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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

CORP, Corpe, Korp, n. [kɔrp, korp]

1. A corpse. Pl. corpse. Gen.Sc.Abd. 1891 T. Mair Arn and his Wife 68:
His spouse wes lyin' streekit like A corpe upo' the meal.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 1:
"Slawer, quine, slawer gyaun doon the brae," crawed auld Attie Coutts, cockin his wizzen craig sidiewyse, like a hoodie ower a tasty corp.
Ags.(D) 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden xvi.:
I ken this, that I have been at a gey puckle death-beds, an' . . . dressed mony a korp.
m.Sc. 1986 William Montgomerie in Joy Hendry Chapman 46 13:
Let's shoot the angel guerd they hire
frae Eden
hing the corp on the wire
pit their charters in a funeral pyre.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 50:
The coffin lik a frame
limned oot the corp, aw in the linins hidden.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 123:
Traill was particularly keen to hear the details of McKail's execution.
'Did they save the corp frae the gallows?' he asked.
Fif. 1759 A. Laing Lindores Abbey (1876) 275:
No Inhabitant within the Town of Newburgh shall invite either one or other of the Inhabitants to drink before the corpe be interred.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 116:
“I think ye may let your work stand for ae day, when your daughters are lying corpse.” “My bairns corpse!”
w.Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes in Homespun (1921) 9:
It's like this, ye see, I canna baith bury the corp an' drive the minister.

2. With def. art. = the defunct (Bnff.2, Abd.22, Ags.2, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1937).Sc. 1891 N. Dickson Kirk Beadle 129:
When the corp an' me were young men, he cheated me out o' thirty shillings.
Ags. 1891 (2nd ed.) J. M. Barrie Little Minister xvii.:
What . . . was the corp to trade? . . . I warrant he was a minister too.

3. Combs.: (1) corp-candle, -cannle, will-o'-the-wisp (Lnk.3 1937); (2) corp-lifter, a body-snatcher (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Lnk.3 1937).(1) Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch (1903) 138:
He was off and away like the corp-candle before they were any nigher.
Kcb. 1895 S. R. Crockett Men of the Moss-Hags xxiii.:
And the corp-cannles lowe i' the bogs.
(2) ne.Sc. 1883–86 D. Grant Chrons. of Keckleton (1888) 32:
I mean that the corp-lifters hae been payin' a visit to Keckleton Kirkyaird.

[O.Sc. corp, id., 1470 (D.O.S.T.); false sing. formed from Mid.Eng. corps, cf. Claw, n.2, for clause, Ho for hose, etc.]

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"Corp n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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