Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SWAIP, n., adj., v. Also swape. [swep]

I. n. 1. A slanting direction, an oblique course upwards or downwards, a slope (Rxb. 1972). Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
The dyke rins wi' a swaip owre the face o' the Law. It's easier ti gang owre be the swaip o' the hill.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 16:
At the boddom o the lang swaip that hed garrd mei pech.

2. A cut-away shape of a garment, an oblique hang or cut of a dress. Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
The swaip o' a wumman's skirt. The swaip o' a cut-away coat.

3. An angle-bar in joinery (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1972).

II. adj. Slanting or sloping, cut at an angle, oblique (Slk. 1825 Jam.) Hence swaip-away, id. Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
A swaip piece o' grund. A swaip-away coat.
Slk. 1936  Border Mag. (July) 109:
The ewes were eagerly grazing by the side of the “swape” drains.
Bwk. 1942  Wettstein:
A swaip road [one ascending a slope at a slant].

III. v. 1. intr. To take a slanting or sloping course, to rise or descend obliquely, of a road, etc. (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1972). Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
The auld fail-dyke swaips up owre the braeface. Ee maun swaip across the Fell ti wun ti the tap easy.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 6:
A'd breesteet the brae now, an the road swaipeet doon afore iz.

2. tr. To ascend on the slope or at a slant. Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
Ee maun swaip the Rig ti get ti the cantle.

3. tr. To cut or shape (a garment) obliquely (Rxb. 1972). Ppl.adj. swaipit, cut-away. Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
A swaipit(-away) coat.

[Extended usages derived from the idea of oblique slanting movement in O.N. sveipa, to sweep, stroke, wrap, be twisted, sveipr, a fold in a garment, sveipóttr, eddying, O.E. swāpan, to sweep, brandish, swoop (of wind).]

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"Swaip n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Sep 2019 <>



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