Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

PIPE, n., v. Also †pip (Bnff. 1729 W. Cramond Ann. Bnff. (1891) I. 200). Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Combs., phrs. and deriv.: (1) pipe-bent, a species of bent-grass, Agrostis; (2) pipe(y)-dottle, the plug of unconsumed tobacco and ash in a half-smoked pipe. Gen.Sc. See Dottle, and cf. 5.; (3) pipe-grass, appar. = (1); ¶(4) pipe-gun, a pop-gun; (5) pipe-head, a fossil of the coral order, a coralline. Cf. (8) (ii); (6) pipe-reek, tobacco smoke. See Reek; (7) pipe-riper, a pipe-cleaner (Sh., Abd., m.Sc. 1965). See Ripe, v.1; (8) pipe-shank, (i) the stem of a tobacco-pipe (Abd. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (30 Jan.) 6). Gen.Sc. Hence pipe-shankit, of persons or animals: having long, thin legs (Uls. 1953 Traynor; m. and s.Sc. 1965); (ii) a type of fossil, an encrinite. Cf (5). See also Shank; (9) pipe-stap(p)le, -stopple, -stoople (Uls. 1924 W. Lutton Montiaghisms 31), (i) = (8) (i) (Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 259). Gen.Sc. Used as the type of anything very fragile or thin (Rxb. 1825 Jam.), as something of very little value or as something very simple or uncomplicated. Hence phr. as plain as a pipe-stopple, perfectly clear and evident, “as plain as a pike-staff” Also attrib. in comb. pipe-stopple legs (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), hence pipe-stopplit, adj., of legs: extremely thin (Rxb. 1965); to rain auld wives an pipe-stapples, to rain “cats and dogs” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Pike, n.1, 2. (3); (ii) an acorn. See 5.; (iii) the crested dogstail grass or windle-strae, Cynosurus cristatus (Lth. 1825 Jam.), “its stiff stalks are used to clean pipes” (Sc. 1903 E.D.D.). Cf. (1); (10) to pit oot (another's) pipe, to non-plus or thwart someone, “squash,”, snub, to “put one's gas in a peep”. Of Sc. orig. later colloq. in Eng. (1) Slk. 1824 Blackwood's Mag. (March) 301:
A pickin' o the seeds o' the pipe bent is a feast to her.
(2) Sc. 1952 Scots Mag. (March) 459:
But for borrowed beauty oot o' a bottle, I wadna gie ye a pipey dottle!
(3) Mry. 1782 Session Papers, Gordon v. Brander (19 July) State of Process 120:
As much newly cut pipe-grass as would fill the box of a cart.
(4) Sc. 1828 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 276:
His pop or pipe-gun, formed of last year's growth of the branch of a plane-tree.
(5) Fif. 1837 Trans. Highl. Soc. 316:
The corallines they call “pipe heads”.
(6) Ayr. 1871 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 247:
Gettin' a glint o' a neighbour's face lookin' out amang pipe reek.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 108:
Lunt yer pipe-reek up the lum.
(8) (i) Lnk. 1860 W. Watt Poems 236:
Ringan, in the twa-arm'd chair, His pipe-shank clears, for suction.
Gsw. 1886 A. Murdoch Readings (1889) i. 24:
Yon lang, thin, shilpit, pipe-shankit, white-chaff't, drink-o'-soor-milk-an'-cauld-gruel.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) iii.:
I thocht he'd swallowed his pipe-shank, he gae sik a habble.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 56:
And Eleck soucht for lang in ilka pooch, But ne'er an aixtrae pipe-shank met his han'.
(ii) Fif. 1837 Trans. Highl. Soc. 316:
Encrinites have been found, which the workmen designate by the familiar name of “pipe shanks”.
(9) (i) Sc. 1761 Magopico (1810) 12:
He imagined at that instant his caput transmogriphied into an egg-shell, and all his members made of pipe-stopples.
Edb. 1773 Session Papers, Petition B. Yule (15 June) 11:
The kiln or forge where the pipes were made around which he has seen several broken pipes, or pipe-staples.
Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf ix.:
“Pinches or forehammers will never pick upon't,” said Hugh, . . . “ye might as weel batter at it wi' pipe-staples.”
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck iii.:
I gart his arm just snap like a pipe-stapple, and down fell his bit whittle to the ground.
Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Aug.) 55:
Pipe-staples form a very amusing plaything, by putting two pins crosswise through a green pea, placing the pea at the upper end of the pipe-staple, and holding it vertically, blowing gently through it.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 127:
Let him girn himsel' into a gaist, I min' na his word a pipe-stapple.
Fif. 1912 D. Rorie Mining Folk 415:
Rainin' auld wives and pipe stapples. . . said of a heavy wind and rain storm (i.e. the kind of weather witches would be abroad in).
Rxb. 1915 Kelso Chron. (10 Dec.) 4:
Sayin' as plain as a pipe-stapple “Oo canna an winna see ye or hear yer aividence.”
Rxb. 1958 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 21:
We got dirty blethers at the Killin'-hoose and blew them up wi' pipe-stapples for fitbas.
(10) 1720 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 145:
Upmost to Day, the Morn their Pipe's put out.
Ags. 1882 Brechin Advert. (12 Dec.) 3:
Far less did they expeck 'at the lassie wid put oot the minister's pipe.
Abd.7 1925:
When one clinches an argrrment with words that cannot be gainsaid, he will declare of his opponent that “I fairly pat his pipe oot.”

