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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DUMP, v., n.1

1. v.

(1) To beat, thump, kick, push (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh. 1949; Ags. 1808 Jam.; Ags.17, Fif.13, Arg.1, Lnk.11, Kcb.10 1941; Slk. 1949). Also in n.Eng. dial.Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet, Intro. 12:
He thumpit the blacksmith hame to his wife; He dumpit the butcher, wha ran for his life.
Hdg. 1876 J. Teenan Song and Satire 24:
The pan wi' richt guidwull they dumpit.
Rnf. 1709 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876) I. 206:
Knocked and dumped each of them others in the face, back, breasts, and other parts of there bodies, with there fists.
Lnk. 1929 Scots Observer (31 Oct.) 14:
This Gallowgate audience forgot to dump its feet to the rhythm.

Hence dumper, (a) “a tool for keeping a bore-hole circular” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 26; Edb.6 1944); a tool used in paving roads, a rammer (m.Sc. 1950); (b) used fig. for a foot or leg.(a) Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 12:
He brocht doon his beetle o' a nieve on the buird wi' a daud like Sanny McAtee's cause'y dumper.
(b) Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 11:
An' the soon' o' his twa bittle dumpers, Gaun stumpin' at nicht thro' the flure.

(2) To walk with a short, heavy step, to stump (Fif. 1825 Jam.2; Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Kcb.1 1941); gen. used with about. Also in Eng. dial.

†(3) In the game of marbles: to give the loser a number of blows with the marbles on the knuckles of his closed fist (Fif. 1825 Jam.2).Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 185:
It seems to me but as yesterday or last week when I was a happy wee callan . . . sitting on my hunkers playing at the bools, and getting my knuckles dumpit at the taw.

2. n.

(1) A dull, quick blow, a thump, a thud (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Abd.27 1950); a blow on the knuckles given to the loser at marbles, see v., (3) (Fif. 1825 Jam.2). Also used adv. (Bnff.2, Slg.3, Kcb.10 1941). Also dim. dumpie. Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Aug.) 36:
Golf is played also by young as well as old gentlemen; and running the gauntrice or gauntlet is a punishment frequently inflicted on the least dexterous, as dumps are on the knuckles of those who are unsuccessful at bowls.
Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 61:
Pate next unto the gun did jump, Thinkin' the mark to gi'e a dump.
Gsw. 1988 Michael Munro The Patter Another Blast 20:
dumpie A soft or light blow, not seriously intended to injure: 'Whit's he greeting fur? That wis only a wee dumpie Ah gied um'.'
Dmf. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 224:
Syne down she came again, dump on her shoe-heels.

(2) “A term used by boys playing at ball” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.).

(3) A commotion in the sea (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).

(4) In pl.: (a) a thrashing, a punishment (Edb.1 1941); (b) a children's birthday ceremony, taking various forms, for example: the child is held by the hands and feet and its back thumped on the floor, a thump for each year of age, sometimes dropped on the final count (Dmb., Lth. 1952 Abd. Univ. Review 384; Ork., Ags., Fif., Edb., Dmb., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s).(b) Rs. 1944 C. M. Maclean Farewell to Tharrus 25:
Getting what they called their “dumps” is a great ceremony with these children from the south. Every one they call Friend gives them their “dumps” on a birthday, the kind of “dumps” administered varying according to the giver. . . . Cordelia's “dumps” consisted of lifting Kennie off the ground and making him touch the kitchen flags with his toes ten times.
Ayr. 2005:
We used to get a knee in the behind - once for each year - it was called 'getting the dumps'.

[O.Sc. has dump, to thump, 1575; rare O.N. dumpa, to push, strike, kick, Norw. dump, to fall suddenly, to walk heavily; a fall, a gust of wind.]

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"Dump v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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