Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GLOUP, n. Also gloop, †glupe. A sea-cave or chasm (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Sh., Ork., Cai. 1954); “spec. in Ork. of a deep chasm or pit a little way back from the cliff-edge, but having an opening to, or connexion with, the sea down below. Looking down into the gloop one may see the sea dashing about in the bottom. A gloop is thus a big cave, the top of which has fallen in at the inner end” (Ork. 1929 Marw.). [glup] Cai. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 VIII. 150:
Near the top of the rock, and on that which faces the Orkneys, there is a vast gulph or cavern, (called, by the neighbouring inhabitants, the Glupe), stretching all around perpendicularly down, till its dusky bottom comes on a level with the sea.
Ork. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 XV. 170:
A deep cavern which in the neighbouring district is called the gloup. It is situated a few yards from the precipice on the east coast, is eighty feet deep, and fifty-six by thirty wide; and the water in its bottom communicates with the open sea by a passage through which a boat may enter, at certain states of the tide and weather.
Ork. 1884  R. M. Fergusson Rambles xvii.:
This idea [that the elves were melancholy] probably originated from the moaning sound made by the wind and waves in the geos and gloups where they were supposed to dwell.

[Norw. dial. glup, glop, chasm, gulf, abyss, hollow or deep mountain fissure. Cf. E. Fris. glupe, glopp, cleft, fissure; Du. gluip, small opening, glop, hollow, cleft.]

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"Gloup n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2019 <>



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