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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

SUCCAR, n., v. Also suckar, -er, sukar, sukker; succer, -or, -re; soukar. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. sugar. The forms shuggar [′ʃʌgər], suggar [′sʌgər] are also found as survivals of 18th c. Eng. (Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Siptember 8), shuggar; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 265; I., e. and wm.Sc. 1971). [′sʌkər]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Also attrib. Phr. to hae one and sugar, to be tipsy.Sc. 1772 Scots Mag. (May 1934) 146:
Wha'll buy neeps like succar! wha'll buy neeps!
Ayr. 1786 Burns Scotch Drink ix.:
Just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in, An' gusty sucker.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 34:
Het-pints to warm the cauldrife mou, An' buns an' succar-cake.
Ayr. 1821 Scots Mag. (April) 352:
Their succar notes soocht awa alang the how o' the glens.
Ags. 1826 A. Balfour Highland Mary I. iii.:
I see Schihallion rising like a sucker leaf.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 71:
Did ye pit succor i' the brose, Goodwife?
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 41:
Whenever he had one and sugar, . . . and that was owre aften for himsel'.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 148:
Cadging about the track-pats, pouries an' succar-bowls.
Per. 1897 C. R. Dunning Folk-Lore 5:
Steamin' jougs o' toddy an' succer-bread.
Abd. 1905 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 40:
In vain did Baubie declare that she had nae succar.

Special combs. and derivs.: (1) succreali, see Sugarallie; (2) sucker bisket, a thin cake or wafer of the crisp sponge order, baked with sugar on top (Sc. 1850 Mrs. Dalgairns Cookery 302); (3) sugar-bool, a round sweet of the boiling kind, often striped in various colours. Gen.Sc. Comb. sugar-bool tartan, a variegated and rather garish check pattern of cloth (Edb. 1956); (4) sugar-box, a sugar-caster (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 76). Obs. in Eng.; (5) sugar doddle, ¶doodle, = (3) (Slg., Fif., Lth., Lnk. 1971). See Doddle, n., 3.; (6) sugar piece, a slice of bread buttered and sprinkled with sugar (n.Sc., Per., Kcb. 1971). See Piece, 2.; (7) succar-saps, bread-sops sweetened with sugar. Obs. in Eng.; (8) shuggar stane, quartz, a lump of quartz (Sh. 1914); (9) sugar-tap, = (3); (10) suggar-wark, a sugar factory; (11) sugarie, -y, shugg(e)rie, (i) adj., as in Eng. Comb. shuggrie Willie, a young gull, whose plumage is speckled as if sprinkled with brown sugar (Mry. 1895 Harvie-Brown and Buckley Fauna Mry. II. 216); (ii) n., = (10).(2) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 129:
In wine the sucker biskets soom As light's a flee.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xlvi.:
My people were wont to go to great lengths at their burials and dealt round short-bread and sugar-biscuit.
(3) Edb. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 24:
Feedin' them wi' butter-bakes, Snaps, an' sugar-bools.
Abd. 1867 W. Anderson Rhymes 26:
In her pouch she carried sugar bools.
Ags. 1886 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 2:
Candy rock an' sugar-bools.
Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. Hermiston vi.:
She put a “sugar-bool” in her mouth.
s.Sc. 1915 Border Mag. (May) 120:
A glass bottle of peppermints and another of “sugar bools.”
Fif. 1939 St Andrews Cit. (18 March) 4:
If ye've no got ony gundy Hae ye ony sugar-bools?
(4) Sc. 1747 Nairne Peerage Evid. (1874) 81:
Silver milk pott, suggar box.
(5) Fif. 1909 J. C. Craig Sangs o' Bairns 127:
The faurdens were fair barter for A “sugar-doodle” to ye.
(6) Gall. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy iii.:
Smilin' bonnily as if somebody had gi'en her a sugar piece.
Edb. 1997:
Ah hatit suggar pieces when Ah wis a bairn! An noo the thought o it makes ma taes curl.
(7) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 210:
Quhen in came Robin Redbreast, Wi' succar-saps and wyne, O.
Edb. 1897 P. H. Hunter J. Armiger 49:
She wadna ha' been brocht up on sugar-saps.
(8) Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 106:
A grate roylock o' a shuggar stane.
(9) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 14:
Nanny Blackmann's shop, fu' o' aipples and tablet, sugar-taps.
(10) Sc. 1711 Edb. Ev. Post (9–11 Aug.):
At the Suggar work at Leith.
Gsw. 1736 J. McUre View Gsw. 282:
A joynt Stock for carrying on a Sugar-work.
(11) (ii) Sc. 1710 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1842) I. 108:
The Sugarie, in the Gallowgate, Glasgow.
Gsw. 1740 Session Papers, Petition J. Murdoch (17 June 1755) 9:
Those tenements of land, commonly called the West Sugary of Glasgow.

2. As an expression of endearment: sweet one (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., 1933 J. Nicolson Hentilagets 17, sukker). Combs.: sukkrabord, -burd, sweet child (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)). See Burd, n.1; sukkra-caddie, sweet lamb. See Caddie, n.2 Sukkra appears to be an adj. form = succarie, sugary.Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 100:
You my sonsy sucker Jean, The best o' ony.
Sh. 1893 Sinclair MS. 2:
Weel Kirstan, my sukkra-caddie.
Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 26:
O' sweet, sweet, hinney an sukker! I's' tak dy haand in mine.
Sh. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 230:
“Hits me ain sukkraburd,” murmured the doting mother to her little one.

II. v. As in Eng. Ppl.adj. suckert, -ed, shuggart, sprinkled with sugar; fig. fed with sweet things, pampered, spoilt, of a child. Liter.Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 25:
An only wean, a suckered gaste, and spoiled from the first.
Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin' 53:
Aye crame wi' his parritch an' his shuggart piece foreby.
Sc. 1913 H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ iii. xii.:
Ye'll no fin' it sae, e'en apiest ye seek oot the maist suckert.

[O.Sc. sucker, sugar, c.1475, schugger, 1631. The form and history suggest immediate borrowing from Mid. Du. suker, itself from Fr. sucre.]

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"Succar n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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