Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
WIMPLE, n., v. Also wymple, wumple; whimple, whumple. Sc. forms and usages:
I. n. 1. A twist, turn, winding or meandering of a road or stream; a twisting, turning movement, a convolution, a ripple (I.Sc., Ags., Slg., Fif., Lth. 1974), the sound of rippling. Also fig., approximating to sense 3.
Sc. 1723 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 174:
Adown clear Nyth wha does his Wimples guide Throw Meadows parks and woods on either side. Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xi., xiv.:
Over hill and dale, as a shepherd always does, who hates the wimples, as he calls them, of a turn-pike. . . . He had as mony links and whimples in his tail as an eel. Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 88:
Nae music, exceptin' the clear burnie's wimple. Abd. 1832 A. Beattie Poems 131:
He could a' their wimples see. Dmf. 1913 J. L. Waugh Thornhill 223:
I hear the wimple of the winding Scaur.
2. A curl, ringlet of hair.
Kcb. 1902 Crockett Dark o' the Moon xxxix.:
When ye think on the wimples o' the silken hair that curls aboot her brow.
3. A tangle of material objects (n.Sc. 1974); .fig. a complication, intricacy; a wile, ruse, piece of craft or trickery (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).
Sc. 1704 J. Maidment Pasquils (1868) 382:
Hugh and David Dalrymple's, Who plague the whole nation with your damn'd tricks and whimples. Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 19:
A' his wimples they'll find out. Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 98:
Till tir'd thro' many a loop an' wimple, They quat the plea, or cut its rumple. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxiv.:
There is aye a wimple in a lawyer's clew; but it's a wee bit of a secret. Ayr. 1819 Kilmarnock Mirror 16:
An' put a lang farrago o' whigmeleerie wimples on ae word. Abd. 1949 Buchan Observer (23 Aug.):
I've clean ca'd the edge affen her wi' a confounit wumple o' weir.
II. v. 1. To enfold, enwrap, entangle (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1974). Obs. in Eng.
Abd. 1957 People's Jnl. (14 Sept.):
Ae wee vratch [mouse] hid gotten wumple't in aboot's claes.
2. intr. To wriggle, writhe (Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; Sh. 1974); to whirl, pirouette; to curl, twine; to pursue a sinuous course. Rarely tr. Hence wympler, a curl, lock of curly hair; phr. wimpling wrom, the spiral “worm” or condensing tube of a still.
Sc. 1724 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 83:
Doun his braid Back, frae his quhyt Heid, The silver Wymplers grew. Ayr. 1786 Burns Scotch Drink ii.:
Guid auld Scotch drink! Whether thro' wimplin worms thou jink. Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 88:
Could I but up this histr'y wimple. Abd. 1832 A. Beattie Poems 131:
Wi' merry sprent they lift the heel, And wimple like the simmer cout. Fif. 1841 C. Gray Lays 9:
Ere lang the wavin'-wimpler grew A decent hoar-lock. Edb. 1843 Whistle-Binkie (1890) II. 207:
Wee curly waves that wimple the sea. Ayr. 1882 J. Hyslop Poems 124:
Ye slip thro' my hauns like a wee wimplin' eel. Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man i.:
A dark train of horsemen. . . . Their line wimpled like a serpent.
3. Of a river: to meander, twist, turn, ripple, freq. connoting the sound as well as the movement (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Sh., ne., em.Sc. (a), wm.Sc. 1974); also of a road and transf. of standing corn: to wave, ripple; sim. of sound. Vbl.n., ppl.adjs. wimplin, wimpled, sinuous, winding.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 243:
Tay and Tweed's smooth Streams . . . They wimple to the Seas. Sc. 1761 Magopico (1810) 34:
A mighty, little, muddy, wimpling, shallow brook. Ayr. 1785 Burns Halloween ii.:
Amang the bonie winding banks Where Doon rins, wimplin' clear. Sc. 1808 E. Hamilton Glenburnie vi.:
The trees, and rocks, and whimplings o' the burn. Rxb. 1815 J. Ruickbie Poems 37:
John Dowie's Ale, o'er many a glen, Cam wimplin' forty miles an' ten. Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 71:
That wimpl'd roadie keep, Down to the ford. Gsw. 1843 Whistle-Binkie (1890) II. 139:
There is ane I dearly lo'e In wimpling sang to swell. Wgt. 1875 W. McIlwraith Guide 68:
A little burn, wimpling westward. Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xxiii.:
I saw the drove-road to the Cree Bridge wimpling across the heather. Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie In Two Tongues 15:
The din [of church bells], Its echo stottin' frae the castle knowe, Wimples oot owre the valley. Ags. 1934 H. B. Cruickshank Noran Water 24:
I hear the burnie's wimplin' sang.
4. Of a boat: to move unsteadily, to be top-heavy, to wobble (I.Sc. 1974).
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (5 Feb.):
The yawl was wofully ‘rank'. . . . ‘She'll be steady enough by-and-by' cried out old Moad, ‘it's the tar that makes her wumple.'
5. To complicate; to bewilder, perplex; to tell a story in a deceitful way, to use circumlocution in order to deceive (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Ppl.adjs. wimplin, wimpled, complicated, involved, contorted, circumlocutory.
Sc. 1725 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 243:
The wimpled Meaning of your unco Tale. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 106:
Sick other threap saw I not a' my days As now is here; but wimpl'd is the tale. Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize III. vii.:
There was no difficulty in reading the whumplet meaning of this couthiness anent the reeking o' the chamber. Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 107:
My faith he'll soon eclipse us a', Just wi' his wud wild wimplin' jaw. Abd. 1876 R. Dinnie Songs and Poems 74:
Her daddie's a queer wimplin' bodie.
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"Wimple n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Apr 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/wimple>
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