E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Whall hire, whall hir, whall hire me?
Three plumps and a wallop for ae bawbee.
The tale is that the people of Kirkmahoe were so poor, they could not afford to put any meat into their broth. A cute cobbler invested all his money in buying four sheep-shanks, and when a neighbour wanted to make mutton broth, for the payment of one halfpenny the cobbler would plump one of the sheep-shanks into the boiling water, and give it a wallop or whisk round. He then wrapped it in a cabbage-leaf and took it home. This was called a gustin bone, and was supposed to give a rich gust to the broth. The cobbler found his gustin bone very profitable.
Jennys bawbee. Her marriage portion. The word means, properly, a debased copper coin, equal in value to a half-penny, issued in the reign of James V. of Scotland. (French, bas billon, debased copper money.)
The word bawbee is derived from the laird of Sillebawby, a mintmaster. That there was such a laird is quite certain from the Treasurers account, September 7th, 1541, In argento receptis a Jacobo Atzinsone, et Alexandro Orok de Sillebawby respective.