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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.

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 20 May 2024 <>



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