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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CHAPPER-UP, n.phr. (See second quot.) Known to Abd.19 (“esp. common in Dundee for the mill-hands”), Ags.17 1939. Also simply chapper (Slg.3 1910). See also chap v. 1 2.Sc. 1996 Herald 8 Jan 4:
Anybody out there remember who were chapper-ups? In brave old days, they were sort of human alarm clocks. Wearing noisy boots, they went about with long poles to rattle the windows of sleepy people. They roused neighbours and got them up to work.
Gsw. 1924 Glasgow Herald (26 Feb.) 8:
Hauf-sax; time ye wis up, shouted in stentorian tones by Davie Pole, one of the local “chappers up.”
Gsw. 1933 F. Niven Mrs Barry 57:
It was five o'clock. There were districts where the chapper-up would be going his rounds chapping — knocking — on doors or windows for a small weekly sum paid by those whose doors and windows he chapped upon.

[From Chap, v.1, 2.]

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"Chapper-up n. phr.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Feb 2024 <>



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