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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

PEEVER, n.1 Also peevor, peaver (w.Sc. 1900 R. C. Maclagan Games Arg. 135), peiver; pavor (Per. 1910 Scotsman (9 Sept.)). The flat stone or counter used in the game of hop-scotch (Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) P. 27, peiver, 1865 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 57; m.Sc., Uls. 1965); gen. in pl., the game itself (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.; m. and s.Sc. 1965). Also attrib. Derivs. pe(e)veral(l), -lal, id.; peevery, in comb. peevery beds, the chalked pattern of squares on which the game is played. See quots. and Beds, Pallall, Pitch, Pot. Phr. to lift one's peever, fig., to withdraw from a contest or argument, to take oneself off in a huff, resign one's claim, submit, “opt out” (w.Lth. 1946). [′pi:vər]Gsw. 1856 J. Strang Gsw. Clubs 218:
The young misses indulged in scoring the flagstones with their peevors, for the purpose of playing at pal-lall.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls o' Hame 53:
Yer jumpin' rapes and peveralls she flings oot o' her gate.
Arg. 1900 R. C. Maclagan Games Arg. 134:
Pieces of broken pottery are by Lowlanders called Lalies, and the broken bottom of a bowl, a laly, is also called a peaver.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie vii.:
She canna hae mony wee lassies like hersel' to play the peever wi'.
Sc. 1921 Edb. Evening News (13 June) 4:
Chalking and disfiguring the street playing “peevers”.
Sc. 1936 Glasgow Herald (10 Nov.):
Eight was the customary number of beds, and these often consisted of seven parallelograms, with the seventh divided into two and numbered 7 and 8. The peever was, in turn, thrown into each of these beds, . . . then kicked by hopping on one foot. Care was taken that neither the foot nor the peever landed on a chalked line. . . . Our game of hopscotch was very different to the English hopscotch. It was a spiral “scotched,” or scratched, on soft ground with a hard stone. The spiral was divided into beds, each of which was only large enough to contain the player's foot. The beds were not numbered, and the centre of the spiral was called “home”. Any player who had hopped “home” without putting her foot on the line was entitled to initial one of the beds and, in that bed, she alone was permitted to “rest” by placing both feet on the ground.
wm.Sc. 1957 Ib. (2 March) 3:
To trace out peevery beds on the only flat bit of ground in sight.
Edb. 1958 J. W. Oliver Peevers 2:
And the Peevers they skiffed frae ae square to anither.
Dmf. 1962 Stat. Acc.3 147:
Peevors is still played on traditional stances.
Sc. 1976 Roderick Watson True History on the Walls 29:
so I never skipped at hopscotch peevers beddies in Aberdeen but fell for Rommel at the bottom of the garden ...
wm.Sc. 1979 Robin Jenkins Fergus Lamont 8:
The girls were playing peaver on beds chalked on the pavement right in front of the closemouth.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 144:
Bryce had never looked on him as anything but his father's bothyman, but the young ones prattled to him and had him play peever beds or peerie-tops and whips whenever his work was done.
wm.Sc. 1984 Liz Lochhead Dreaming Frankenstein 98:
I like to watch my little sister
playing hopscotch, admire the neat hops-and-skips of her,
their quick peck,
never-missing their mark, not
over-stepping the line.
She is competent at peever.
Gsw. 1987 Matt McGinn McGinn of the Calton 22:
As children we played in that street at 'Shops' and Release the Box and Kick the Can and cards and rounders and boxing and singing and peever and moshie and kicking doors after we'd tied them with string to some other neighbous's door and at guesses and at all kinds of races and we had to be good runners from the police who haunted the street.
Gsw. 1991 John Burrowes Mother Glasgow 196:
'He needs a bulldozer this yin,' said Connors.
Riley shook his head, however. 'No ... leave him. I've got something lined up for him. And it'll make your bulldozer look like a game of peever.'
Arg. 1992:
When ye played the peever did ye no get a break when ye pit the stone down?
Dmb. 1992:
All the girls played peever on the pavement.
Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 5:
When I was a child in Port Glasgow the neighbours was out playing with the children, peever beds and everything, even the hoops, and piries; everybody joined in.
Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 8:
It was great if somebody that worked in Shanks made you a real peever out of marble.
Gsw. 1998 Alan Spence Way to Go (1999) 28:
Padma's two wee sisters played peever on the pavement, hop and skip, skite a puck - the lid off a tin of shoe polish.

[Orig. unknown. ? Cf. Peever,n.2]

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"Peever n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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