Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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JAPPLE, v., n. Also jappel; (d)japl, (d)japel (Jak.). [dʒɑpl, tʃ-]

I. v. 1. To stamp with the feet in water, to splash (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh., Cai., Ags. 1959). Sh. 1932 J. Saxby Trad. Lore 116:
The bairns were “plytsin and japplin” in the burn.

2. To wash clothes by stamping on them in a tub, pool, burn or loch (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., ‡Sh. 1959).

3. To gurgle, to squelch, of water in the shoes (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); hence, of the feet: to be soaking (Ib., 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 120). Sh. 1897 Shetland News (23 Oct.):
A'll hae ta get a pair o' new shün. My feet is juist japplin' noo ivery day.

II. n. 1. Slush, mire, a liquid mess (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1959). Sh. 1899 Shetland News (11 Nov.):
A'm gien ower me büit i' dis japple o' gutter.

2. A choppy surface of water (Ags. 1959).

[Prob. mainly onomat. but cf. also Jaup, of which this may be a freq. form, and Jabble.]

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"Japple v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 May 2021 <>



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