Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SAP, n.1, v.1 Also saup. Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Comb.: sap-spail, -spale, -speal, -spell, the sap-wood of a tree, the soft layer under the bark through which the sap rises (Bnff., Abd., Per. 1969). See Spail. Lnk. 1818 A. Fordyce Country Wedding 205:
The wright, that bought a plank frae you, Maun haud wi' a sap-spail.
Lth. 1861–3 Trans. Highl. Soc. 265:
The rind, and that part of the log which a joiner would call the “sap-speal”, are totally destroyed.
Abd. 1950 Huntly Express (3 Nov.):
The forester with a small axe sliced off the bark and sap-spell from a small part of the trunk of the tree.

2. A quantity of liquid, sometimes of liquor (wm.Sc. 1887 Jam., saup), gen. to be consumed with solid food (Ork. 1929 Marw.; I.Sc., Cai., Abd. 1969), rarely of other than liquid; specif. the allowance of milk or ale given to workers as part of their wages. Comb. sap-money, money given in lieu thereof (Abd. 1925). Fif. 1767 Session Papers, Young v. Johnston (6 Aug.) 16:
There would be some sap or drink a-going.
Ags. 1770 Glamis Estate Papers MSS. (19 May):
One pound Sixteen Shills. ster. allowed to us for sap during the Time of Harvest last.
Ags. 1791 Hailes Gl. 20:
In Angus, milk to bread is vulgarly denominated sap.
Fif. 1794 R. Beatson Agric. Fif. 16:
A ploughman or carter has per annum . . . 6d. per week for sap or kitchen money.
Kcd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 93:
The skippers, or men who have the charge of the boats . . . have for their wages, during the fishing season, ¥6, with 4 bolls of oatmeal, and 7s. for sap-money, or drink to their meals.
Peb. 1817 R. Brown Lintoun Green 87:
Ilk wi' her paritch cap, O' guid aik-tree, a pint that ha'ds O' oat meal stirred wi' sap.
m.Lth. 1829 G. Robertson Recoll. 170:
The family . . . in these circumstances [scarcity of milk], were fain to apply for sap to what was emphatically called the brown cow, or small beer.
Wgt. 1868 Trans. Highl. Soc. 25:
Dinner, and milk or cold tea as “sap”.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 50:
Twal poun' for the half-year, an' the hoose an' the yard, wi's bow an' sap money.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 29:
Thu're spilt a sap o' as geud drink as ever geed doon a dry wassan.
Knr. 1890 H. Haliburton In Sc. Field 105:
Jockie preferred milk for sap.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 324:
I jeust made a sap o' broth.
m.Lth. 1922 “Restalrig” Sheep's Heid 40:
Takin' oor draw at the cutty, takin' oor denner, takin' oor saps.
Sh. 1933 J. Nicolson Hentilagets 18:
Da streen i da hömin whin gaein i da byre Wi a sap o baes'-maet ta da kye.
Cai. 1957:
There wis a sap o water 'e boat. 'E coo still hid a sap o' milk.

3. Tears, the moisture of grief, sorrow (Dmf. 1825 Jam.).

II. v. To be full of sap, to grow soft and spindly, of a plant. Sh. 1939 A. C. O'Dell Hist. Geog. Sh. 71:
The crofters have to beware of the white oats “sapping” on the areas of light sandy soil or on lands heavily top-dressed with sea weed or shell sands.

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"Sap n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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