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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CAPPER, CAUPER, n.1 [′kɑpər]

1. One who makes wooden bowls (Ags.9 1927, capper; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.), or other wooden articles. Known to Abd.2, Abd.9 1938, and still preserved in street-names, e.g. Capper's Wynd, Montrose, Capper's Row, near Bathgate, Linlithgow.Mry. 1914 H. J. Warwick Tales from “the Toon” 116:
So it was, too, where the “Cauper” disposed of his churns and milking-cogs.
Abd.(D) 1909 C. Murray Hamewith 21:
The cauper left his turnin' lay.
Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk More Bits 56: 
The quarters of Jamie Dunbar, the carrier, adjoined Benjie Cranstoun's cooperage, or, to use the Scotch expression "marched wi' the capper's."

2. A name given to a late riser, one who has to be content to “claw the cap,” i.e. scrape out what remains in the porridge-bowl; cf. C. Murray Whistle iii. in Hamewith (1909): “For lyin' lang o' mornin's he had clawed the caup for weeks.” Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1938.Abd. 1904 M. J. Christie in Bnffsh. Jnl. (27 Sept.) 6:
For aye the hinmost to get breekit Wis cauper made at Drachlaw.

3. “The youngest boy on a farm” (Ags. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.).

[From Cap, n., q.v. O.Sc. has capper, a maker of “caups,” 1647 (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Capper n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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