Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KIPPLE, n., v. Also kiple, kipel. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. couple. See P.L.D. § 61.

I. n. 1. A tether or rope for tying two animals together (Kcb. 1960). Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 389:
She fell in wi the twa yowes hangin theirsels wi the kipple.

2. A rafter (Fif.10 1941; wm.Sc., Wgt., s.Sc. 1960). Also fig. the roof. Cf. Couple. Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 92:
I slipt into the barn and by help of one of the kiples, climbs up the mou.
Dmf. 1797 Edb. Mag. (Dec.) 457:
[Pate] yont the auld aik kipple staps his plaid.
Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 293:
I saw the deil i' the shape o' the auld laird . . . wi' a great burnin' kipple in his hand.
ne.Sc. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 274:
I'll lea' them to your sell, my lord, For kipples to your ha'.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 12:
My auld wife here And me, just quietly on steer Aneath the auld black kipple.

Combs.: (1) bon(d)-kipple, the principal rafter on a roof which rests on the gable wall (s.Sc. 1960); (2) kipple-bawk, a tie-beam in a roof. See Bauk, n., 2.; (3) kipple butt, “that part of the principal of a roof which rests on the wall” (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.); †(4) kipple-fit, id. (w.Sc. 1825 Jam.); †(5) kipple-hoe, “a straight piece of wood laid across the top of the couple or rafter, the top being covered with feal so as to form the angle” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.). See Hoo, n.2; †(6) kipple-pin, a pin driven into the rafters for use as a hanger; (7) kipple-root, = (3); (8) kipple-tap, the top of a rafter; (9) kipple yill, a drink given to workmen on erecting the rafters of a new house (Rxb.5 1941). See Yill. (2) Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop Rhymes 58:
They gar'd Meg Landles hang hersel Frae the kipple-bawks.
(4) Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 4:
The cloken hen, when frae the kipple-fit She breaks her tether.
(6) Sc. 1823 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 87:
His game-bag hanging on the kipple-pin.
(7) Sc. a.1830 Kempy Kay in Child Ballads No. 33 F. 5:
He laid his arms about her neck, They were like kipple-roots.
(8) Ags. 1845 T. Watson Poems 23:
Now on the dusky kipple-taps Wee deevils hung like sooty draps.

II. v. 1. In various fig. senses of couple, to join, unite; refl. or with til, wi, to marry, espouse; tr. to join in wedlock. Ppl.adj. kippled, joined, tethered together. Phr. kipple-dirt, frost, sc. that which binds dirt together (Kcb.1 1900). Sc. 1813 The Scotchman 117:
Onie mealie huckster, wha kipples himsel wi the ereashie dochter o's door neibour.
Kcb. 1815 J. Gerrond Works 111:
When kipple dirt shuts lakes and gutter.
Slk. 1827 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) vii.:
I'll hae the branks of love thrown over the heads o' the twasome, . . . and then let them gallop like twa kippled grews.
Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 38:
And batin' ance, when he our Meg did kipple, He hasna' crossed our hallan sin' he cam'.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. xii.:
As if ye expecket Morison to kipple till ye; bless yere five wits, I wadna even demean mysel' to sic a match.
Rxb. 1848 R. Davidson Leaves 34:
The glance that she shot from her dark drumlie e'e, For ever has kipel'd misfortune and me.
Ayr. 1882 J. Hyslop Dream 156:
A widower, wha thocht if she'd kipple wi' him, His life wad like simmer gang by.

2. With up: to tuck or fasten up. Comb.: kipplin-comb, a comb for fastening up the hair. Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie ciii.:
So, sister, kipple up your coats and step in.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of the Lairds xxi.:
Her hair, saving the front locks in ringlets, was closely smoothed back, and gathered within a kipplin comb.

3. As vbl.n. kipplin, a rafter (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 78; Per., Slk. 1960). Cf. Coupling.

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"Kipple n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2022 <>



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