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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.

Kep, v. Also : kepp, kept, kap(e, kaip. P.t. and p.p. keppit, -yt, -ed, kept. [North. ME. kep (c 1400), var. of Kepe v. with irregular vowel-shortening and differentiation of use. Also in the mod. Sc. and north. Eng. dial. as kep and kaip, cape.See also Kepe v. 26.]

1. To intercept or receive; to get in the way of, stop the course of; to parry or ward off (a blow or the like, or a person aiming one).(1) 1513 Doug. iii. viii. 18.
Palynurus … Lystnyng about, and harknyng our alquhar With erys prest to kep the wynd or ayr
Ib. x. vii. 70.
Pallas hym keppyt syk wys on hys brand That all the blaid … Amyd hys flaffand longis hyd has he
Ib. xiii. 97.
The bytand brand vphevyt keppyt he
1515 Glasg. Chart. II. 489.
To kep the said Mowngous drop of the said Patrikis tenement and skathyne of it in tymis cumyng
1518 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 155.
At thar be vndir the myll qwel ane hek swa at the muk stuf and ony vtheris thingis cassyn in at the clovs may be keppit thar
1596 Dalr. I. 165/26.
Thay prepare couragiouslie, … and quiklie cumis furth to kepp the Scottis in thair cuming
1607 Dundonald Par. Rec. 125.
The laying on ane claith vpon ane stak to kep ane schour
1614 Highland P. III. 172.
Gif onye seige came from his Ma. to that hous thay [the prisoners] suld be sett out ouir the wals to kep the first shoittis
c1616 Hume Orthog. 14.
To begin with c … Behind the voual, if a consonant kep it, we sound it alwayes as k, as: occur [etc.]
(2) 1513 Doug. v. viii. 33.
With hys body only, and walkryfe e, The strakis onfar enchewys and keppyt he
1563–64 Inverness Rec. I. 109.
War nocht that John Gollan … ressauit the said straik and keppit the samyn
c1616 Hume Orthog. 12.
Thre be, as it wer, hammeres stryking, and the rest stiddies, kepping the strakes of the hammeres
1678 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 278.
He … would have wounded me if I had not kepped the stroakes
(3) 1513 Doug. v. viii. 16.
He … smytis in al hys mycht, The tother keppys hym on hys burdon wycht

b. To stop the flow of, stanch (blood). 1676 Forbes Baron Ct. 308.
They saw … her lipp bloodeing and shee kaiping the blood in the cloath

2. To catch (something falling); to catch (falling liquid etc.) in a vessel or the like.(1) 1492 Myll Spect. 289/20.
He was … cassyn doun at the trape … quhar his seruandis in the boite keppit him sone
1513 Doug. i. iv. 33.
Achates slew fyre of the flynt Keppit [R. kepit] in dry leiffis, as tunder, quhil thai brynt
1531 Bell. Boece I. xliii.
Utheris [salmon] ar keppit in cawdrons, for the … peple settis … cawdrons … at the cheik of the lin [etc.]
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 469.
Thay clam so hie, tyll thay lape ouir thair ledderis; On Lawder Bryge syne keppit wer in tedderis
1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II. 36.
Manassing to cast the said bairne upe & to kaip him on ane durk
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 308.
I should be glad to … kep and receive the off-fallings … that fall from His sweet fingers to forlorn sinners
1681 R. McWard Poor Man's Cup Cold Water 34.
[Christ] kepped them, as they fell; carryed them off the scaffold in embraces
(2) 1513 Doug. vi. iv. 27.
Otheris … The warm new blude keppit in cowp and peys
1573 Sempill Sat. P. xxxix. 88.
Thay … keppit standfulis [of rain-water] at the sklatis thair in
1594 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 533.
For tua trouchis to kept the water that fallis from the leid guitteris
1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 257.
The barme was rysing up … , she cryed to some servant to look to the barme and got cogs and kepped it
fig. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiii. 30.
[At the Session] Sum castis summondis and sum exceptis, Sum standis besyd and skaild law keppis

3. ? To get hold of, catch (an animal, etc.). b. To kep (= catch) a glaik (a glancing sunbeam). a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 493.
If I can not kaip goose I sal kep gaisling
Ib. No. 1563.
Ye ar snak in the head yow ar good to kep midges & flies
Ib. No. 1165.
Ryse up in the morning, kep a glaik or the leav ryse

4. To kep (= receive) skaith or harm. b. To kep the skaith of (a specified injury suffered).(1) 1519 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 71 b.
The said Jhone and Sanders ar … bund … that the said Rechert sall kep na schacht
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 1029.
We traist this man sall kep na skaith perchance
1596 Dalr. II. 292/32.
A stark seage lay about it … the castel nottheles keppit na skaith
1590 Burel Pilgr. i. xxi.
Lath war thay to kep ony skaith
(2) 1570 St. A. Kirk S. 344.
Sche kapit na herm thair throw, bot was als cleine … thairof as … quhen sche was borne
b. 1629 Orkney Witch Trial in County Folk Lore III. (1903) 80.
He knew that she spak the words and be her words he kept the skaith of the death of his beastis

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"Kep v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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