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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TRAMP, v., n. Also trump. Sc. usages:

I. v. 1. intr. To stamp, step or tread heavily upon, to trample on (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc.Nai. 1783 Session Papers, M'Queen v. M'Intosh (May) 13:
Donald M'Intosh tramped on the broad of her foot, which was bare.
Ags. 1796 C. Keith Farmer's Ha' 15:
The black cow has nae trampet yet Upo' your taes.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 9:
He on puir Mungo chanc'd to tramp.
Ags. 1894 People's Friend (26 March) 196:
If he were trampin' on a red-hot couter.
Abd. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 30:
I trampit on a bees' byke.

2. tr. (1) To tread, press down, squeeze or crush by treading or stamping with the feet (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1972); to pack (meal) closely into a container by stamping it down with the bare feet (‡Abd. 1972). Comb. tramped dornick, see Dornick.Ags. 1774 Weekly Mag. (30 Dec.) 15:
After he's trampet out the eie O' mony a dub.
s.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
As some ricks are made in a more compact form by tramping, it is common to say, “Tramp the coil weel.”
Slg. 1877 J. M. Neilson Poems 16:
Wee feet wi' thorns, an' trampit taes.
Clc. 1885 J. Beveridge Poets Clc. 139:
Work hard and mak' your shuttles flee, And tramp your treadles.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (20 Aug.):
Tramp da fljoames o' green doon da best wye at doo can.
Abd. 1970 Huntly Express (26 June) 2:
The harder the stack was tramped, the better the hay.

(2) specif. To wash (clothes or bed-linen) by treading them in soap-suds (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 78; Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc., obsol. Also absol. Vbl.n. trampin(g).Abd. 1710 Burgh Rec. Abd. (B.R.S.) 340:
Discharges all women from washing and tramping in tubbs upon any pairt of the streets.
Sc. 1736 J. Dunbar Smegmatalogia 26:
Put your Cloath in with cold Water, and let a Woman tramp the Cloath with her Feet, and repeat Water and tramping.
Fif. 1771 A. Laing Lindores Abbey (1876) 294:
None shall be allowed to bleach weabs on the high street or tramp cloath of any kind.
Sc. 1807 J. Carr Caled. Sk. 226:
I saw the process of tramping. The washerwoman first soaps the linen, and next puts it in a tub of cold water; she then kilts her coats and dances round the tub until she presses out the dirt with her feet.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 6:
The laird wus i' the tub trampin' blankids wi' his cots abeun his knees.
Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Kincaid's Widow xii.:
Tramping the claes frae the muckle wash.
Per. 1910 J. Macdonald Old Callander 125:
A wife wis trampin' blankets in a tub.

(3) To catch (flounders) by stamping on the wet sand until they rise. See Tread, I. B. (2).Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders iii.:
I must proceed to the flats and tramp flounders for our breakfast.

(4) transf. To press down compactly by hand, to compress or pack firmly (Uls. 1953 Traynor; Ags. 1972). Comb. tramp-stick, a stick used to pack butter into a keg.Abd. 1824 Farmer's Mag. (May) 137:
When the butter is cured, it should be tramped firm into the firkin with a round wooden tramp-stick, of sufficient weight and thickness.
Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane (1887) 87:
She used to pack the water-stoups with butter and cheese, over which she would tramp a thick layer of oatmeal.
Ags. 1962 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 2:
Taken in by a mill to “tramp” a can — actually the hands were used to press down material from a machine into a container.

3. Combs., derivs. and phr.: (1) to tramp (on) one's taes, to encroach on one's interests or privileges, trespass on, take undue advantage of, to offend one (Sh., n.Sc., Per. 1972); (2) tramp-cock, a cock of hay which has been compressed by treading, one of the ricks into which hay is built before the final stacking (Uls. 1953 Traynor); ‡(3) tramp cole, -coll, -coil, reduced forms trankle (Dmf. 1825 Jam.), tranc[l]e (Mry. 1909 Colville 146), id. (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 272; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; I., n., em. and wm.Sc. 1972). Vbl.n. tramp-coling, the making of hay into tramp-coles; (4) tramped pike, id.; (5) tramper, (i) one of the beaters in a flax-scutching mill. See stamper s.v. Stamp, v., 4.; (ii) in pl.: the feet (n., em.Sc. (a), Ayr. 1972); also heavy boots for long or rough walking; (6) tramping society, see quot.; (7) tramp-iron, a protective iron plate strapped to the sole of a boot used in digging (Mry. 1930). See II. 2. below; (8) tramp-pick, a pick or crowbar with an iron bracket for the foot to press on (Kcd. 1825 Jam.; n.Sc., Ayr. 1972). Also as a v., to break the soil with a tramp-pick (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 197); (9) tramp-rick, -ruck, = (2).(1) Abd. 1810 J. Cock Simple Strains 123:
Dinna tramp the taylor's taes.
Sc. 1862 “Shirley” Nugae Crit. 477:
My right, so long as I do not tramp on my neighbour's toes, to speak and think and act as I choose.
(2) Abd. 1777 J. Anderson Essays I. 250:
I allow the hay to remain until, upon inspection, I judge that it will keep in pretty large tramp-cocks.
(3) Sc. 1746 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine Families III. 334:
The hay in the Bearland park was luckily in the Tramp colls.
Per. 1794 J. Donaldson Agric. Gowrie 16:
Four-pence per stone for hay, weighed from what is here called the tramp cole, in the field, in the month of August or September.
Abd. 1825 Jam.:
Tramp-coll. A number of colls or cocks of hay put into one and tramped hard, in order that the hay may be farther dried.
Ags. 1834 Dundee Advertiser (8 Aug.):
The early-cut hay was got into the tramp-coil.
Abd. 1955 Buchan Observer (19 July):
6 acres Hay, in tramp cole, at New Pitsligo.
Abd. 1970 Huntly Express (26 June) 2:
The turning, the coling, recoling, tramp coling, and finally stacking.
(4) Sc. 1849 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 238:
The large ricks thus formed are named tramped pikes.
(5) (i) Sc. 1771 Weekly Mag. (26 Dec.) 416:
A man was struck on the head by one of the trampers of the mill.
(ii) Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 157:
Rotten stocking s — soleless trampers.
Lnk. 1822 W. Watson Poems (1877) 89:
Now I maun set my trampers doun.
Sc. 1824 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 181:
Thirlestane trampers a' studded wi' sparables.
Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 20:
There Geordie, loupin' like a man red-wud, Brings doon his trampers wi' a fearsome thud.
Abd. 1887 W. Walker Bards Bon-Accord 302:
His feet ensconced in “trampers.”
(6) Sc. 1799 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 141:
Peter Arnot, Alexander Hay, and James Henderson, shoemakers in Edinburgh, accused of an unlawful combination or conspiracy to raise the rate of journeymen shoemakers wages, and in forming for this purpose, in the years 1794 or 1795, an illegal association called The Tramping Society, or United Journeymen Shoemakers.
(8) Lth. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 432:
The tramp-pick. It is a kind of lever of iron, about four feet long.
Kcd. 1841 Trans. Highl. Soc. 165:
Earth-fast stones which were too large to be turned on the surface by the tramp-pick, or lever.
Abd. 1927 Deeside Field 31:
We took turn about, with a tramp pick.
(9) Clc. 1773 Sc. Farmer I. 460:
The tramp-ruck should be placed on the middle of the fifth rig.
Cai. 1801 Farmer's Mag. II. 344:
Hay is selling at 12d. and 14d. per stone from the tramp rick.
Knr. 1813 J. Bruce The Farmer 14:
Ye may safely it [hay] remove To the tramp-rick.
Fif. 1882 St Andrews Cit. (12 Aug.) 1:
About 3000 Stones of First class Hay, and secured in Tramp Rick, in excellent condition.

