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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.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DRAP, n., v. Also draup, droap. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. drop. See also Drop, v. and n.1

I. n. Dims. drappie, -y, drap(p)ikie, drappykin (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 184); droppie.

1. As in Eng. = a small quantity of liquid or of semi-liquid food, but in Sc. reg. used before a n. with omission of the prep. of. Also used of solids. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.:
But we'll aye get a bit bread and a drap kale, and a fire-side, and theeking ower our heads.
Sc. 1999 Edinburgh Evening News 27 Mar 16:
He responded by saying he now maintains a clean sward by having a "wee drappie" of lawn sand always to hand.
Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale ii.:
She measured oot a' thing sae preceese, doon to the puckle o' sugar and drappie milk.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 58:
The tenant's swackened the latch
Wi a jeelip o Grassic Gibbon,
A swatch o Scott,
A drappie Stevenson
An lick an spit o
Ogston, Murray and Mackie
Fur gweed measur.
Edb. 1991 J. K. Annand in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 19:
There saw I pearls skailin
And draps o bluid sae reid.
What can my dream betoken?
- My dearie, are ye deid?
Edb. 1993:
Ah'll hae a wee drop sugar.
Edb. 1994:
Would ye like a wee drap mair cake?
Hdg. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes and Sk. 56:
In truth! the drap ink in her pen Seems frozen wi' distress o't.
Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems and Sk. 103:
A wee drap parritch, naething mair.

2. Specif. of intoxicating liquor. Very freq. in dims. drappie, droppie with humorous force. With def. art. = drink, intoxicants. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. xvii.:
Though she likes a drappie, I dinna think she would invent a lee, or carry ane.
Sc. 1991 Guardian 18 Oct :
Can you give us that whisky so we can give him a reviver. A wee drappie? C'mon just a wee one.
Sc. 1998 Herald 18 Aug 12:
"A dinner or supper of vendace, with other combinations of fish or fowl, is a feast for gods and men. They melt in the mouth as a sweet, and a wee drappie from the town cellars to wash it down is the height of gastronomic pleasure."
Sc. 2001 The People 30 Dec 8:
Scotch, naturally. The traditional thank-you to your first footer is a nip, tot, dram or wee drappie.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 17:
'Ye'll tak a wee dram for the new year.' And, as always on these occasions, Bella shook her head and replied,'Oh, just a wee droppie.'
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 19:
The tollman at the Brig o' Feugh, He like't the drappie weel.
Abd. c.1770–80 A. Watson Wee Wifeikie (1921) 6:
There was a wee wifeikie was coming frae the fair, She had got a little drapikie which cost her muckle care.
Fif. 1900 “S. Tytler” Jean Keir xiv.:
The laird would never grudge me a bit drappie when I stood in need o't for a cauld in my stamach.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller vi.:
He was unco fond o' the drappy.
Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chron. (27 May) 4/5:
A draup gude speerits.

Phrs.: (1) (wi') a drap(pie) in one's head, slightly intoxicated; (2) drap(pie) in the ee, id., see Ee, n., 3 (1).Sc. 1858 Sc. Haggis 49:
Jock was a gae throughither chiel when he got a drap in his head.
Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken 12:
Mony's the time he [pony]'s brocht Patey safe home, an' him wi' a drappie in's heid.

3. An obsolete Scots weight = 1/16 oz. Scots, 36 Scotch grains, 29.7 Troy grains. A Tron drop is 37.58 grains imperial Troy weight. See Tron.Sc. 1700 Acc. Bk. Sir J. Foulis (S. H. S.):
Feby. 6. my wife gave to doctor dundas for a silver possit dish weighing 31 unce 12 drap.
Sc. 1702 in Analecta Scot. (ed. Maidment 1837) II. 361:
A gold Nero, weighing ane unce and a drop.
Sc. 1757 R. Maxwell Pract. Husbandman 46:
In eight drop-weight of clover seed, if well chosen, there will be about 8000 good Seeds.
Sc. 1805 R. Forsyth Beauties Scot. I. 78:
Archers consider an arrow of from 20 to 24 drop weight to be the best for flight.
Rnf. 1728 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876–78) I. 124:
For three drops of silk.

4. Small shot, a pellet; esp. in comb. lead draps (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.17, Fif.10 1940).Sc. 1753 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 397:
The . . . gun . . . was charged with powder and small drops.
Sc. 1893 R. L. Stevenson Catriona xv.:
My grandsire gied Sandie a siller tester to pit in his gun wi' the leid draps.
Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 61:
He hit the paper, O 'twas bonny, Wi' ae lead drap.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xxv.:
I loaded with a wheen draps . . . and . . . went forward with the piece at full-cock.

