Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PEEVER, n.1 Also peevor, peaver (w.Sc. 1900 R. C. Maclagan Games Arg. 135), peiver; pavor (Per. 1910 Scotsman (9 Sept.)). The flat stone or counter used in the game of hop-scotch (Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) P. 27, peiver, 1865 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 57; m.Sc., Uls. 1965); gen. in pl., the game itself (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.; m. and s.Sc. 1965). Derivs. pe(e)veral(l), -lal, id.; peevery, in comb. peevery beds, the chalked pattern of squares on which the game is played. See quots. and Beds, Pallall, Pitch, Pot. Phr. to lift one's peever, fig., to withdraw from a contest or argument, to take oneself off in a huff, resign one's claim, submit, “opt out” (w.Lth. 1946). [′pi:vər] Gsw. 1856 J. Strang Gsw. Clubs 218:
The young misses indulged in scoring the flagstones with their peevors, for the purpose of playing at pal-lall.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls o' Hame 53:
Yer jumpin' rapes and peveralls she flings oot o' her gate.
Arg. 1900 R. C. Maclagan Games Arg. 134:
Pieces of broken pottery are by Lowlanders called Lalies, and the broken bottom of a bowl, a laly, is also called a peaver.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie vii.:
She canna hae mony wee lassies like hersel' to play the peever wi'.
Sc. 1921 Edb. Evening News (13 June) 4:
Chalking and disfiguring the street playing “peevers”.
Sc. 1936 Glasgow Herald (10 Nov.):
Eight was the customary number of beds, and these often consisted of seven parallelograms, with the seventh divided into two and numbered 7 and 8. The peever was, in turn, thrown into each of these beds, . . . then kicked by hopping on one foot. Care was taken that neither the foot nor the peever landed on a chalked line. . . . Our game of hopscotch was very different to the English hopscotch. It was a spiral “scotched,” or scratched, on soft ground with a hard stone. The spiral was divided into beds, each of which was only large enough to contain the player's foot. The beds were not numbered, and the centre of the spiral was called “home”. Any player who had hopped “home” without putting her foot on the line was entitled to initial one of the beds and, in that bed, she alone was permitted to “rest” by placing both feet on the ground.
wm.Sc. 1957 Ib. (2 March) 3:
To trace out peevery beds on the only flat bit of ground in sight.
Edb. 1958 J. W. Oliver Peevers 2:
And the Peevers they skiffed frae ae square to anither.
Dmf. 1962 Stat. Acc.3 147:
Peevors is still played on traditional stances.

[Orig. unknown. ? Cf. next.]

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"Peever n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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