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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Cowper, Couper, n. Also: kowper, cowpper, coupper. [Cowp v.2]

1. = Cowpar(e n.1 1. In later use, a buyer of herring from the fishing boats. 1574 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 311.
The buyers, sellers, or vtherwayes coupers of the benefices to tyne the same for ever
1594 (c 1650) Dundee B. Laws 45.
The actes maid anent cowperes and regrators of the mercats of victualls
1595 Conv. Burghs I. 462.
Ane number of regratouris, foirstalleris, and kowperis … contraueneand the said act
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 566.
Thair hes beene verie great disordours and confusioun among the fishers and cowppers of herring
1641 Acts V. 646/1.
That naine of the fishers & couppers of herring attending the herring drove … weitt thair netts … till first they cum to the Admirall [etc.]

2. A horse-dealer. = Coupar(e n. 12. 1597 Acts James VI § 122.
The halding of horses at hard meat … vsed commounlie be … cowppers
1638 Baillie I. 110.
The horse which our cowpers had bought at Morton fair were arreisted

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"Cowper n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Mar 2023 <>



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