Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CHAP, v.1 [tʃɑp]

1. To knock or strike: (1) in gen.; (2) of a clock. Gen.Sc. except for I.Sc. and Cai.; cf. Chop, v.1; (3) with a hammer, e.g. in a smithy (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.2, Fif.10, Kcb.1 1939); (4) in the game of curling: to strike away a stone (Cai.7, Abd.9, Ags.2, Fif.10, Slg.3, Lnk.3 1939); (5) in the game of dominoes: “to knock on the table in order to indicate that one has not a suitable domino to play” (Edb.5 1939); used fig. in quot. (1) w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) ii.:
Sometimes he chapped him on the nose, and then on the lug.
(2) Abd.(D) 1920 G. P. Dunbar Guff o' Peat Reek 19:
I aften heard my mither say the “knock” jist chappit five.
(3) Cai. 1930 Caithness Forum in John o' Groat Jnl. (18 April):
The're seven blacksmiths scattered back an' 'fore 'tween Chicago an' Vancouver 'at A kent chappin' in smiddies here an' 'ere in Bower.
Ags. c.1870 (per Ags.17):
When I was a young chap, chappin' at the smiddy, O.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 130:
He wanted four shoes for some of his horses. As John never liked to be hurried or put out of his usual way, he said he did not think he could make them. “What way?” asked the Archbishop. “Because,” said the smith, “there's n'ane aboot han' tae chap.”
(4) Lnk. 1864 J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe, etc. 182:
Some lie at hog-score, some owre a' ice roar, “Here's the tee,” “there's the winner,” “chap and lift him twa yards.”

Phrase: chap an' lie, “to strike away the opponent's stone and make your stone lie in its place” (Abd.9, Slg.3 1939); also used in bowling (Ayr.4 1928). Ags. 1883 J. Kennedy Sc. and American Poems 98:
Canny aye it chipp'd the winner — Never fail'd to chap an' lie.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae Langsyne in Braefoot iv.:
A week frae that wad throw ye intil the winner, an' if played like a man ye wad chap an' lie.
(5) Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie Poems in two Tongues 19:
Till even the droothy stapped drinkin' tae hae a sicht O' playin' sae braw — And noo ye hae played us a pliskie tae gie us a fricht, Chapp'd yince and for a'.

2. To tap at a door or window, gen. as a signal, esp. as followed by out. Known to Ork.1, Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.19, Fif.1, Arg.1, Lnk.3, Kcb.1 1939. Sc. 1818 Blackwood Mag. III. 531:
Chappin out, is the phrase used in many parts of Scotland to denote the tirl on the lozen, or slight tap at the window, given by the nocturnal wooer to his mistress.
Abd. 1881 W. Paul Past and Present Abdsh. 126:
The geese chaps at the yitt; the gaaner he cries, fa?
Lnk. 1881 A. Wardrop J. Mathison's Courtship, etc. 44:
He chappit doon tae the engineman tae lessen the speed o' the boat.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders xxi.:
When I chappit at the door.

3. “To bruise, as by a nip or squeeze” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Ib.:
A chappit ma finger.

4. Of sand: to grind small (Lnk.3, Kcb.1 1939). Vbl.n. chapping. Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems and Sk. 14:
Young Willox was, at an early age, sent to work at “Sand Chapping,” an occupation now unknown. . . . In those days most of the houses of the poorer class had earthen, or clay, floors, which were beaten hard, and when roughly swept and sprinkled with fine sand were considered clean.
w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) i.:
I never chappit sand or made mud pies, or waded on wat days in the syver.

5. To mash vegetables, such as potatoes, turnips, etc. Ppl.adj. chapped, chappet. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1733 Scornfu' Nancy ii. in Orpheus Caled. (2nd ed.) I. 25:
Chapped Stocks fou butter'd well.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 101:
Syne chappet kail an' yirn't milk cam'.
Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 64:
Lifts off a pat o' tatties frae the fire, an' chaps them wi' a beetle.

Hence chappies, chappities, mashed potatoes (Ags. 1884 Brechin Advertiser (22 April) 3/3, chappies; Ags.17 1939, chappities).

6. To cut into small pieces, to chop (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1939). Ppl.adj. chappit. Abd.(D) 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 16:
The “Jock horse” got “chappit funs” put before him by Mary. Whins and thistles were used for horses and cattle.
Ags. 1925 Forfar Dispatch (3 Dec.) 3/3:
We wis awfu' for creeshie-mealie tae, and sometimes it wis made wi' a chappit ingin and plenty shooet cut up sma' amon'd.

7. With adv. complement: †(1) chap away, to move off; (2) chap back, (a) to rebuff; known to Abd.9 1939; (b) to speak back, retort; (3) chap in aboot, to take (a person) down a peg or two, to snub (Bnff.2, Abd.19 1939); †(4) chap yont, = (1). (1) Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) II. 265:
Sae I thinks that I'll chap away up to Matthew Hyslop's bit house, and see if it be true that the gouk said.
(2) (a) Sc. 1818 H. Midlothian xxxv.:
Dinna be chappit back or cast down wi' the first rough answer.
(b) Abd.9 1939:
He began misca'in' me, but I chappit back rale hearty an' that seen seelenced 'im.
(3) Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xix.:
“Gin that didna tak' the stiffin' oot o' Kirsty's cockernony, I'se lea'e't.” “I'm rael glaid 't ye chappit 'er in aboot the richt gate,” said Mrs Birse.
(4) Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 38:
Sae chap ye yont, ye filthy dud, An' crib some clocker's chuckie brood.

8. Phrases: (1) to chap han(d)s, to clasp hands in token of an engagement or bargain; known to Slg.3 1939; (2) to chap in the taes, to snub (Bnff.2, Abd.9 1939); (3) to chap one's heels, “to kick one's heels” (Kcb.10 1939); (4) to chap one's soles, to walk; not known to our correspondents. (1) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 120:
Your just request we canna well deny, Syn Lindy has wi' Bydby chapped hands.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick iii.:
Weel, what wi' me tormentin him, an' the ither fallows a' eggin him on, Geordie chapp'd han's.
Kcb. 1900 R. B. Trotter in Gallovidian II. No. 6, 60:
“Chap han's on't.” So they chapped hands. [Given also in MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. (1824) 132.]
(2) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 24:
The gangin' smatchit got's taes chappit in in fine order, in he geed awa unco hingin'-luggit.
(4) Per. 1898 E.D.D.:
I'm gaun out to chap my soles for a wee.

[O.Sc. has chap, to strike, a.1568; to knock, rap at a door, a.1578; to shake (hands) in friendship or in confirmation of a bargain, 1605; to strike (of a clock or hour), 1695; later form of chop, idem (D.O.S.T.). For change of vowel, see P.L.D. § 54.]

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"Chap v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Jan 2022 <>



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