Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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JIMP, n.2 Also gimp; dims. jimpie, -ey, jumpie, jampy, and deriv. jumpables (Bwk. 1825 Jam.).

1. Gen. in pl. A bodice with a front opening, worn by nursing mothers (Sc. 1808 Jam., jimps). Also used fig. and attrib.

2. A woman's bodice, “a sort of spencer, with a short tail, or skirt” (Lth. 1825 Jam., jumpie; Abd. 1920, jimp(ie)). Also attrib. Abd. c.1700  New Bk. Old Ballads (Maidment 1885) 11:
With pity coat and mantay coat, And jampy coat like lilly.
Abd. 1758  in G. Turreff Antiq. Gleanings (1871) 262:
She teaches . . . working fringes, tassels, jump-straps, watch and cane strings.
Ayr. 1787  Burns My Lord a-hunting Chorus:
But Jenny's jimps and jirkinet, My Lord thinks meikle mair upon't.
Sc. 1806  R. Jamieson Ballads I. 310:
We hae wealth o' yarn in clues, To mak me a coat and a jimpey.
Per. a.1869  C. Spence Poems (1898) 90:
All the sea and river imps With shelly coats and scaly jimps.

[Phs. a corr. of Fr. juppe, assimilated by pop. etym. to Jimp, adj. Eng. has the form jump from mid-17th c. Cf. Jupe, n.1]

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"Jimp n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Nov 2019 <>



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