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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STAP, stoap, v.2, n.2 Sc. forms and usages of Eng. stop  (stap Ags., Gsw., Ayr.; stoap Abd., Edb., Ayr. 2000s). See P.L.D. § 54. [stɑp, stop]

I. v. A. Forms: Also pa.t., pa.p. stappit, -et, †stapt; stap(p)ed, -id.wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 25:
Hoi, Ah niver heard sich bliddy nonsense.
You're a daft pair o' articles, ah don't know!
Ah let ye fight, tae see hoo faur ye'd go.
Hoi! Stoap Valère.
Rnf. 1986 John Mitchell Class Struggle 74:
"Ye canny stoap me comin', surr," Eliot was bawling in return: "It's a' peyed fur, an' ye canny stoap me!"
Sc. 1991 Kenneth Fraser in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 101:
Suppose, ae morn, ye got a muckle stoun,
Eneuch tae mak ye think your hert wad stap:
The heidline in your paper, at the tap,
Was: 'Embro Castle tae be dingit doun.'
Slg. 1991 Janet Paisley in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 130:
Ah said, jist stoap right there,
an ah leaned ower the coonter an telt her tae stuff it,
ah'd git the cash aff her man next time he fancied a bit.
m.Sc. 1995 Scotland on Sunday 9 Jun 22:
"So, four seats fur Metz then, son, no troublemakers now?" "Oh, no way. Do you want references?" "Naw - just as long as I can go 'stoap that!' and youse'll stoap!"
Arg. 1998 Angus Martin The Song of the Quern 56:
Twa brithers on a Mey moor
an no a leevin sowl near
cuttin peats withoot a care
layin yerds o bink bare.
They stapped fir tea an crack, an wan
scrieved a not wi a bleckened han
an pushed it deep as he could sen
it through the moss on a cromack's en.

B. Usages: 1. tr. To push, thrust, cram, press, shove or poke (a thing or person) in(to) something (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 40; Ork. 1929 Marw.). Gen.Sc.; to put in (a plant), set it in the ground (ne.Sc. 1971). To stap out, to poke, squeeze or gouge out. Also ppl.adj. stappit.Kcd. 1699 Black Bk. Kcd. (1843) 98:
She confessed that she staped in the two skins in a hole beside the fire.
Sc. 1736 Mrs McLintock Receipts 8:
Take the Head of the Turkey with a Piece of the Neck and stop the Neck into the Lid.
Sc. 1757 Smollett Reprisal II. i.:
Deel stap out your een!
Edb. 1782 N.B. Weekly Mag. (13 Nov.) 67:
Now, Mr Printer, gin you please To stop poor Coll in orie nook.
Gall. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 167:
Auld Satan cleekit him by the spaul', And stappit him i' the dub o' hell.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Siege Rxb. (1874) iv.:
Gang an' stap a wisp i' that bole.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds xxxviii.:
I dibbled the yearth and stappit it in there.
Fif. 1867 J. Morton C. Gray 58:
Stap doon the dottle.
Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 109:
A puir paceable kind o' crater, wi' no muckle wit, edder nettural or stappit-in.
e.Lth. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 263:
Deep in the kite soon his lang snout he stappit.
Rxb. 1917 Kelso Chronicle (7 Sept.) 3:
Hae Jean, stap that in yer pouch.
Lnk. 1927 G. Rae Where Falcons Fly v.:
I wad stap ye noo whare ye hae stapped yer claes.
Abd. 1962 Huntly Express (23 Feb.):
Look at the posts man, they're only stappit in.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 23:
Frae ootbye, it hid lookit huge; inower, it wis mair like a packet o shortbreid, a crush o passengers stappit thegither wioot a chink o licht atween them. Noah's Ark wad hae bin mair comfy.
Abd. 2004:
E room wis fair stappit at e concert.
Edb. 2004:
We couldnae get intae the pub - it wis stappit.

