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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

PURPIE, n.2 Also purpy. Given by N.E.D. as purslane, Portulaca, with 16th-c. references (see note), but purslane is very rare in Scot. and the comb. water-purpie is applied to the brooklime, Veronica beccabunga, which is very common and was much used as a salad and for medicinal purposes (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Sc. 1700 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 277:
For 4 drap of purpie, for 4 drap of clarie . . . 3s. 0d.
Sc. 1772 Scots Mag. (May 1934) 146:
O, wha'll buy my dainty well-carses, Water-purpy and saleds a fouth.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xviii.:
Cresses or water-purpie, and a bit ait-cake, can serve the Master for breakfast.

[O.Sc. purpie, from 1568, id. N.E.D. compares O.Fr. porpie, purslane, from Lat. pulli pes, colt's foot. This assumes a transference of meaning if the suggested definition of brooklime, made above, is correct. But the word may in fact be an extended meaning of Purpie, n.1, from the purple colour of the latter flower, as Jam. suggests.]

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"Purpie n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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