DESCRIPTION: "My mailison's [curse is] on ye, Jock Robb"; you built your house next to mine and taught my children "to bob." "My blessing gae wi' ye, Jock Robb"; when you come you make us happy and "gar our blithe bottoms play bob!"
EARLIEST DATE: 1824 (Sharpe)
KEYWORDS: dancing nonballad children curse
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
GreigDuncan8 1779, "Jock Robb" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, A Ballad Book (Edinburgh, 1891, reprint of 1824 edition), Vol I, #11 p. 35, "The Fiddler's Benison"
NOTES: What is "bob"? I'm guessing "dancing." - BS
Attested Scots meanings of the verb "to bob"/"to bab," according to Alexander Warrack, The Scots Dialect Dictionary, Waverly Books, 2000, p. 25, include "to bob" (a nice circular definition, that), "to move up and down quickly," "to dance," "to pop in and out," "to curtsey," and "to move quickly." Thus "to bob" probably does mean "to dance" in this case -- something the Presbyterian church certainly would not like. But the noun "bab" also means "gossip," so although Warrack does not list this as a verb sense. I would not absolutely rule out the meaning "to gossip." - RBW
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