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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lowp, Loup, v. Also: lowpe, loupe; loope; and Lope. P.t. lowped, p.p. loupin, and see Lepe v.1 [Late ME. (once) lowp- (see Lowping vbl. n.), lope (see Lope v.), ON. hlaupa (Norw. (Nynorsk) laupa, Sw. löpa, Da. løbe), p.p. hlaupenn, corresp. to OE. hléapan Lepe v.1 Also in this form in the mod. Sc. and north, and north midl. Eng. dialects.]The formal distinction from the synonymous (and at first appar. more common) cognate Lepe is clear only in the pres. t.: for the p.t. and p.p. see Lepe v.1

1. intr. With complements: To dart, dash, run; also, to break out in rebellion, and absol., to run off, flee, decamp. = Lepe v.1 1.(1) 15.. Sym & Bruder 21.
[They] schupe thame vp, to lowp our leis, Twa tabartis of the tartane
1563 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 229.
As it war ane fox loupynd fra hole to hole, seiking ane strenth
a1578 Pitsc. (1814) 245.
If they came againe … to perturb his coastis, that it might be they would not … loup home so dry shod
c1650 Spalding I. 44.
His men leavis the persute and lovpis about to lift him wp agane
James Grant with the vther tua lovpis fra the hous and fleis
(2) 1629 Lowther's Jrnl. 19.]
[The Pringles glory in that they were never but on the King's part in all the troublesome times … for they never lowped out with any of the lords nor were attainted
(3) absol. 1571 Sat. P. xxvii. 91.
This realme with eis the rebellis may repres, … Thair loirdis thai loup, that league is les and les

2. To leap, spring, jump. a. With complements. Also, to jump, vault or clamber over (a wall). Also fig., and to loup on (a woman, in fornication).(1) 1535 Stewart 54263. Ib. 56326.
Tha … all the laif gart loup attouir the wall
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1953.
Heir sall the karle lowp of the [s]caffald
15.. Bk. Dean Lismore 48.
Our a brig to lowpe and drowne
1565 Burgh Rec. in Maxwell Old Dundee I. 180.
What person that ever beis apprehendit louping in our the dykes of the Houf
1571 Bann. Memor. 127. 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Desilio, to lowp down
a1599 Rollock I. 363.
Will thou loup up and misse ane of thir steppis?
c1615 Chron. Kings 169.
He lowpis in the watter and out sowmis to the land
1630 Rutherford Christ & Doves 29.
He loups over hills to be at his kirk
1644 Glasg. Chart. II. App. 624.
Bot sometyme the compleiners bairnes ar forced to lowp over at the midst of the said stair
1667 Inverness Rec. II. 232.
The dyck to be of this qualitie that no beast … can loup ower the samen
1687 Misc. Spald. C. V. 237.
That he saw John Richie lift a stone to throw at Alexr Chalmer … and the said Alexr Chalmer did lowp out of the way
1688 A. Shields Some Notes of a Sermon Preached at the Lothers 25.
A well-busked hook … which will catch some [fishes], yet others are not catched though they play about it and loup at it
1692 Presb. Eloq. 94.
Give them the spurs of confidence … that … they may loup over the fold-dikes of grace
1694 Orkney Antiq. Soc. III. 66.
[He] did … loup upon the said John his breast with his feet
(2) fig. 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 391.
Pandaris [etc.] … Loupis vp frome laddis, sine lychtis amang lardis
c1552 Id. Mon. 660.
Thare wald nocht be sic brawlyng at the bar, Nor men of law loup to sic royall rent
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 74.
Look how weill we agree in the generall; in the particular we loope als far sundry
1638 Johnston Diary (1911) I. 360.
Resolutly to loope over al difficulties
p.p. 1667 Inverness Rec. II. 233.
And that … the said messenger hes loupin [pr. loup in] ower all the shyres
(3) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2659.
Than Kyttoke thare … Gaiff Lowre leif at layser to loupe on
1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii. 68.
Quhair I begouth … To loup on lassis lait and play the lowne

