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cowp (plural cowps)

  1. (Scotland, Northern Ireland, slang) A filthy and disgusting place.
    • 2004 August 17, west-ender, “West End Blues”, in uk.local.glasgow, Usenet:
      Ladies, please bring a supply of bog roll - Studio One is within the five star (!) Hilton hotel, but the bar itself is a cowp and you never know what to expect in the lavvies...
    • 2007, Christopher Brookmyre, Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks, →ISBN, page 191:
      As often is the case with brilliant but single-minded dusty old academics, his brain was a cathedral but his house was a cowp, something Sarah could vouch for, having visited a couple of times.
    • 2012, Martin Greig & Charles McGarry, The Road to Lisbon: A Novel, →ISBN:
      The Blarney Stone is a total cowp. The bar is made out of chipped Formica and the constant fug of cheap tobacco smoke just about masks the smell coming from the lavvy.
  2. (dialect) A reversal of fortune; An unexpected misfortune.
    • 1860, The Hallow-Isle tragedy, page 77:
      However, here's our young friend here never heard it, and it will be a treat to her, especially if what they say of young ladies in general be true, that the mischances and misadventures and cowps of us old bachelors are just marrow to their bones.
    • 1866, Sidney Gilpin, The Songs and Ballads of Cumberland:
      It shows man's want o' fore-seet truly, In not considering matters duly, And gives him monie ill-far'd cowps, Whea, gowk-leyke, luiks not 'fore he loups.
    • 1901, Checkmate: Monthly Chess Review - Volume 1, page 126:
      After that, whenever a player won of one who usually beat him, and we asked, "how did you manage it?" the ready reply was, "O, I come a cowp on him." Looking for and executing "cowps" was a source of much amusement at The Morphy.


cowp (third-person singular simple present cowps, present participle cowping, simple past and past participle cowped)

  1. To fall or tip over.
    • 1883, Alexander G. Murdoch, The Scottish Poets Recent and Living, page 194:
      He first manoeuvres them awhile, and then gets in a rage, Because he canna gar them fire nor han' to han' engage ; He grasps the warlike captain's ship, an' driving 't owre the tide, He scatters a' the foemen's ships an' cowps them on their side.
    • 1883, Dougal Graham & George Mac Gregor, Jockey and Maggy's courtship:
      So it happened one day as Tom went into the master's house, the wife was stooping into a big meal barrel to bring out some meal ; there he takes her by the feet and cowps her up into the barrel with her head down, and her bare backside upper-most ; then runs into the school, crying, " O ! master, master ! the deel's looking out of your meal stand wi' a fat face, and a black ill far'd mouth : yon's just auld nick and he be living."
    • 2015 July 12, Amy Muir, “Down the Front: T in the Park 2015 in Pictures – Sunday”, in The Skinny:
      An overnight deluge has added to the weekend's sogginess and a few early revellers cowp into the mud to varying degrees of hilarity.
    • 2016 March 16, Angeline King, “Could Irish fiction sound a bit less, well, English?”, in Irish Times:
      He trips and he cowps into the prickly thorns.