2. Specif., gen. in pl.: the wellhead or spout of a public water-supply, a stand-pipe. Fif. 1830 A. Stewart Dunfermline (1889) 39:
A row of twenty or thirty pairs of wooden stoups, . . . around the “pipes” early of a summer morning.

3. In pl.: the bagpipe of Scotland (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Rare and obs. in sing. Combs. and phrs.: (1) great pipe, with def. art., the Highland bagpipe, a translation of Gael. pìob mhòr; (2) pipe-band, a band made up of pipers and drummers with a drum-major; (3) pipe-major, the leader and musical director of a pipe band, the equivalent of the regimental bandmaster in an English regiment; (4) pipe-maker, a specialist in the making of bagpipes; (5) pipes and drums, the formal collective designation of the pipers and drummers who make up a pipe band; (6) pipe-skill, expertise in playing the bagpipes; (7) pipes of pain, a jocular name for a flail (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 126). Cf. Pike, I. 2. (4); (8) to tune one's pipes, fig., to start to cry, set up a wail like the sound of pipes being tuned (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Sc. a.1700 J. Watson Choice Coll. i. 33:
And at Horse Races many a day . . . He gart his Pipe when he did play baith Skirl and Skreed.
n.Sc. c.1730 E. Burt Letters (1815) II. 148:
His [chief's piper's] gilly holds the pipe till he begins; and the moment he has done with the instrument, he disdainfully throws it down upon the ground, as bemug only the passive means of conveying his skill to the ear; and not a proper weight for him to carry or bear at other times. But for a contrary reason his gilly snatches it up, which is, that the pipe may not suffer indignity from his neglect.
Sc. 1746 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) I. 158:
They began to hear the pipes of the Prince's army playing very briskly; and then the Laird thought fit to turn tail and run with speed.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Tam o' Shanter 123:
He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl.
Sc. 1814 Scott Lord of Isles iv. vi.:
The pipes resumed their clamorous strain.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xl.:
Fa suld hin'er Samie to hae the pipes a' fine muntit wi' red an' blue ribbons.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped xxv.:
It would go against my heart to haggle a man that can blow the pipes as you can!
Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch 7:
You have skill of the pipes; I know by the drum of your fingers on the horn spoon.
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song (1950) 193:
The Highland man McIvor tuned up his pipes and began to step slow round the stone circle.
(1) Rxb. 1700 J. Wilson Ann. Hawick (1850) 108:
Playing with the great pipe thro the haill toun.
Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch 21:
Perhaps I have lost the skill of the tune, for it's long since I put it on the great pipe.
(2) Sc. 1901 W. L. Manson Highl. Bagpipe 137:
In the British army there are twenty-two pipe bands.
Sc. 1947 Scotland (Meikle) plate 85:
Massed pipe-bands of the 51st and 52nd Divisions, in Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Sc. 1964 Scotsman (17 Jan.) 10:
Glasgow City Police Pipe Band drew crowds to George Square before yesterday's ceremony.
(3) Sc. 1875 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdote 260:
The pipe-major of the 92d . . . proudly sounded the battle air to animate his companions.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Cleg Kelly xiii.:
The pipe-major of the Black Watch — than whom no king on earth walks with more dignity and pomp when there is a big parade and the full band of pipers leads the regiment.
Sc. 1911 W. H. G. Flood Story of Bagpipe 215:
In the British Army there are only six pipers officially recognized, the Pipe Major and five others, who are known as “full” pipers.
Sc. 1927 C. A. Malcolm Piper in Peace & War 9:
The earliest regimental pipe-major, whose name has come down to the present day, is Alexander Wallace, Pipe-Major of the Royal Scots in 1679.
Sc. 1937 Scotsman (19 July):
A request has been made to the Secretary of State for War to remove the disqualification that prevents a Pipe-Major from holding warrant officer's rank.
(4) Sc. 1775 Edb. Directory 79:
Robertson, Hugh, turner and pipe maker, and curious in making all kinds of wind musical instruments.
Sc. 1901 Sc. N. & Q. (May) 170:
He commissioned a well-known Glasgow pipe-maker to furnish him with a set of bag-pipes.
(5) Sc. 1964 Scottish Field (Jan.) 4:
The pipes and drums of the 1st Battalion the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders leading the last passing-out parade of regular troops from Stirling Castle.
(6) Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 213:
John o' pipe-skill wasna scant.
(7) ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Olden Time 42:
During winter the young student had to start from bed between three and four o'clock every morning, to go to the barn, and there till seven o'clock with little cessation to stand threshing with the flail, well-named the pipes o' pain.
(8) Abd. 1746 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1777) 36:
Jack he tun'd his pipe, and loud With cries did roar.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds vii.:
She burst into a flood of tears . . . with a flourish on my heel, I left her to tune her pipes alane.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin iii.:
The first thing I did was to assist Chirstie to tune her pipes, an' a magnificent chorus the twa o' us made.

