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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CHIP, v. Used as in St.Eng., but note the following peculiarly Sc. uses:

1. Used of buds, seeds, grain, etc., “to break forth from a shell or calix” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); to germinate. Obs. also in St.Eng., last quot. 1734 (N.E.D.), but still found in Eng. (War.) dial. (E.D.D.). Cf. Cheep, v.2Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Grain is also said to chip, when it begins to germinate.

2. “The term, as originally referring to birds, is transferred to a woman who is in the early state of pregnancy” (Sc. 1808 Jam.).

3. “Applied to ale, when it begins to ferment in the working vat” (w.Sc. 1808 Jam.).Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems and Songs 240:
Each day she'd drink a tun o' swats That is new chipt.

4. (1) To knock, strike, in gen. (Kcb.1 1940).Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sketches x.:
Had it no' been for Sawny Bisset chippin doon its nest wi' a stane.

(2) Applied to curling: = phrase below.Kcb.10 1940:
“Hoo much hae ye o' that yin, Alec?” “Oh, nearly the half.” “Aweel, haud my cowe wi' the oot-turn an' chip 'im.”

Phrase: to chip the winner, a curling term: “to avoid the guard and take [strike] what can be seen of the winner [winning stone]” (Abd.9 1940). Also as vbl.n.phr.Abd.9 1940:
Skip. — Weel, gin ye can chip the winner, we'll lie three.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller of Deanhaugh i.:
The clergymen . . . were keen curlers and . . . knew . . . all the important and scientific movements connected with guarding, inwicking, raising, and chipping the winner.

(3) With up: to stir up, rouse (Bnff.2 1940).Bnff. 1923 Bnffsh. Jnl. (29 May) 5:
Oh, I canna get the crafters t' drive 't awa', bit I'se chip them up a bit.

(4) To throw (small objects, esp. stones) (Ayr. 2000s).Ags. 1987:
Stop him, Ma, he's chippin stanes.
Slg. 1993:
Chippin stanes.
Gsw. 1983 James Kelman Not not while the giro 42:
He was lighting a cigarette, then chipping the match into the loch.
Gsw. 1987 James Kelman Greyhound for Breakfast (1988) 9:
From it I could gaze out on the sea. I withdrew my articles from my coat pocket, a collection of shells. ... I leaned close to the entrance of the cave and chipped them out in a handful, not hearing any splash due to the roaring of the waves.
Gsw. 1992 Jeff Torrington Swing Hammer Swing! (1993) 152:
It was proof of how routine their phoney jousting had become that nobody stirred a leg to go out with them to spectate. 'They'll be chipping snabaws at each other,' some wag shouted and there were laughs all round.

[O.Sc. has chip, chyp, intr., of seeds or buds: to break open, show signs of growing, from early 15th cent. (D.O.S.T.). Meanings 24 are extensions of this.]

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"Chip v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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