Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CRIPPLE, n., adj. and v.

1. n. Used as in Eng. The form crupple is also found but is not common. The following combs. are peculiar to Sc.: (1) cripple Dick, crupple —, a lame person; Gen.Sc.; †(2) cripple-justice, “a designation contemptuously given to one who is lame, and at the same time proud of his personal appearance” (Cld. 1825 Jam.2); †(3) cripplemen, “oatcakes toasted before the fire; probably denominated from the crooked shape they often assume from being set on edge while toasting” (Fif. Ib.). (1) Sc. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 16:
Cripple Dick upon a stick, Sandy on a soo.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick ix.:
What needs ye gang hauchlin an' hirplin alang, like crupple Dick upon a stick?
Kcb. 1896 S. R. Crockett Grey Man xlv.:
The Dominie of Maybole, a crippledick and piping merry-Andrew.

2. adj. Lame (Sc. [1779] J. Beattie Scoticisms (1787) 23; 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 32; e.Rs.1 1929; Abd.2, Slg.3 1941). Now obs. or dial. in Eng. except in attrib. use (N.E.D.). Ags. 1825 J. Ross Sermon, etc. 17:
O! that his godship had been cripple, That I the vagabond might find.
Fif.10 1941:
He brak's leg at Lammas an' has been aye cripple sin-syne.

3. v., intr. To walk lamely, to hobble. N.E.D. says “now chiefly Sc.” Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.10, Slg.3 1941. Ags.(D) 1890 Brechin Advertiser (5 Aug.) 3/3:
An' whiles he sat upon a stap, syne crippled on again.
Fif. 1940 St Andrews Cit. (16 March) 2/4:
The dead man's father . . . said that his son came home crippling.
Edb. 1801 H. MacNeill Poet. Works I. 50:
Crippling on a wooden leg, Gathering alms frae melting pity.

[O.Sc. has crippil(l), cripill, n., a cripple or lame person, a.1400, lameness, c.1500, also adj. crip(p)ill, 1584, but the verb does not appear (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cripple n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2020 <>



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