4. A performance or tune on the pipes; fig. a weep, a fit of crying (Cld., Slk. 1825 Jam.). Cf. 3. (8) above. Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck II. 155:
He's takin a pipe to himsel at the house-end . . . his heart . . . is as saft as a snawba'.

5. A large ripe acorn with its stalk (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk., s.Sc. 1965); also pipe-an(d)-dottle, pipe-dottle (Ib.; Ayr. 1930), pipie- (Rxb. 1965), pipe-an-kivver (Watson), pipe-stapple (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; s.Sc. 1965), “smoked” by children as a tobacco-pipe. See Dottle.

6. A small haddock (m.Lth. c.1935 Fishery Board Gl.). Cf. Piper, 3.

II. v. 1. As in Eng. Comb. piping spring, a spring fed by a long vertical, natural channel or tubular passage cut by the water from the subsoil. Sc. 1849 Jnl. Agric. (1851) 238:
This field was comparatively level, and also very diversified as to capillarity. It was full of what were provincially termed “piping springs”.

2. Specif. (1) to play on the bagpipe. Comb. piping-fou, adj., very drunk (Rxb. 1913 Hawick Arch. Soc. 47). Cf. Piper, 1. (1). Abd. 1868 G. Macdonald R. Falconer i. ix.:
He was the best piper in's regiment at Culloden. Gin they had a' fouchten as they pipit, there wad be anither tale to tell.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped xxv.:
I can pipe like a Macrimmon!

(2) of the wind: to make a low, moaning sound, to murmur; to blow gently and softly. Freq. or dim. form piple. Obs. in Eng. Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
We say a piping wind, when an ordinary gale blows, and the wind is neither too loud nor too calm.
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod ii. viii.:
They sat down to enjoy the “soft pipling cold” which swung all the leaves about.
w.Sc. 1887 Jam.:
A common saying when the wind is rising, “Hear how it's piping i' the lum-tap.”
Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch 273:
The little fine airs coming from the west, coiling, full of sap-smell . . . piping into the empty windows.

3. To frill with an Italian iron, to flute (cloth), goffer (Cld. 1880 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. Comb. piping-airn, -iron, a goffering iron (Jam.; Ayr. 1930). Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights 170:
In her rage she seems to clutch At Firhill's clean, new-pipet mutch.
Lnk. 1869 A. Wallace Sketches 135:
That clean “mutch” of hers, with its “pipet” border, like the “driven snaw”.
Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch 120:
She was sick tired making hose for three brothers and piping mutches for her mother.
Ork. 1912 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 10:
They spent hours at the piping iron trimming the frills or goffering the borders of the snowy white mutches.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Pipe n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: