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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

GRUMPHIE, -Y, n., v. Also grumfie, -y; grumpy (Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Verses 20; Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Frae the Heather 149).

I. n. 1. A pig (Sh., n.Sc., Ags., Per., em.Sc.(b), wm., sm. and s.Sc. 1955), now mostly a child's word and also ‡a taboo term for pig in fishing communities. Also in n.Eng. dial. Also used as a call to pigs (Ayr.4 1928).Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween xx.:
An' wha was it but Grumphie Asteer that night?
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 58:
Auld grumphie ga'e grunts three or four.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 212:
Wi' his mouth fu' o' strae, He to his den will gae; Grumphie is a prophet, wat weather we will hae.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Songs (1865) 405:
We've kye in the byre an' yauds in the stable, A grumphie sae fat that she hardly can stand.
Mry. 1872 W. H. L. Tester Poems 188:
While here, atween twa hedges hidden, A worthless wicht. Lie I, like grumphy on a midden.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 134:
The brushers . . . got him lying streekit oot on a bing of stanes by the roadside, playing a' the vauriations of an auld grumphie through his nose.
Fif. 1897 “S. Tytler” Witch-Wife i.:
Grumphies have strayed, and kye been ill.
Bnff. 1918 J. Mitchell Bydand 4:
A teem troch for the grumphie means a teem pigstye for me.
Ags. 1918 J. Inglis The Laird 11:
Just a wee swine's crue, wi' a grumphy in't.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 49:
Your grumphie's the fattest that ever was seen.
wm.Sc. 1988 Scotsman 22 Oct 5:
I knew that pig. His name was Grumphie, which is Scots for pig.
Per. 1990 Betsy Whyte Red Rowans and Wild Honey (1991) 85:
Mrs McPherson had killed a young grumphie and two fat hens, and although she had no gas or electricity they were now roasted to perfection.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Middleton in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of winning poems and stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 32:
The grumphy stoppit richt afore Mortlich, as nasty an aiblich as the kelpie hid ivver clappit een on.
Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 6:
And then the kye, easy efter the grumphies. And hens and geese
and the deuks cairtit in style.

2. “A spectre, a hobgoblin” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., grumfie).

3. The hog-score in Curling. A pun on hog = pig and Hog, n.1.Sc. 1850 Royal Caled. Curling Club Annual 205:
Not left to cool till the stones arrives at grumphy.

II. v. To grunt, like a pig (Mry.1, ‡Abd.27 1925; Ags. 1955).

[From Grumph, q.v.]

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"Grumphie n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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