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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

RUMPLE, n. Also rumpell (Fif. 1703 E. Henderson Annals Dunfermline (1879) 374). [rʌmpl]

1. Of an animal: the rump, tail, haunches (Sh., Cai. 1968). Also attrib. Also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1703 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 319:
For a rumple peice of beif . . . 10s.
Fif. 1718 Burgess Ticket Buckhaven 2:
[He] gave in his great Solemn Oath upon a Skate Rumple.
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1777) 84:
Ye ride sae near the rumple ye'll let nane lowp on behind you.
Rxb. 1755 Caled. Mercury (15 May):
The Grey Mare stands a little on the lyert or glead Colour, a little high on the Rumple where the Seat lies.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 61:
Some [cattle] . . . rub their yeuky rumples on the turf.
Fif. 1806 A. Douglas Poems 189:
Nae mair the Nine I will invoke, On Pegasus' lean rumple cock.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 259:
He rade on the rumple, wi' the tail in his hand.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (30 April):
Black wi' a white bit apo' da rumple.

2. Of a person: the buttocks, the posterior, the seat (Sh. 1968).Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace iii. i.:
Syn at the Lown a fearfull Fleg let flee, That from his Rumple shear'd away his Thigh.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 87:
Badly arm'd, as you may ken; . . . Old scythes, with their rumples even.
Abd., Fif. 1825 Jam., s.v. Reekim:
I'll gar your rumple reek, i.e. “I will dust your coat for you.”
Nai. 1828 W. Gordon Poems 217:
Maggie tumbling on a heckle Dabb'd her rumple to the bane.
Slk. 1829 Hogg Shep.Cal. (1874) ii.:
A stiff lounder across the rumple.
Abd. 1845 P. Still Cottar's Sunday 79:
While ower his [Satan's] rumple large an' lang The conquer'd hero's carcase hang.
Sc. 1895 R. Ford Thistledown 3:
Rax a rung frae the boggars o' the hoose and reeshil his rumple wi't.

Combs. and phr.: (1) rumple-bane, the rump-bone, the coccyx (Sc. 1825 Jam.; I.Sc., Cai., Ayr., Rxb. 1968); (2) rumple-fyke, an itch in the bottom; fig. sexual appetite; (3) rumple-knot, see quot.; (4) rumple-ready, sexually amenable, of easy virtue (Mry.1 1925, Mry. 1968); (5) rumple-routie, a jingling formation in a child's riddle, = 2.; (6) to cut its rumple, to cut (a matter) short.(1) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 229:
She's fa'n o'er the buffet-stool And brake her rumple-bane.
Ayr. 1834 Galt Liter. Life III. 36:
Bauldy was fashed with the lumbagos in his rumple bone.
Abd. 1918 J. Mitchell Bydand 17:
Jock's heid wis hard's a stane An' teuch's an aul' steer's rumple-bane.
Edb. 1935:
The fag-end of an Edinburgh street-child's rhyme ran: — “And if we meet the pollisman We'll brak his rumple-bane.”
(2) Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 91:
Sue Cumberlaw an' Helen Don Fell, belly-flaught, on Doctor John Wha cur'd the rumple-fyke, man.
(3) Edb. 1825 R. Chambers Traditions II. 59:
The Rumple-Knot was a large bunch of ribbons worn at the peak of the waist behind.
(5) Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 157:
I sat upon my houtie croutie, I lookit ower my rumple routie.
(6) Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 98:
Till tir'd thro' many a loop an' wimple, They quat the plea, or cut its rumple.

3. Nonce usage: the Rump Parliament of 1648–1660.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. i.:
Monk . . . plaid the Rumple a right slee begunk.

[Dim. form of Eng. rump. O.Sc. rumpill, = 2., c.1500.]

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"Rumple n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2024 <>



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