Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SKELP, n.2, v.2 [skɛlp]

I. n. 1. A splinter, slice, fragment: (1) freq. of a sliver of wood lodged in the skin (Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. Gl.; Inv., Mry., Abd., w.Lth., Lnk. 1968).

(2) of something larger: a big slice or chunk (Rxb. 1927 Spectator (3 Dec.) 979), a slab, as of cheese or butter (Ork., n., em.Sc.(a), Arg. 1970); fig. a long piece of recital, a Screed. Also in Eng. of a strip of metal for a gun-barrel. Slk. 1829 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) iii.:
John Grierson of the Hope recited what they called “lang skelps o' metre.”
Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 25:
Skelps o' preachin' she wad tell As guid's the minister himsel'.

(3) esp. of ground: a long strip or expanse, an indefinite area (Inv. 1904 E.D.D.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I., n. and m.Sc., Rxb. 1970). Occas. also of the sea. Abd. 1891 T. Mair Arn And His Wife 58:
Wi' Jeames an' them to tear a skelp O' reask to Saunders Todd.
Knr. 1900 H. Haliburton Horace 226:
It's braw, nae doot, to read aboot A vine-clad skelp o' mountain.
Bnff. 1965 Banffshire Advert. (28 Jan.) 11:
A gweed skelp o' the Atlantic Ocean.

II. v. 1. To apply slats of wood to a broken limb for support, to put on splints (Slk. 1825 Jam.).

2. To run, break or fall into splinters, to disintegrate, split up (Cld. 1880 Jam.).

3. To slice off or pare the surface of anything, esp. of turf in digging, ploughing, etc. (Bnff. 1886 Gregor D. Bnff. 157), of wood in planing (Bnff. 1880 Jam.).

[Prob. a variant of Skelb, q.v. See also Skelf, n.2]

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"Skelp n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2020 <>



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