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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SLYPE, n., v., adv. Also slyp, sklyp(e), sclipe, sclype, and intensive form sklypach (Gregor). [s(k)ləip]

I. n. †1. A large thin piece of anything, a strip, slice (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 161). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.

2. Specif.: (1) anything large or clumsy, as of the hands or feet, or of gloves, shoes, or other articles of clothing, a large spot, smear, smudge, lump (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 161).

(2) A hard slap or smack, a swipe, a thud caused by falling heavily, the noise produced by these (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 161; ne.Sc. 1970). Also in n.Eng. dial. = a stroke, blow. Phrs. sklype-for-da(u)d, adv., imit. of the noise of a clumping, flat-footed gait: clip-clop, also used as a n., a large flat woollen cap, prob. imit. of its motions when the wearer is walking and partly in association with sense (1) above; to cry sclipe, to come whack!, with a crack.Abd. 1888 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1) II. 12:
I got a good sclype mysel' [of a fall on ice].
Abd. 1918 J. Mitchell Bydand 15:
Fain wad threep tae gie'm a sclype.
Sc. 1943 Abd. Press and Jnl. (2 Aug.) 2:
A “skylp [sic]-for-daud” Kilmarnock or the Scotch mole-catcher's bonnet.
Bnff. 1953:
He cam ben the byre sklype for dad.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xi.:
Tae gar't cry sclipe ower 'e pow o' some peer chiel.

3. A term of great contempt for a lazy, coarse, dissolute, worthless, uncouth kind of person, a lout, a sloven, slut, a dirty, sneaking man, or occas. woman (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 161; ne.Sc., 1970). Deriv. slyple, id. (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).Abd. 1739 Caled. Mag. (1788) 499:
A sauchin slav'ry slype.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 29:
A rangel o' gentles, an' a liethry of hanziel slyps at their tail.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 428:
Slype. A fellow who runs much after the female creation, yet has not the boldness (though the willingness) to seduce any of them.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 160:
Get up ye limmer, rise ye slype.
Mry. 1875 W. Tester Poems 38:
'Twas low in me, a drunken sklyp.
Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie 245:
Was ever onybody plagued like me wi' a heedless slype o' a woman?
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 17:
The rochest sclype in a' the countra side.
Abd. 1968 Huntly Express (26 July) 2:
Twa orra ill-redd-up sclypes.

II. v. 1. tr. and intr. To throw or fall down forcibly with a hard smack (Bnff., Abd. 1970).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 162:
He sklypet the loon doon on's back.

2. To walk with a heavy, flat-footed step, to plash through wet (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 162; Bnff., Abd. 1970).

III. adv. Forcibly, with a hard smack (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 161).

[Of uncertain orig., the various usages phs. not all belonging to the same word. Prob. chiefly imit., but partly associated with E.M.E. slipe, a slip or slice, Slipe, v.2, Slipe,v.3, slip and slap.]

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"Slype n., v., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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