2. tr. To stuff, pack, cram, fill tightly (a receptacle with something) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 40; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). Gen.Sc.; to stuff, in cookery. Deriv. stapper, a pipe-stopper. Comb. stap(p)-fu, crammed full, chock-a-block (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), phs. orig. a different word (cf. Norw. stappfull, id. See note and Stap, n.3).Abd. 1733 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 31:
When with his tail he stap'd his mou'.
Sc. 1736 Mrs McLintock Receipts. 9:
Take Muir-Fowl or Partridges, take grated Bread and Spice, and a little Sugar and Butter and stop their Bellies.
Slg. 1788 R. Galloway Poems. 10:
The meal kist was bienly stappet.
Kcb. 1793 R. Heron Journey II. 228:
On Hallowe'en and on some other evenings, they and the Gyar-Carlins are sure to be abroad, and to stap those they meet and are displeasd with, full of butter and beare awns.
Sc. 1824 R. Chambers Poet. Remains (1883) 21:
Come, rax me a stapper, the cutty I'll rype!
Edb. 1864 Recent Sc. Poets (Murdoch 1883) 272:
Wi' sheep heids an' trotters it's aye stappit fu'!
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 151:
Stappin the lugs o' the folk wi' lees.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 8:
There wus an awfu crood to hear him, an the kirk wus stappit tae the door.
Rnf. 1935 L. Kerr Woman of Glenshiels xiv.:
As long as you can hide ahint a book and stap yerself wi' the nonsense that's printed in them.
Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 40:
Stap they sacks as fu' as ye can.
Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 23:
Wi' rucks big an' bonnie the cornyaird's stappit.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 30:
The loons ye daunlit on yer knee
Are young men noo -
Near full the room!
My nest's stap-fu
O gorblies, big as me.

Hence (1) stappin, vbl.n., stuffing, in cookery (Ags. 1971), specif. for filling fishes' heads (Abd. 1825 Jam., Abd. 1971); (2) stappit, ppl.adj., (i) stuffed, replete, gorged (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971). Also of things. Combs. stappit haddie, -heid(ie) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai., Bnff., Abd. 1971), -saster (see quots.); (ii) stiff in manner, reserved, taciturn (Ork. 1971).(1) Bnff. 1922 Banffshire Jnl. (12 Dec.) 2:
Twa-three weel bile't hens, wi' plenty o' oatmeal stappin'.
Abd. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 28:
For there's naething they like better Than the stappin' o' a hen.
(2) (i) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 128:
Yet seenil do they ken the rift O' stappit weym.
Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
Ye are as stiff as a stappit saster.
Abd. 1831 J. Logan Sc. Gael (1876) II. 133:
A favourite winter dish is “stappit heads”, or boiled haddocks, the heads being filled with a mixture of oatmeal, onions and pepper.
e.Sc. 1855 J. Grant Yellow Frigate viii.:
A dish of stappit-haddie (i.e., a haddock stuffed with oatmeal, onions, and pepper). broiled before the fire, for breakfast next morning.
Abd. 1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm ii.:
A' the ill dreams that ever gathered aboot a sin-stappit bowster.
Abd. 1951 Fraserburgh Herald (12 June):
“Stappit heedies” — the heads of cods cleaned and stuffed with meal and onions then fried.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 136:
"Weel weel, thoo're here noo, an' neun the warse, an' wae kin start the supper. Efter thoo're stappid theesel o' turkey an' pudden thoo'll forget all this dirt aboot ghosts."
Bnff. 1967 Banffshire Advert. (27 July) 10:
He quidna pit awa three pies athoot bein' stappit.
Ayr. 1991:
The cupboard is stappit fu.
(ii) Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 193:
Sheu wis cheust on the stappid side, an hidno much tae say.

3. Used absol.: (1) to push, stuff.Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 65:
He reeve his breeks atween the feet, I'm sure — I saw him stapin' at his sark like stoure.

(2) to cram or gorge oneself with food, eat gluttonously, gormandise (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971).Rxb. 1917 Kelso Chronicle (16 Feb.) 2:
Ryvin' an' stechin' an' stappin' an' eatin'.

