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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

JAUP, v., n., adv. Also jawp(e), jaupe, jaap, jap(p); †jape; ¶jowp (Sc. 1933 W. Soutar Seeds in the Wind 30), joup-. [dʒǫ:p, dʒɑ:p]

I. v. 1. intr. Of water, etc.: to dash, splash, ripple, to quiver, to shake in a container, as a liquid, to spill over with a splash (Sc. 1808 Jam., jawp; ne. and m.Sc., Rxb., Uls. 1959). Also used fig. Found in Yks. dial. Dim. form ¶jaupie. Deriv. in vbl.n. ¶jouplins, fig., dregs, leavings, odds and ends.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 397:
I'll gar your Harns jape.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To a Haggis viii.:
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware, That jaups in luggies.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan II. 132:
The sough of the wind and the jaupin' of the waves.
s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 91:
The wind maks the water jaw, an' jawp, an' foam like a caldron.
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie 224:
Thou garst the hidden treasure jaupie A' in the air!
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin viii.:
Garrin' the saepy graith jaup roond her through a' the neuks o' the kitchen.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie i.:
There was as much drink jaupin' in him as wad hae done for a water-shute.
wm.Sc. 1934 J. Bridie Marriage is no Joke (1936) 20:
It's a living marvel to me you remember your own name, with your head forever jawping with whisky.
wm.Sc. 1946 H. Reid Big Adventure 5:
An' the jouplins left owre I've kept til this hour Tae busk ye a fresh bouquet.
m.Sc. 1994 John Burns in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 27:
A saft rain begoud tae faa, the spots o rain makkin wee spoots o watter jaup up as they landit on the still surface o the Pool, ...
Uls. 1997 Bernard MacLaverty Grace Notes (1998) 267:
Over the years the mesh had become clogged with flour dust and fat japped from the pan.
Ayr. 1998:
It's jaupin aboot in the pail.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 91:
' ... And awright, you gied him the water but ye didna gie him the pills or aw the ither shite he had jaupin aboot in his system. ... '

Hence (1) japper, a broken wave; (2) jaupin fu, brimming over (m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb. 1959).(1) Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 3:
Beside the shore Whairon th' Aegean's jappers roar.
(2) wm.Sc. 1937 W. Hutcheson Chota Chants 74:
Meg cam lilting up the loaning, Bringing luggies jauping fu'.

2. To make a splash by throwing water, striking the surface of water, puddles or the like, in riding, walking, etc. (Bnff. 1959). Phrs.: japping market, see 1845 quot.; to jawp the water(s), to waste time on a project without hope of success, be engaged in fruitless labour (Sc. 1825 Jam.), to jawp waters wi, to deal insincerely with, to play fast and loose with (Fif. Ib.); to jawp words wi, to bandy words with, argue with (Fif. 1959).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 283:
Ride fair, and jaap none. Taken from riding through a puddle; but apply'd to too home jesting.
Ayr. 1833 Galt Howdie (1923) 240:
The good man ran for a tumbler of water to jaup on my face.
Per. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 X. 998:
The japping market was discontinued about 100 years ago. The herds, in the course of the day, arranged themselves on each side of the Burn of Dowally; on a signal given, they beat the water one against the other with sticks, till one of the sides gave way. The vanquished then left the market, and the victors had the exclusive honour of treating the lasses to fruit, and of enjoying their society at the ball.
s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xix.:
I doot you're just jawpin the water, for it's a' thegither irregular.
Ayr. 1927 J. Carruthers Man Beset 150:
“Sit doon!” he cried. “There's nae cause for us to get jawpin' the water this gait. Sit doon, and dinnae be sae whippert.”
Ags.18 1948:
He gaed jaupin alang the road.

