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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Rap, v. Also: rape. [ME and e.m.E. rappen (Piers Plowman), -yn (Prompt. Parv.), rap (1541). Cf. Germ. rappeln to rattle.]

1. intr. To knock or bang to or at (a gate or door). c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 15229.
Sa come thare folk fast to the dur rappand
a1500 K. Hart 437.
He rappit at the ȝet
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 111.
Captane Meluine came and rapped at the baillies yeat
1662 Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. VI 56.
And thereafter com and rapt at Janet Birney her door

2. To fall, as a shower, (on something, also without const.) with a sharp tapping sound. c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 195 (B).
The schour of arrowis rappit on a raine [M. rappit on as rayn]
1513 Doug. v viii 76.
Als fast as rayn schour rappys on the thak, So thyk [etc.]
1535 Stewart 2339.
The dartis flew … with mony deidlie dynt Tha rappit on sa rudlie
c1590 J. Stewart 47/163.
As schour of hailstains rappan on the thak

b. Of a warrior: To ‘lay on’, strike repeated blows. 1535 Stewart 9665.
Into that stour … Tha [sc. warriors] rappit on quhill all the rochis rang
Ib. 11946.

3. fig. Of the penis: ? To be fit for copulation; to operate satisfactorily.Cf. also ME rappen to move with speed (14–15th c.). c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 177.
His lume is waxit larbar and lyis in to swonne … For eftir sevin oulkis rest it will nought rap [M. ryd] anys

4. tr. To put furth or emit (repeated flashes of lightning). 1513 Doug. iii iii 96.
The brokkyn skyis rappis furth thunderis levin [L. ingeminant … ignes]

5. To strike or bang one thing on, upon, to another. 1539 Aberd. B. Rec. I 161.
Thai … tuk him be the hair and rappit his heid to the wall
1596 Dalr. II 367/8.
A great ship … quhilk albeit rapit on a craig chaipet saife
1630 Elgin Rec. II 216.
Thomas Innes … spake … rapeing his hand upon the burd

b. To rap (a door) too, to slam. — 1649 Elgin Rec. II 266.
He … rusched fourth at the door raping it too with force behind him

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"Rap v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Feb 2023 <>



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