b. absol. Common in the proverb Luke or ȝe loup.(1) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 1948 (B).
Lowp [Ch. Loup doun] or be the gude Lord thow salt lois thy heid
Ib. 1951.
It is full weill thy kynd to lowp and licht in a tedder [Ch. ledder]
Ib. 2429.
Stand by the gait, lat se gif I can lowp, I mon rin fast in dreid I gett a cowp
1567 G. Ball. 110.
Thair fundyit feit can nouther gang nor loupe
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 453.
Of rash persons [it is said] … he stumbles at a strea and loupes at a brea
a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 312.
The wanton licht man thinkis this bodie … to be na burden and will rin and loup with it
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1865.
Ye will loupe til the morne or ye loupe ane inche from a lene
1635 Dickson Wr. 197.
When he comes to a mire he only bids the child loup, but yet it is the father's strength that carries him over the mire
1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Discourse 32.
[To] Throw for the hammer, lowp for slippers
(b) 1600-1610 Melvill 17.
Teached … to rin, to loope, to swoom, to warsell
(2) a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxvii. 2.
Who takis in hand … to prais a wark … , Advysedlie sould luik then loup
c1590 J. Stewart II. 240 § 163.
And Raschnes ruid, louping or he did luik
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 584 [see Licht v.1 5 b (3)]. 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1373.
Spit or ye loup, or luke or ye loup
1661 Red Bk. Grandtully II. 153.

c. To ‘jump’ or start at a sudden pain or shock. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 492 (W).
Gif ony patient wald be pansit, Quhy suld he loup [L. loip] quhan he is lanceit Or schrink quhen he is schorne?

3. To mount on horseback. = Lepe v.2 3.(1) 1494 Loutfut MS. 130 a.
Thai suld be wsit … to loupe on hors
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 476.
Quhen thay saw him sa feirelie Loup on his hors sa galȝeardlie
a1578 Pitsc. I. 197/5.
The bischope quha was than loupand on hors to ryd his way
(2) a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1641) No. 135.
As good hads the stirrep, as he that loups on
1633 Maxwell Mem. II. 228.
This day his maiestie lowpis on at the castell gate
c1650 Spalding I. 16.
Petcaple lovpis on about 30 hors in jak and speir
1649-71 Lamont Diary 64.
The horses … went to Fackland … .They caused some of the souldirie loupe on and try them

4. To leap up and down, dance, caper, prance. = Lepe v.1 4. Also transf. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi. 506.
The wikit wife gert hir dochtir ga … & spring & loupe befor thaim al
1567 G. Ball. 109.
Quhat gart ȝow … ȝe hillis lyke lambis loup and bend
1622 D. Lindesay An Heavenly Chariot 23.
O my soule! … I charge thee, that thou loupe for joy with me
1633 Coll. Witchcraft 121.
The horse … died in the batts louping to death

5. transf. a. Of things: To jump, spring, ‘fly’ (in some direction, or asunder). b. Of masonry: To ‘spring, jump out of place. c. To be raised, stand up, jut.a. Brus xiii. 652 (C).
And it that wondir lawch wer ere Mon lowp [v.rr. lepe, leape] on loft
1629 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III. 41.
They … mutilat both her armes and made the sinewes to loupe asunder
1635 Dickson Wr. 3.
It is as if gold should essay to loup out of the melting cruise into the fire
b. 1598 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 1 Dec. c.
Becaus of the greit hurt that the fyre dois to the bowis of the brig, causit be some of thame that waschis therat, in causing the stanes therof to lowp & to injure the samen
1672 Soc. Ant. XIV. 330.
[Carry the tabling upon the said front at the floor of the second story all alike round] which for the present lowppes or ryses from the corners higher along the front

6. Of the heart: To bound, beat violently. a1568 Scott xv. 1.
Vp, helsum hairt! thy rutis rais, and lowp!
1567 G. Ball. 222.
My hart for ioy dois loup thairfoir
1611 Melvill Dream in Fugitive Poetry II.
My heart did lowp, my flesch for feir did creip

7. tr. To leap across (a ditch), to jump, vault or clamber over (a wall). To loup the dyke also = to change sides, to prove a turn-coat or renegade.(1) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 2430 (Ch.).
Heir sall Johne loup the stank or els fall in it [B. ryn to lowp our the water and … fall in … it]
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary II. 187.
But my lord thocht it [the wall] over heich to loup because of his sair hand
1604 Elgin Rec. II. 123.
Delatit … to be lowpand dyikis the tyme of the eftirnoins sermone
1659 Forbes Baron Ct. 225.
No inhabitantis … [to] loup nor cast doun the garden dykis
(2) 1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 170/2.
There was no man more against bishops … nor he … yet … he was the man that tooke out the bishoprick out of Mr John Grahame's hand. I remember … when he began to get the bishoprick, we said he was going to loupe the dyke

8. Of a bull, also transf. of a man: To copulate with (a female), to leap. 1571 Sat. P. xxix. 26.
Bott quhat … thochte Dauid quhen he wes to lowpe the lowne?
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 144.
Quhen the bull was lowping the cow

9. To loup the gadloup or gateloup, to run the gauntlet: see Gadloup n., Gateloup n. = Sw. löpa gatlopp.

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"Lowp v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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