3. tr. (1) To splash, bespatter, sprinkle, e.g. with mud or water (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 87, jape; Ayr. 1803 in G. Thomson Select Melodies IV. 36; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 281; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; ne. and m.Sc., Uls. 1959). Also fig. Hence ppl.adj. jappin, careless, untidy, slap-dash (Kcb.4 1900).Hdg. a.1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 25:
Poor Sandie, frae his doughty wark, Came hame a' jaupit i' the dark.
Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 377:
The table's unco coggly . . . the toddy fa's ower, and jaups it a', makin the mahogany nasty sticky.
Bwk. 1863 Border Mag. (July) 57:
I gets up a duck and lets drive into the hole tae jap them wi' the splash o' the water.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 63:
Ye'll hae to tak unco care that ye dinna jaup yoursel, as ye gae alang the clarty road o' this sinfu' warld.
Kcb. 1913 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 301:
The only “regular” doctor, “as jappin-looking a fellow as ever ye saw.”
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 62:
The very dub ye're trampin' there, Barefit, an' jawpin' a' Rab's hair, Is God's — come oot, an' jawp nae mair.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 12:
Ma top-coat an ma breek-feet ir aa jaapeet wui glaar.
Gsw. 1992 Jeff Torrington Swing Hammer Swing! (1993) 142:
Down the stairs it came, a livid arc of urine that thrashed on the stone floor outside the neuk, japping the window-pane as it did so.
Ayr. 1998:
The penters hae jaupit ma guid jumper

(2) To slap. Found only in vbl.n. japin, a slap, light blow (Fif. 1825 Jam.).

4. To exhaust or spoil with rough usage, to knock about, manhandle, to use carelessly or for unsuitable purposes (Uls. 1924 W. Lutton Montiaghisms 26, jaap; Abd. 1959). Freq. in ppl.adj. jaupit, fatigued, weary (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 90; Bnff., Abd., Ags., m.Lth. 1959), in a poor condition from exhaustion, overwork or the like (Abd. 1959).Abd. 1882 T. Mair John o' Arnha's Latter-day Exploits 113:
They jaup themsel's like famished hounds.
Fif. 1909 R. Holman Char. Studies 47:
I wis a wee bit jappit wi' walkin' a' that road.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 70:
The seener the better, for I'm fair jaupit.

II. n. 1. (1) A splash, a dash of water, mud, etc., a quantity of liquid suddenly spilt or thrown in the air (Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 255, 1825 Jam.; m. and s.Sc., Uls. 1959); the sound of a splash, as from shoes when full of water (Per. 1902).Ayr. 1786 Burns Brigs o' Ayr 125–6:
Then down ye'll hurl, deil nor ye never rise! And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring skies.
Peb. 1808 in Ramsay Gentle Shep. (Scen. ed.) 708:
An' ay the jawps flee frae the whiel That quirlis at the end on't.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xcvii.:
We maun jook and let the jawp gae bye.
Slk. 1892 W. M. Adamson Betty Blether 62:
Ye could hardly see the pattern o' the paper for japs.
Ayr. 1901 G. Douglas Green Shutters v.:
Some o' the dirty jaups splashed about his shins.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 29:
Gin I can splash some jaups as faur Ye need hae nae concern.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 177:
He had on his best braws for his meeting with the Queen, his good doublet and breeches, a new pair of cream silk stockings and buckle shoes: a fine state they would be in with the jawps of mud that would spatter them at the ford, for it had rained for weeks until this bright morning and he would not get over the river-bed dry-shod.
Lnk. 1991 Duncan Glen Selected Poems 34:
and that jaup thrown by risin troot
or drappin stane.
Sc. 1993 Sunday Times 17 Oct :
The occasion was the latest Sunday Times Scotland reader's Gourmet Night but, despite a healthy turn-out of kilts and sporrans, not one of us present was able to make head or tail of the menu ridrits wi' creesh dorty; moolins an' berry jaups; stughie briest o' paitrick and most worryingly of all a generous helping of paddock-stool broth.
Ayr. 1998:
There's still jaups o pent on the flair.