4. tr. (1) As in Eng., to block up, close (an opening), obstruct, plug (Sc. 1808 Jam.: Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; I. and n.Sc., Ags., Per., Ayr., Kcb. 1971). Hence stappin, a blocking-up, stappit, blocked, choked, stuffed with the cold.Sc. 1736 Crim. Trials Illustrative of “H. Midlothian” (1818) 42:
The deponent put the table and some chairs to the back of the door to stap up the gap.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 229:
Now sair ye lie, says Maister Gout, But yet I winna stap your throat.
Mry. 1824 J. Cock Hamespun Lays 120:
Ye stapt your lugs an' wad na hear.
Bnff. 1872 W. Philip It'ill a' Come Richt 127:
He clamb up to the tap o' my chumlie ae nicht, an' stappit it wi' divots.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 38:
The reek-hol', the licht hol', an' the cat -hol' o' the hoose hed a' been hard stappid.
Kcd. 1890 J. Kerr Reminiscences I. 95:
I gi'e the holes a stappin', O.
Edb. 1916 J. Fergus The Sodger 18:
Though the wife gi'ed him a nicht-kep, he got a' stapp'd-up an' bleary.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 21:
The brander's stappeet up!
Arg.1 1930:
I tellt the factor that the jaw box wuz stappit, an' it's stappit yet.
Abd. 1949 W. R. Melvin Poems 43:
Ma nose is stappit wi' the caul'.

(2) to tuck or pack (bedclothes) around (ne.Sc., Ags. 1971).Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 53:
Is yer back richt stappit?

(3) of death: to stop (the breath), choke, stifle, suffocate, end life. Also transf. Obs., in Eng. Hence stap-breath, fig. = Death personified.Sc. 1714 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 17:
Shame faw ye'r Chandler-Chafts, O Death; For stapping of John Cowper's breath.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Death & Dr Hornbook ix.:
Ye're maybe come to stap my breath.
m.Lth. 1876 J. Aikman Poems 202:
Something in the bosom swallin Near staps my breath.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 8:
Th' election stepit in and stap't the breath O' twa or three o' the Banff partizans.
Mry. 1849 A. Blackhall Lays 51:
Till aul' stap-breath gie's ilk ane's meed.

5. tr. and intr., as in Eng.: to stop, bring or come to a halt, remain (Ags., Fif. 1971); to hesitate. Phr. to stop on, to wait for. See On, prep., 2. (4).Sc. 1721–8 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 161, II. 51:
The Dutch, say they, will strive your Plot to stap. . . . Hermes obeys, and staptna short.
Slg. 1788 R. Galloway Poems 12:
Stap, Robin, shure ye're wrang in part.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 41:
But soon cam in, an' stapt her study, A silly faichless beggar body.
Sc. 1833 Loudon Hill in Child Ballads No. 205. vii.:
There is na ane amang them a' That in his cause will stap to die.
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 66:
Willie never grudges tae stop a bitty on him ony gaet.
Uls. 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings 29:
Ye'll forget tae stap whun ye're fu'.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 59:
I felt as my hert wad stap.
Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (October) 19:
Ye'd best stap here the nicht.

II. n. 1. A stop, halt, rest.Sc. 1764 Scots Mag. (April) 196:
But wha is she that rins sae fast? Her feet nae stap they find.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 27:
Enough o' a' this argie-bargie and debate -
Hoo can we pit a stoap tae this accursit mairrage?

2. The act of cramming or stuffing, of stopping up or blocking a hole, a surfeit (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 180; I., ne.Sc., Kcb. 1971).

3. A place to put odds and ends in, a “glory-hole” (Fif. 1971).

4. A kind of cork or stopper of a bottle.Edb. 1751 Caled. Mercury (15 Aug.):
The best long Corks at 2s the Gross . . . Rongs and Brewers Staps at 4d the Gross.

[O.Sc. stop, to push, press, cram, 1400, stap, a hold-up, 1542, to block up, 1596. There may poss. be some influence from O.N. stappa, to stamp, pound, Norw. stappe, to cram, pack. See Stap, n.3]

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



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