4. intr. To dance heavily or clumsily. Also to tramp it.Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 213:
Their soles they were na sweer to claw, But trampit it fu' clean awa'.
Ags. 1887 A. Willock Rosetty Ends 64:
The din o' the hoochin' an' trampin' nearly dingin' the festive fiddle.

5. Of oxen at the plough: to turn to the right (Mry. c.1900).

II. n. 1. A stamp of the foot (Sc. 1808 Jam.); the stamping of feet by an audience, barracking; an injury to the foot by having it trodden on, freq. of horses which stamp on their own feet; also fig. a deliberate insult.Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shep. MS. 61:
He wanted not his share of lawful pride Wou'd find a tramp if to affront designed And soon resent it in its proper kind.
Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 397:
Tramps are dangerous, besides causing blemishes on the foot they may cause quittor.
Ayr. 1901 G. Douglas Green Shutters xviii.:
You call that noise of yours ‘the College Tramp.'
Sc. 1924 Trans. Highl. Soc. XXXVI. 84:
It is customary to attribute the lameness [in a foal] in the first instance, to a tramp or similar injury.

2. (1) A protective iron plate fastened to the sole of a boot or shoe used in digging (Abd., Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; n., wm.Sc., Rxb. 1972).Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 188:
Furnished with a new spade, and a ‘tramp' to save the sole of his boot.

(2) The horizontal strip of iron on the top of a spade blade (Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; Ork., n.Sc., em.Sc. (b), Ayr. 1972), a moveable iron bracket on a foot pick for the foot to press on.Sc. 1829 Quarterly Jnl. Agric. I. 575:
The tramp, which is moveable, and can be placed to suit the foot of the workman, is placed about sixteen inches from the point, which tapers, and is inclined forward.
Sc. 1858 H. Stephens Farm Implements 316:
Fig. 380 is provided with tramps for the foot to press upon, and force the prongs into hard ground.

(3) In Curling: a piece of spiked iron fastened to the sole of the boot in order to prevent the wearer from slipping on the ice (wm., sm.Sc. 1972). Deriv. ¶trampet, id., prob. by confusion with Crampet (Sc. 1842 Chambers's Information II. 538).Dmf. 1810 J. Fisher Winter Season 74:
The tramps are made of iron to go upon the feet, something after the form of stirrup irons, with sharp prominences at the bottom to prevent the curler from sliding.
Dmf. 1821 H. Duncan S. Country Weaver 21:
Gae get your besom, tramps, and quoit.
Sc. 1833 Chambers's Jnl. (Dec.) 381:
Tramps elevate the player too much.
Sc. 1940 Royal Caled. Curling Club Annual xxix.:
No player shall wear boots, tramps, or sandals with spikes.

3. A thin layer of stamped or compressed clay.Ags. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XI. 163:
That part of the moss which was of no value he levelled, — covering the whole with a tramp of clay taken from the bottom.

4. As in Eng., a vagrant, vagabond. Dim. trampie, comb. tramp-wife, a female tramp (ne.Sc., Ags. 1972).Abd. 1879 G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie xxxiii.:
“The tramp-wife” she would not permit to touch plate or spoon.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 42:
Trampie was for haein' nane o' that.

5. A kind of mole-trap set off by the animal treading on it. Cf. Stamp, n.2Mry. 1865 J. Horne Poems 8:
Wi' traps, an' bows, an' trumps, an' a'.

[O.Sc. tramp, to trample, c.1460, tramp ruck, 1588.]

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"Tramp v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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