Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
HEMPIE, n.1, adj. Also hempy; himpie (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.; Kcb. 1919 T.S.D.C. III.). [′hɛmpi]
I. n. A rogue, a person deserving to be hanged, i.e. one destined for a hempen rope (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Kcb.4 1900). Usu. employed jocularly of a mischievous or unruly young person (Ib.; Inv., Fif. 1957), now gen. applied to a girl (Kcb.4 1900; Bnff., Bwk., Dmf., Rxb. 1957).
Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 80:
Till he had gather'd seven or aught Wild Hempies stout and strang. Sc. 1772 Weekly Ma. (20 Aug.) 236:
See what sad hempies are lairds men. Edb. 1801 H. Macneill Poems II. 51:
Now, as I've heard some hair-brain'd hempy Growl whan your chappin bottle's empty. Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxxiv.:
She's under lawfu' authority now, and full time, for she was a daft hempie. Ayr. 1826 Galt Lairds xxiii.:
Some Paisley hempies that cam doun to the fishing . . . have gotten themselves fou. Sc. 1836 Wilson's Tales of the Borders III. 28:
“It's my opinion he's been on the road before, following anither trade,” said Janet. “I'm sair mistaen if he's no a hempie.” Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 36:
Limmers, an' cutties, an' hempies, an' draigles. Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xxii.:
Come awa' this instant, ye impident hempie! Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Macdonald Lass ix.:
What for are you not in your crib, you little hempie, at this time of the night? e.Lth. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 255:
This hempy like an Empress ruled, By her we were baith tax'd an' schuled.
II. adj. Wild, romping, roguish (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, Bwk. 1957); fit for the gallows. Deriv. hemping, “a romping person” (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein 68).
Abd. 1739 Caled. Mag. (1788) 501:
Syne a' the drochlin hempy thrang, Gat o'er him wi' a fudder. Slk. 1818 Hogg Wool-gatherer (1876) 68:
Ye impudent, hempy-looking tike that ye are. Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's Well iii.:
How could she help twa daft hempie callants from taking a start and an owerloup? Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life III. 22:
A hempy packman callan mindet to list. Sc. a.1894 Stevenson New Poems (1918) 114:
I ran, a little hempie lass, In the sand and the bent grass. Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 153:
She made a poem, although she wusna verra daft, though maybe hempy a wee.
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"Hempie n.1, adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/hempie_n1_adj>
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