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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAP, v.2, n.3 Also papp, pawp (Abd. 1825 Jam.), paup-; paip. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. pop. See P.L.D. § 54.

Sc. forms:Gsw. 1987 James Kelman Greyhound for Breakfast (1988) 178:
Then Gordon said, A dozen cardboard boxes Brian. You could've papped them straight into the wardrobe and shut the door A couple of days later and that'd be that, you're past the post; sitting there with the feet up, a nice few quid in the tail.
Gsw. 1999 Anne Donovan in Moira Burgess and Donny O'Rourke New Writing Scotland 17: Friends and Kangaroos 35:
The place is fulla weans, screechin at their pals ower the racket. Two boys are leppin in fae the side till big Alex blaws his whistle and threatens tae pap them oot.
Ayr. 1999:
Pap it in the letter box. They pap ye aff the island if ye've nae accommodation.

Sc. usages: I. v. 1. tr. or intr. with on. To touch or strike lightly and smartly, to tap, rap, knock (Ayr. 1930; ne.Sc., Ags., Lth. 1965). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. Hence pappie, n., a game resembling tig (m.Lth. 1958); n.combs. pap-the-bonnet, see 1825 quot.; poppie-dabbie. a Norwegian harrow, consisting of a series of revolving spikes (m.Lth. 1965). Cf. Nickie-dobbie, id.Peb. 1702 C. B. Gunn Linton Church (1912) 84:
Mary Brown never saw anything betwixt them except his “popping her when she was lying on the lint rig.”
Bwk. 1801 “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 43:
A gruesome camsheugh carle came by, Wha gently pap'd me on the cheek.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
Pop-the-bonnet. A game, in which two, each putting down a pin on the crown of a hat or bonnet, alternately pop on the bonnet till one of the pins crosses the other; then he, at whose pop or tap this takes place, lifts the stakes.
Slk. 1832 Hogg Tales (1874) 92:
She [a sheep] popped her master on the forehead.
wm.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
The pappin o' the big hailstones on the window.
s.Sc. 1885 W. Scrope Salmon Fishing (1898) 209:
I poppit the shouther o' the nowtherd callant.
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff xxii.:
A' day ye're pappin' on the fore-door o' a cairt.
em.Sc. 1912 W. Cuthbertson Dykeside Folk 152:
You'd a hard ma stick pap, papin' awa' as I was comin' alang.

2. tr. To beat, drub, belabour, chastise (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Bnff., Per. 1903 E.D.D.). Vbl.n. pappin, -an, paipin, the action of beating, a whipping, drubbing (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 122).Lnk. 1822 W. Watson Poems (1877) 86:
An' recommend, without a scruple, The stuff that's pappet wi' the souple.
wm.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
He got a guid pappin for his pains.
Abd. 1882 T. Mair John o' Arnha's Latter-day Exploits 35:
Till brandishin my stick I papps The nearest scoundrel's skull to shaups.
Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken ii.:
Mony's the sair paipin' she's gi'en me.
Abd. 1903 E.D.D.:
The maister pappet's a' roun'.

3. (1) To aim or impel (an object), to throw, shoot (a missile) (Edb. 1903 E.D.D.; ne. and m.Sc. 1965). Comb. pap-at-the-king, n., a game in which stones etc. are thrown at a target.Sc. 1715 Lochlomond Expedition 28:
We were still papping shots on the foresaid hill.
Lnk. 1827 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 52:
Pappin' it at Donald [he] hit him as fairly on the nose.
Lnk. 1866 G. Mills Beggar's Benison II. xxxiii.:
Undergoing the ordeal of exposure [in the pillory] while “papped at”, by the populace, with rotten eggs.
wm.Sc. 1888 Anon. Archie MacNab 76:
A bit o' clay which micht be . . . divided into sma' bits to play the game o' “pap at the king” wi'.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 59:
Would ye daur to pap yer snawba's at me?
Abd. 1903 E.D.D.:
Fat are ye pappin' at?
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie xvii.:
Wee roond hard sweeties, fine for pappin' at the folk in front.
Sc. 1925 “Domsie” Poems for Children:
Stanes were pappit at her moo'.

(2) to strike with a missile, “pepper”, pelt (Ags. 1965).Fif. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy v.:
They pappit ane anither wi proverbs juist like skule laddies wi' snawba's.
Lnk. 1895 A. G. Murdoch Readings I. 128:
Let's try a shot at the “Lang Rifle Range.”. . . I'm itchin' to “pap” the bull's-eye.
Arg. 1912 N. Munro Ayrshire Idylls (1935) 305:
What you want's a pen-gun and a wheen peas to pap sparrows wi'.

