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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GEBBIE, n. Also gebby, gaebie, gibbie, -y, gaeppie, gjebbi, ¶gebb.

1. The crop of a fowl (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ags.18 (gibbie, gaebie), Fif.14, Knr.1 (gaebie) 1952).Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 20:
I mind fu' weel we lighted here, An' gat our gebbies cramm'd wi' bear.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 62:
There's a fine young goose . . . wi' a pudding in its gebbie, and apple sauce at his side, like a weel tocher'd lass.
Ags. 1898 J. T. Boyle Spectre Maid 79:
The auld window sill, Where you aft, last winter, Your gebbie did fill.
Fif. 1909 Colville 125:
The young “gorbets” were fed on crowdie till their “gaebies” if not their nebs, cried “Hold! enough!”.
em.Sc.(a) 1992 Sheila Douglas ed. The Sang's the Thing: Voices from Lowland Scotland 195:
So I got set to and I cooked the partridges and whatever else there was to cook and it went up the stair. When the plates came back down again, there was wee tickies o' corn and grass on the side of the plates. I'd forgotten to take the gebbie oot! The partridge's crop.

2. The stomach of man; rarely, the breast, the bosom.Sc. 1775 Weekly Mag. (9 Feb.) 209:
His waefu' gebbie is a plague, For aught I ken he'd eat a stag.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xi.:
The sair pangs they maun thole, wham cruel fate condemns to gang aboot their daily occupations wi' the haill contents o' Cupid's quiver stickin' i' their gebbies.
Ags. 1911 Rymour Club Misc. I. 54:
Playing with a Child — Broo brenty . . . Nose numpy, Chin chumpy, Gebby wurry, Gebby wurry . . . (Touching the parts indicated, then tickling the bosom, or “Gebby”). [Known to Fif.15 1918.]
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 66:
Lat me mak' some supper . . . Ma gebbie's gynauvin'.

3. The mouth of a bird or man (Per., Fif. 1954); the throat (Ags.18 1954). Hence gebbiefu', a mouthful.Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 84:
Fisher-Willie and the lairds . . . wash't their gebbies . . . In sparklin' jaws o' claret.
Clc. 1860 J. Crawford Doric Lays 126:
And while I can get ony moolin's or barley, Ye'll no want a gebbiefu', pretty Pease Charley.
Edb. 1881 W. Watt Sketches 7:
An' whenever they cheep oot wi' hunger or cauld, Robin stuffs their wee gebbs wi' a worm.
Slg. 1885 A. Murray Poems 92:
Save where th' farmer, cruel an' stern, Raises his gun, An' for a gebby-fou o' corn Wad shoot ye doon!
Edb. 1975:
Shut your gebbie, hold your tongue, shut up!

4. A (horn) spoon (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 183, gaeppie, 1914 Angus Gl., gjebbi; Bnff.6 1916, gibbie; Abd. 1923 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie, App. 215; Ork. 1929 Marw., (horn-) gibby).

[Prob. a variant dim. form of Gab, n.1, 2.: cf. P.L.D. § 49. (1). Cf. also Gael. geuban, crop, gizzard. For I.Sc. forms s.v. 4., cf. Gep.]

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"Gebbie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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