Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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STAP, v.2, n.2 Sc. forms and usages of Eng. stop. See P.L.D. § 54. [stɑp]

I. v. A. Forms: Pa.t., pa.p. stappit, -et, †stapt; stap(p)ed, -id.

B. Usages: 1. tr. To push, thrust, cram, press, shove or poke (a thing or person) in(to) something (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 40; Ork. 1929 Marw.). Gen.Sc.; to put in (a plant), set it in the ground (ne.Sc. 1971). To stap out, to poke, squeeze or gouge out. Kcd. 1699 Black Bk. Kcd. (1843) 98:
She confessed that she staped in the two skins in a hole beside the fire.
Sc. 1736 Mrs McLintock Receipts 8:
Take the Head of the Turkey with a Piece of the Neck and stop the Neck into the Lid.
Sc. 1757 Smollett Reprisal II. i.:
Deel stap out your een!
Edb. 1782 N.B. Weekly Mag. (13 Nov.) 67:
Now, Mr Printer, gin you please To stop poor Coll in orie nook.
Gall. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 167:
Auld Satan cleekit him by the spaul', And stappit him i' the dub o' hell.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Siege Rxb. (1874) iv.:
Gang an' stap a wisp i' that bole.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds xxxviii.:
I dibbled the yearth and stappit it in there.
Fif. 1867 J. Morton C. Gray 58:
Stap doon the dottle.
Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 109:
A puir paceable kind o' crater, wi' no muckle wit, edder nettural or stappit-in.
e.Lth. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 263:
Deep in the kite soon his lang snout he stappit.
Rxb. 1917 Kelso Chronicle (7 Sept.) 3:
Hae Jean, stap that in yer pouch.
Lnk. 1927 G. Rae Where Falcons Fly v.:
I wad stap ye noo whare ye hae stapped yer claes.
Abd. 1962 Huntly Express (23 Feb.):
Look at the posts man, they're only stappit in.

2. tr. To stuff, pack, cram, fill tightly (a receptacle with something) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 40; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). Gen.Sc.; to stuff, in cookery. Deriv. stapper, a pipe-stopper. Comb. stap(p)-fu, crammed full, chock-a-block (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), phs. orig. a different word (cf. Norw. stappfull, id. See note and Stap, n.3). Abd. 1733 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 31:
When with his tail he stap'd his mou'.
Sc. 1736 Mrs McLintock Receipts. 9:
Take Muir-Fowl or Partridges, take grated Bread and Spice, and a little Sugar and Butter and stop their Bellies.
Slg. 1788 R. Galloway Poems. 10:
The meal kist was bienly stappet.
Kcb. 1793 R. Heron Journey II. 228:
On Hallowe'en and on some other evenings, they and the Gyar-Carlins are sure to be abroad, and to stap those they meet and are displeasd with, full of butter and beare awns.
Sc. 1824 R. Chambers Poet. Remains (1883) 21:
Come, rax me a stapper, the cutty I'll rype!
Edb. 1864 Recent Sc. Poets (Murdoch 1883) 272:
Wi' sheep heids an' trotters it's aye stappit fu'!
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 151:
Stappin the lugs o' the folk wi' lees.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 8:
There wus an awfu crood to hear him, an the kirk wus stappit tae the door.
Rnf. 1935 L. Kerr Woman of Glenshiels xiv.:
As long as you can hide ahint a book and stap yerself wi' the nonsense that's printed in them.
Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 40:
Stap they sacks as fu' as ye can.
Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 23:
Wi' rucks big an' bonnie the cornyaird's stappit.

Hence (1) stappin, vbl.n., stuffing, in cookery (Ags. 1971), specif. for filling fishes' heads (Abd. 1825 Jam., Abd. 1971); (2) stappit, ppl.adj., (i) stuffed, replete, gorged (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971). Combs. stappit haddie, -heid(ie) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai., Bnff., Abd. 1971), -saster (see quots.); (ii) stiff in manner, reserved, taciturn (Ork. 1971). (1) Bnff. 1922 Banffshire Jnl. (12 Dec.) 2:
Twa-three weel bile't hens, wi' plenty o' oatmeal stappin'.
Abd. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 28:
For there's naething they like better Than the stappin' o' a hen.
(2) (i) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 128:
Yet seenil do they ken the rift O' stappit weym.
Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
Ye are as stiff as a stappit saster.
Abd. 1831 J. Logan Sc. Gael (1876) II. 133:
A favourite winter dish is “stappit heads”, or boiled haddocks, the heads being filled with a mixture of oatmeal, onions and pepper.
e.Sc. 1855 J. Grant Yellow Frigate viii.:
A dish of stappit-haddie (i.e., a haddock stuffed with oatmeal, onions, and pepper). broiled before the fire, for breakfast next morning.
Abd. 1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm ii.:
A' the ill dreams that ever gathered aboot a sin-stappit bowster.
Abd. 1951 Fraserburgh Herald (12 June):
“Stappit heedies” — the heads of cods cleaned and stuffed with meal and onions then fried.
Bnff. 1967 Banffshire Advert. (27 July) 10:
He quidna pit awa three pies athoot bein' stappit.
(ii) Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 193:
Sheu wis cheust on the stappid side, an hidno much tae say.