4. intr. To fall or drop with a quick, light sound, “plop”.Edb. 1791 MS. per Edb.3:
For down the sweat is frae me pappin', Like auld field pease.
Ayr. 1803 A. Boswell Works (1871) 11:
The first, a Captain till his trade, . . . March'd round the barn and by the shed, And pap'd on his knee.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 372:
To let anything fall lightly, is to let it pap.
Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rhymes 93:
Pappin' down my cheeks like rain The saut tears ran.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. ii.:
What did she do, think ye? pappit clean owre in a faint.
Lnk. 1878 W. Penman Echoes 119:
He pappet on his bended knee.

5. Combs. and deriv.: †(1) pap-in, n., a drink composed of light ale and oatmeal with a small quantity of whisky or brandy added (Sc. 1818 Sawers). Also reduced or corrupt forms pap (Lth. 1966), pauper; (2) pappin, ppl.adj., occasional, casual, turning or popping up by chance. Cf. Eng. popping, of a desultory fusillade; (3) pap-oot, n., a running out of supplies, prob. a mistake for cap-out, see Cap, n., 5. (6).(1) Sc. 1748 Smollett Roderick Random vii.:
A liquor called pop-in, composed by tossing a quartern of brandy into a quart of small beer.
Sc. 1767 Boswell In Search of a Wife (Pottle 1957) 74:
Towards the end of the evening we got rum in gills and took a papin, all the time eating bread and cheese.
Slg. 1788 R. Galloway Poems 9:
Ye batchelors wha loo'e a chappin, And marry'd men that stand by pap-in.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 109:
There will, no doubt, be an uncommon clatter . . . amang the members of the pap-in clubs that forgether in the Water-Wynd.
Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 273:
A “gang o' pap-in” was the order, which meant a wee gill o' whisky, a chappin o' yill, and a little oatmeal in a saucer; and, with the aid o' a teaspoon, . . . they stirred up a mixture o' whisky and meal. It was a deceiving sort of drink: while it raised the heart it glazed the een.
Hdg. 1883 J. Martine Reminisc. 38:
“Tippeny,” so called from being sold at twopence the pint, was often drunk with whisky, which, with a little oatmeal mixed in a tankard, was called a “pauper”, a drink now quite extinct.
Ags. 1896 J. Stirton Thrums 41:
A gill o' pap wi' a bottle o' ale an' a biscuit.
Slk. 1899 Border Mag. (Aug.) 157:
"Poppin's," as practised in the old days are now obsolete.
(2) Abd. 1900 Weekly Free Press (8 Dec.):
Wull there be nae other bit poppin' job when I am at it?
(3) Abd. 1911 Ib. (20 Feb.):
“A clean pap oot”, as the beadle rather mournfully described the sacramental ceremony where the “greybeard” gave out, and the communicants seemed thirsty.

6. To take a drop of liquor, to dram or tipple. Cf. 5. (1) and II. 3. below.Sc. 1899 W. Harvey Sc. Life 330:
We papped away and did not go to church at all.

II. n. 1. A quick, light touch, a tap, rap; a swift blow (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 34). Also in Eng. dial.; specif. in the game of Stand Bit or Call Ball, a sort of ritual penalty or forfeit, see 1897 quot. and Stand. Hence in phr. to gie ane his paps, to administer punishment, retribution, “what-for”.Edb. 1826 M. & M. Corbett Odd Volume 162:
But the beast wadna mind her, for he had gotten twa three gude paps on the nose, which made him furious.
Sc. 1851 G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 109:
Ilka pap wi' the shool on the tap o' the mool, Wad forbid her frae comin' to cure me.
Sc. c.1870 R. Browning Hist. Golf (1955) 22:
Some will play the rocket shots And some the putting paps, boys.
Sth. 1897 E. W. B. Nicholson Golspie 122:
She holds her hand against the wall while each girl hits her hand three times with the ball. This curious punishment is called “paps”.
Abd. 1903 E.D.D.:
I'll gie [ye] yer paps for that.
Abd. 1957:
Ye'll get a pap on 'e lug!

2. (1) The sound made by such, a tapping noise, a pop; specif. in 1736 quot. a breaking of wind. Phr. to play pap, to make a small, popping sound, to plop.Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 76:
When the lady lets a pap, the messan gets a knap.
Gsw. 1909 J. J. Bell Oh! Christina! 10:
I've been watchin' the tears comin' oot yer e'en an' playin' pap on the paper.

(2) An impediment in speech, a stammer (Ork. 1929 Marw.).

3. A minute quantity of a substance, a speck, dot, particle, drop (Uls. 1924 W. Lutton Montiaghisms 31).Fif. 1868 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxviii.:
Gin Mary Ann chance to lat a pap o' soot fa' into the kail pat.
Sc. 1899 W. Harvey Sc. Life 330:
We will just have one single pap, then you said you would stand your pap, and the innkeeper said we would take his pap.

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"Pap v.2, n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



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