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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.

UPPIE, n. In the game of Hand-ba as played annually at Candlemas, Shrovetide or Christmas in several Border towns as well as Perthshire, East Lothian and Orkney, a member of the team playing towards the upward goal or Hail, the uppies usually coming from the up-town area, that part of the town which is set on higher ground (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ork. 1967 J. Robertson Uppies and Doonies 3 sqq.; Ork., s.Sc. 1973). Cf. Doonie, Up. II. 1. (5). Also in Eng. dial. [′ʌpe]Rxb. 1906 Hawick News (March 9):
On nearing the uppies' hail the leather found its way into the water and was carried across by an uppie who took it away.
Rxb. 1922 Kelso Chronicle (10 March) 4:
The contest was keen, 8 balls being played. Doonies had 5 hails as against 3 for the uppies.
Rxb. 1939 F. Drake-Carnell Old Sc. Custom 215:
The Uppies, that is to say, those who were born above the site of the Mercat Cross [Jedburgh], play towards Castlehill, and the Doonies (born below the Mercat Cross) play towards Townfoot.
Ork. 1955 Abd. Press and Jnl. (27 Dec.):
The game is played between those born on the seaward side of St Magnus Cathedral — the Doonies — and those from the landward side — the Uppies.
Dmf. 1969 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (29 Oct.) 1:
I think they're uppies and doonies frae the Borders.

[Dim. form of Up, n.]

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"Uppie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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