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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

CHAPS, Chapse, Chips, Chops, v. Also choops. Cf. Chap, v.2  and Choopts v. [tʃɑps Sc., but ne.Sc. + tʃɪps and m.Sc. + tʃɔps; tʃɑpsɪ̢ (Ayr. per Kcb.10)]

1. In phr. chaps me (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.2, Fif.10, Slg.3, Arg.1, Lnk.3, Kcb.1 1939), chips me (Abd.15 1936), chops me (Gsw. 1899 Glasgow Herald (2 Sept.)), with or without an obj. = I claim, I prefer. Sometimes me is omitted. Cf. slang Eng. bags I! Also used as a n.phr. to signify a childish pastime (see Arg. quot.); cf. Chally. Known to Bnff.2, Arg.1 1939.Sc. 1927 W. Chapman in Scots Mag. (Aug.) 329:
Auntie, chaps me to dae oot the windae.
Bnff.6 c.1920:
Chaps me the first bite o' the apple.
Abd.(D) 1920 C. Murray In the Country Places 37:
She blaws aboot mansions up there in the sky, But chaps me a deese in a but-an'-a-ben.
Fif.1 1930:
One out of a party of bird's-nesting boys will cry, on a nest with eggs being found, “Chaps first egg,” and another “Chaps second,” etc.
Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xxxiv.:
Wanton Wully went out to drift along the street in the light of the bright shop-windows before which bairns played “chaps me,” making choice of treasures for their gaudiness alone, like most of us, who should know better.
Dmf. 1898 J. Paton Castlebraes 59: 
"Choops me the Kitchen!" shouted the Miller . . . I was also saying, 'Choops me the Kitchen'.

2. With pers. subj.: to pick out, choose (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Slg.3 1939).Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail I. xix.:
“I'll chapse that place,” said Walter, who was sitting opposite to his father.

3. To choose sides in the playing of a game (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10, Kcb.1 1939). Cf. Chap, v.2, 2.Edb. 1898 J. Baillie Walter Crighton xii.:
“You and I'll ‘chaps sides,'” cried Ross: “Sherps or ends?” he said, holding a pencil within his hands.
Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 20:
When at school choosing sides for a game we said, “I chaps Jake,” and so on.

4. To hold a person to a bargain.Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas, etc. 69:
O! that some fierce . . . Dane Wad . . . challenge a' our men — I'd jump for joy, an' whirl my sword about, An' roar out, “Chaps you!!” ere the word be out.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 78:
“I chapse ye!” quo the Laird o' Linn, “we'll wat thoombs on that bargain!”

5. Almost equal to an int. = rather!w.Sc. 1932 A. H. Charteris When the Scot Smiles xvi.:
“Would ye be for sellin' the neebour o't?” . . . “Chaps me!” sez I.

[Prob. from same origin as Chap, v.2 Chaps may be the survival of an O.Sc. imperative in s, orig. a pl., but later extended to the sing. (see Murray D.S.C.S. pp. 214–215). The chips form is prob. due to the idea on the part of the dial. speaker that chips is a more polite pronunciation, a common reaction in dial. to the contact with the standard educational medium.]

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"Chaps v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <>



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