa solid 'oors till I wis trapple-herse.
(8) Clc. 1882  J. Walker Poems 25:
Hoasting up a thrapple-redding cough.
(9) Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
Ma lungs are staaed o throapply blethers.
(10) Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 188:
The dinner done, for brandy strang They cry, to weet their thrapple.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 459:
A body never gets the thrapple watted ower them [weddings].
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 285:
They bid hae a gill, Their thrapples to weet.
Dmb. 1894  D. MacLeod Past Worthies 89:
[To] weet their thrapples and fight their battles over again.
Sh. 1898  Shetland News (10 Dec.):
If I'm ta get da weetin' o' me trapple.
Abd. 1922  G. P. Dunbar Whiff o' Doric 13:
There's nocht'll weet my thrapple noo, bit water a' my days.

II. v. 1. To grip by the throat, throttle, strangle (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Watson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial. Agent n. thrappler. Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 105:
A wae worth him quo' the wife, if I winna thrapple him for my good bane comb.
Ayr. 1823  Galt Gathering of West (1939) 67:
Although I had been actually thrappling the creature, it couldna have been mair desperate.
Per. 1879  P. R. Drummond Bygone Days 431:
Collie, Pincher, Fangs, here! catch him, tear out his liver, thrapple him.
Rxb. 1898  Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 78:
Nannie was horror-struck and exclaimed — “Deil thropple ye!”
e.Lth. 1905  J. Lumsden Croonings 125:
The wad-be thrappler o' his fame.
Abd. 1924  Scots Mag. (Sept.) 443:
They war a' i' tha mussel-midden thrapplin' een anidder!
Ags. 1962  Forfar Dispatch (March):
A herd collar roon ees neck that near thrappled im.

2. To suppress (laughter) in the throat. Abd. 1916  G. Abel Wylins 59:
It was a' he cud to thrapple a guffa.

3. transf. To entangle with cords (Bwk. 1825 Jam.). Phs. a different word, due to some confusion with trammel.

4. With up: to gobble up, to devour (Ags. 1825 Jam.). Lnk. 1822  Clydesdale Wedding 3:
For when he had thrapled up a', He cried out, may the deil claw the clungest.

[O.Sc. throppill, the wind-pipe, 1375, hrappel, 1604, of uncertain orig., poss. a variant of throttle found in Mid.Eng. as a v. c.1400 but not till a.1547 as a n. N.E.D. rejects derivation from O.E. þrotbolla, the Adam's apple (cf. O.Sc. throtboll, 1420, throate-bowle, 1595), but this is not impossible, though the form throatbow would be expected in mod. Sc. Cf. I. Combs. (3), and O.Sc. boll, id., 1425. For -a- see P.L.D. § 54.]

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



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