Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HIPPLE, v., n. Also hippal; hyp(p)al, hyple, heipal (mainly s.Sc.). [hɪpl, s.Sc. həipl]

I. v. 1. To go lame, walk with a limp, to hobble (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ‡1923 Watson W.-B.; Ayr.4 1928). Most freq. in ppl.adj. = crippled, lame (‡Watson). Also as a n. (Ib.), and vbl.n. = a limp (Ork.5 1957). Derivs. ‡hippalty (-clink), †hypalty, lame (Watson). Cf. Hippity. Bnff. 1955 Banffshire Adv. (19 May):
Lik' a team a' aul age pensioners, boo't an' wheezin', an' hipplin' an' paichin'.

2. To hobble an animal, to tie the legs of (‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Ppl.adj. hypalt, hyppald, heipalt, used as a n., a hobbled horse (Rxb. 1825 Jam.), and fig. Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 15:
A was nae hippeet heipalt, hirplin on.

II. n. 1. A limping, hopping movement. In dim. pl. form hiplicks (Bnff. c.1920), comb. hipple Scotch (Ork. 1923 P. Ork. A.S. 68), the game of hopscotch.

2. One who walks badly or with a limp (Uls. 1930, hyple); a broken-down stiff-jointed animal. Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck vii.:
How could we turn our hand wi' our pickle hoggs i' winter if their bit foggage war a' riven up by the auld raikin hypalts?

3. An ailment which causes a restricted, painful gait, e.g. sciatica or rheumatism (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 75, hippal, Cai. 1957, hypal).

[Freq. or dim. form of Hip, v., the diphthongal forms phs. meant to imitate a more laborious gait, as in Hirple. The ppl.adj. coincides also in form with obs. Eng. hip-halt, lame in the hips. See further s.v. Hypal.]

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"Hipple v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2020 <>



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