5. The water which falls from the eaves of a house; hence “the eaves of a house; the line of raindrop from the eaves” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6; Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17, Kcb.10 1940). Also sheet drap, “sooty water from leaking thatch” (Cai.7 1940).Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Answer of a selfish cocklaird who was called to account for some act contrary to good neighbourhood: — “I can, and I wull do as I like inside my ain drap.”
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 226:
It's ill ta sit inonder drap, lat alane wi' under-watter.

Proverbial sayings: (1) there's a drap at ilka door, = no one is perfect (Bnff.2, Abd.4 1929); †(2) there's a drap i' the house, “there is some person in company who cannot be trusted, and . . . therefore others must be on their guard as to all that they say or do” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; cf. II. 4. (7).

6. The action of dropping, in phr. †drap o' the day, twilight, evening.Gall. 1870 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 155:
Come a' down to the yirding o' the lang blacksmith, I' the drap o' the day, when the harrows lowses.

7. Phrs.: (1) a drap's [of his] bluid ((a)kin), a drap o' blude, a blood-relation; gen. used with neg. (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 223; Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17, Fif.10 1940); (2) to have a drap at one's nose, to have some duty waiting to be performed, e.g. the paying of a debt, the speaker being unwilling to specify the nature of the duty (Bnff.2 1940; Abd.7 1925; Ags.17 1940).(1) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xiv.:
If your honour's sure ye are na a drap's bluid a-kin to a Campbell.
Ib. xviii.:
My mither's mither's third cousin was cousin to the Provost o' Dumfries, and he winna see a drap o' her blude wranged.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 82:
They're sometimes fitter freens 't's nae drap's bleed nor them 't's sibbest till's.
m.Sc. 1924 J. Buchan in Sc. Tongue 69:
She dried her tears and consoled herself as follows — “Aweel, aweel. He was a kind man, and he was the faither o' my bairns, but after a' he wasna a drap's bluid kin to me.”
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 171:
“You're not related to Mr Buchan,” said he. “Not a draps bluid,” said she.
Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption xx.:
It's verra gude o' you, nae doot, to mak' sic an offer, seeing ye're no a drap o' blude to the lad.
Dmf. 1822 Edb. Mag. (May) 636:
Weel, sirs, wha wou'd believe that Davie Hamilton was a drap's blood to auld Glencaple, the greedy graceless tyke.

8. See quot. Sh. c.1950 Trad. Sh. Scarves & Shawls 8:
The shawl is quickly knitted on large needles in a charming "hole" pattern. Shetlanders call the holes "drops", as they resemble dewdrops on the early morning heather.

9. In dim. drappie, a miscarriage, abortion. Abd. 1950:
She had a lassie an then a laddie - but she had a drappie in atween.

II. v.

Sc. forms of Eng. drop (Ags., Dmf. 2000s).Ags. 1994 Mary McIntosh in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 147:
I didnae think onything aboot it whan the letter drappit through the door.
Edb. 1993 Irvine Welsh Trainspotting (1994) 8:
He droaps a cotton ball intae the spoon n blaws oan it, before sucking up aboot 5mls through the needle, intae the barrel ay the syringe.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 4:
Hell's bells, if a neebor draps by fur tea
Or Missis asks visitors in for a wee swaree,
Where's the herm?
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 19:
Listen wean-brain. He disnae want a written apology. Jist drap it.

Sc. usages:

1. To drink, to tipple.Ayr. 1817 Ayrshire Misc. I. 53:
At night, when we were happy drapping, And a' the neighbours round us cracking.
Kcb. 1883 G. Murray Sarah Rae 48:
As toom's a whistle Jerry is And winna drap ava.

2. To stop, cease, freq. used impers. of rain (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.13 1940) or tr. of work (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 25; Slg.3, Kcb.9 1940; Ayr. 1949 (per Abd.27); Dmf. 1950 (per Fif.17)). Hence phr. drappin' time, time to cease work.Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 33:
We drop work at six o'clock. . . . I can't go out till it drops raining.
wm.Sc. 1842 Children in Trades Report II. i 7:
There are not six weeks in the whole year that they "drop" before half past seven p.m.
Wgt. 1939 J. McNeillie Wigtown Ploughman vi.:
Three blasts on the whistle told them it was “drappin' tim'.”
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Tales I. 123:
There's a rose in Kenmore's cap, — He'll steep it red in ruddie life's blood. Afore the battle drap.