Hence (a) adj. jaupy, jappy, japsy, splashy, muddy; (b) phr. to play ja(w)p, to splash over, to spill.(a) Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 262:
Ne'er through jaupy dubs thou splatters.
Sh. 1913 Old-Lore Misc. VI. ii. 112:
There is an interesting communication from Foula in which an old man is reported as repeating: A jappy January, A frosty February, A windy March.
Sh. 1948 New Shetlander No. 8. 10:
Da hills wir weet an' japsy an' dat med gjaain maer tryin'.
(b) Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 51–2:
No matter although the soup play jawp from preses to croupier.
m.Sc. 1926 O. Douglas Proper Place xvii.:
The pudden's scailt. It was curds, and it played jap ower the dish.

(2) By extension: a spark of fire, flying fragment of hot metal or other burning material (m.Lth. 1959).Sc.(E) 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah i. 11:
Gang on i' the light o' yer lowe, an' i' the jaups o' yer bleezan tow.
Ayr. 1879 R. Adamson Lays 118:
Rab . . . was in the smiddy, owerhip at his wark. Makin' the jaups o' iron flee aboot.

(3) A fragment, a broken piece, ruin, wreckage, mostly in phrs. to ding, knock, gae to jaup, etc. (Kcb. 1959). Deriv.japperty-jee, jaapertie-, id., wreck and ruin (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 182, 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 12).Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits Sc. Life II. 51:
The horses is baith killed; the puir driver's airm's broken; an' the chaise is a' dung to jaup.
Dmf. 1874 R. Reid Moorland Rhymes 11:
And their fine balloon journey a' knockit tae jaup.
Kcb. 1890 A. J. Armstrong Musings 218:
The farm gaed to jap, an' the bummers cam' in An' hoisted puir Tam to the causey.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 399:
Until verra lately the McLellans use't tae be a great family in Gallawa, but they'r a' gane tae jaup noo.

(4) A slap, a slight blow, which frightens rather than hurts (Cai. 1902 E.D.D., Cai. 1959). Also found in Cum. and I. Ma. dial.

2. Surf, broken water, the plash of a wave (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1808 Jam.; Ayr., Kcb., Uls. 1959); a short, choppy sea (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 110, 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh., Ork., Uls. 1959). Also fig. (Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 27). Adj. jaupy, of the sea: rough, choppy (Uls. 1959).Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm II. ii.:
Gien yer lordship's hed hed as mony jaups o' cauld sea watter.
Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 315:
Aye, gie me the jaup o' the dear auld saut A scent o' his brine again.
Sh. 1881 in A. Halcrow Sail Fishermen (1950) 172:
There was a heavy westerly japp knocking up against her.
Sh. 1901 T. P. Ollason Mareel 10:
A lemonade bottle bobbin' aboot atil a jap o' watter.

3. A small quantity of liquid for drinking, usu. of intoxicants and gen. with contemptuous force (Bnff., Ags. 1959); the dregs of a liquid (wm.Sc. (jawpe) 1808 Jam.); a quantity of water for any purpose.Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 61:
But wi' that fortune gif ye quarrel, Gie then the jaups anither twirl.
Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 139:
Your japs o' ale the wame may fill.
Rnf. 1840 J. Mitchell Wee Steeple's Ghaist 147:
Weak lemonade, or trashy jaup o' tea.
Uls.2 1929:
Jane give me a wee jap of tay in a bowl.
Slk. 1959:
He's had a jaup — he's tipsy.
Slk. 1986 Selkirk Weekend Advertiser 27 Sep 4:
In the days when the well was in yais, the weemin o the hoose hed tae draw ilk jap o water that was needit for weshin, cleanin or cookin.

III. adv. Splash!, with a splash (Fif. 1959).Sc. 1772 J. Reed The Register-Office 25:
I can hear the cawler Waiter I drink at the pump gang jaup, jaup, jaup i' my empty kyte.
Slg. c.1860 Trans. Slg. Arch. Soc. (1923) 23:
Jawp! jawp! jawp! Till you're clarty aneath an' abune!

[O.Sc. jawp, to dash, of water, a splash, from 1513. The orig. form was prob. jalp, imit. of a splash. Cf. Jaw and Jilp.]

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



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