3. Used absol.: (1) to push, stuff. Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 65:
He reeve his breeks atween the feet, I'm sure — I saw him stapin' at his sark like stoure.

(2) to cram or gorge oneself with food, eat gluttonously, gormandise (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971). Rxb. 1917 Kelso Chronicle (16 Feb.) 2:
Ryvin' an' stechin' an' stappin' an' eatin'.

4. tr. (1) As in Eng., to block up, close (an opening), obstruct, plug (Sc. 1808 Jam.: Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; I. and n.Sc., Ags., Per., Ayr., Kcb. 1971). Hence stappin, a blocking-up, stappit, blocked. choked. stuffed with the cold. Sc. 1736 Crim. Trials Illustrative of “H. Midlothian” (1818) 42:
The deponent put the table and some chairs to the back of the door to stap up the gap.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 229:
Now sair ye lie, says Maister Gout, But yet I winna stap your throat.
Mry. 1824 J. Cock Hamespun Lays 120:
Ye stapt your lugs an' wad na hear.
Bnff. 1872 W. Philip It'ill a' Come Richt 127:
He clamb up to the tap o' my chumlie ae nicht, an' stappit it wi' divots.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 38:
The reek-hol', the licht hol', an' the cat -hol' o' the hoose hed a' been hard stappid.
Kcd. 1890 J. Kerr Reminiscences I. 95:
I gi'e the holes a stappin', O.
Edb. 1916 J. Fergus The Sodger 18:
Though the wife gi'ed him a nicht-kep, he got a' stapp'd-up an' bleary.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 21:
The brander's stappeet up!
Arg.1 1930:
I tellt the factor that the jaw box wuz stappit, an' it's stappit yet.
Abd. 1949 W. R. Melvin Poems 43:
Ma nose is stappit wi' the caul'.

(2) to tuck or pack (bedclothes) around (ne.Sc., Ags. 1971). Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 53:
Is yer back richt stappit?

(3) of death: to stop (the breath), choke, stifle, suffocate, end life. Also transf. Obs., in Eng. Hence stap-breath, fig. = Death personified. Sc. 1714 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 17:
Shame faw ye'r Chandler-Chafts, O Death; For stapping of John Cowper's breath.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Death & Dr Hornbook ix.:
Ye're maybe come to stap my breath.
m.Lth. 1876 J. Aikman Poems 202:
Something in the bosom swallin Near staps my breath.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 8:
Th' election stepit in and stap't the breath O' twa or three o' the Banff partizans.
Mry. 1849 A. Blackhall Lays 51:
Till aul' stap-breath gie's ilk ane's meed.

5. tr. and intr., as in Eng.: to stop, bring or come to a halt, remain (Ags., Fif. 1971); to hesitate. Phr. to stop on, to wait for. See On, prep., 2. (4). Sc. 1721–8 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 161, II. 51:
The Dutch, say they, will strive your Plot to stap. . . . Hermes obeys, and staptna short.
Slg. 1788 R. Galloway Poems 12:
Stap, Robin, shure ye're wrang in part.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 41:
But soon cam in, an' stapt her study, A silly faichless beggar body.
Sc. 1833 Loudon Hill in Child Ballads No. 205. vii.:
There is na ane amang them a' That in his cause will stap to die.
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 66:
Willie never grudges tae stop a bitty on him ony gaet.
Uls. 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings 29:
Ye'll forget tae stap whun ye're fu'.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 59:
I felt as my hert wad stap.
Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (October) 19:
Ye'd best stap here the nicht.

II. n. 1. A stop, halt, rest. Sc. 1764 Scots Mag. (April) 196:
But wha is she that rins sae fast? Her feet nae stap they find.

2. The act of cramming or stuffing, of stopping up or blocking a hole, a surfeit (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 180; I., ne.Sc., Kcb. 1971).

3. A place to put odds and ends in, a “glory-hole” (Fif. 1971).

4. A kind of cork or stopper of a bottle. Edb. 1751 Caled. Mercury (15 Aug.):
The best long Corks at 2s the Gross . . . Rongs and Brewers Staps at 4d the Gross.

[O.Sc. stop, to push, press, cram, 1400, stap, a hold-up, 1542, to block up, 1596. There may poss. be some influence from O.N. stappa, to stamp, pound, Norw. stappe, to cram, pack. See Stap, n.3]

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"Stap v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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