3. To rain slightly, to drizzle; used impers. (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 223; Bnff.2, Abd.9, Kcb.10 1940). Hence (1) dropping, dripping; of weather: showery (Cai.9, Abd.15, Ags., Fif. (per Abd.27) 1949); also in Eng. dial.; (2) drappin' drouth, a day during a dry spell when there are occasional showers of rain (Mearns 3 1916; Ags.17, Fif.10 1940); cf. dreepin' drouth s.v. Dreep; (3) drappy, droppy, showery, drizzly, dripping (Sc. 1825 Jam.2, droppy; Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940). Also in n.Eng. dial.(1) Sc. 1834 H. Miller Scenes and Leg. (1850) 221:
One mild dropping season.
Mry. 1775 L. Shaw Hist. Mry. (1827) 198:
A misty May and a dropping June, Brings the Bonny Land of Moray aboon.
Rnf. 1816 A. Wilson Poems 80:
From every bush and every dropping tree.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) III. 181:
She's lady of Tungtakit; a fair inheritance — feeds six ewes in a dropping year.
Uls. 1910 C. C. Russell People and Lang. of Uls. 41:
It is just possible you will have some “droppin'” weather before you are many weeks in Ulster.
(3) Sc. 1834 Wilson in Blackwood's Mag. XXXV. 789:
It is dewy and droppy, and mild and misty.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 151:
A misty May an a drappy June Macks the crap come in soon.
Bnff. 1866 Bnffsh. Jnl. (2 Jan.) 3:
What kin' o' a spring — drappy or dry?
m.Lth. 1842 Children in Mines Report II. 456:
I draw on the road where the women are at work; it is very drappie, and their clothes get gai wet.

4. Phrs. and Combs.: (1) drappie-nosie-duff, a throw in a knock-out game of marbles in which the player stood directly above the ring and let the marble drop from his nose (Bnff. 1958 Banffshire Advertiser (11 Sept.) 9); (2) drap-ripe, adj., of fruit: dead ripe, ready to drop from ripeness (Ags.17 1940; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 184); also fig.; (3) drop (drappit) scone, a kind of soft round cake made from a batter dropped on a hot griddle, a crumpet (Sc. 1929 F. M. McNeill Sc. Kitchen 179, drop-; Ags.17 1940, drappit-); Gen.Sc.; (4) drap shot, an irregularity in weaving (Ayr. 1951). See Shot, n.1, 4; (5) to drap a dyke, to descend a wall by letting oneself down to the full stretch of the arms and then dropping (Ags.17, Fif.13 1940); cf. phr. s.v. Dreep, v., 4; (6) to drap glasses, to drop a portion of the white of an egg into a glass of water in order to foretell the future (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 190; Bnff.2 1940); cf. to cast eggs, — glasses s.v. Cast, v.; (7) to drap soot (see quot.); cf. I. 5. (2).(2) Sc. 1721–22 R. Wodrow Sufferings II. 141:
He was Drop-ripe for this Change.
m.Sc. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 38:
Drap-ripe the red strawberries hang to the view.
(3) Gsw. 1990 Ian McGinness Bannock 67:
'He'll be late for his work, will he not?'
'Thank you, Willie.'
'Maybe he has the day off.'
'Hey, Mr Weems....'
'And four drop scones.'
'Did you catch that mouse yet?'
Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 27:
There were scons wi' currants in them, drappit scons.
(6) Sh. 1956 Shetland News (20 Nov.):
One of the older members delighted everyone by "drappin' glesses." This is one of the old Shetland customs which is seldom heard about now-a-days.
(7) Ork. a.1912 J. Omond Ork. 80 Years Ago 9:
We can now understand the origin of the cautionary sentence, “I doot it's drappin soot,” which the gudewife may say to her visitor in a warning tone should there be any gossip going which she does not wish the children to hear. That phrase effectually stops the story till the youngsters are cleared out of the road. It evidently means “Take care.”

5. Vbl.n. and ppl.adj.: (1) dropping, in comb. †drapping pan, a pan used for catching the dripping from roasting meat, a dripping-pan; (2) drappit, (a) rare, occasional (Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940); (b) in comb. drappit egg, an egg poached in the gravy made from the liver of a fowl (Sc. 1827 “Mrs Dods” Manual 10), or in water (Abd.29 1950).(1) Abd. 1722 Abd. Jnl. N. and Q. VIII. 87:
23 May — For mending the draping pann and sume brew looms 14 shil.
Ags. 1712 in A. Jervise Land of the Lindsays (1853) App. 342:
Tuo brainders, a dropping pan.
Frf. 1738 Valuation (per Fif.1):
A drapping pan and a fourfoot.
(2) (a) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 41:
“Wiz there mony fouck i' th' kirk?” “Nae mony awa — a drappit ane here an' there.”
(b) Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet x.:
What think you of to-day at two o'clock — just a roasted chucky and a drappit egg?
Abd. 1753 Sc. N. and Q. (2nd Series) IV. 29:
Supper dishes. — Dropped eggs, Parsneep, Cold meat, etc.
Edb. 1811 H. Macneill Bygane Times 8:
On nice howtowdies, piping het, And drapit eggs, ilk fill'd his wame.

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"Drap n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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