Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WHEEP, v., n., int. Also wheap. [ʍip]

I. v. 1. To emit a sharp shrill noise from the pursed lips, to whistle (Sc. 1808 Jam., “at intervals”) esp. as a call to a dog, or to attract attention (ne.Sc., em.Sc. (a), wm., sm.Sc., Rxb., Uls. 1974); to blow on a whistle; to pipe shrilly as a bird (Rxb. 1974), esp. the lapwing (ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1974). Phr. to wheep on one's thoom, see Thoum, n., 1. (23). Sc. 1844 Songs for Nursery 25:
When ye on your whussill wheep, Roun' our ain fire-end.
Ags. 1898 A. H. Rea Divot Dyke 70:
Hoo mony chickens hae ye cheepin' Hoo mony's oot and taen to wheepin'.
Kcd. 1933 L. G. Gibbon Cloud Howe (1950) 58:
The peesies wheeping about in the moon.

2. To make a shrill noise in gen., to squeak (Sc. 1808 Jam.), emit a high-pitched buzz, hum or hiss (ne.Sc. 1974). Vbl.n. wheeper. Ags. 1897 F. Mackenzie Northern Pine 74:
They maun a' be started wi' the wheeper (John Tosh's irreverent name for the tuning-fork).
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song (1937) 98:
Binder and reaper clattered and wheeped through the brittle weather that held the Howe.

II. n. A sharp shrill cry or whistle (Sc. 1888 C. Mackay Dict. Lowl. Sc. 273; n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1974). Phr. no a wheep, not a cheep, no sound at all. Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 115:
Tho' noo a vexin', sickly wheap, Is a' thy sang.
Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Poems 56:
You didna need to roar to Dan — Just gie a wheep.
Ags. 1894 “Vathek” Brechin 8:
It takes a noise almost enough to wake the dead to get people to start work, it only requires one short, sharp “wheep” to get them to leave off.
Cai. c.1930:
I never heard a wheep. No a wheep oot o' him.

III. int. An excl. meant to represent a whistle. Sc. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 302:
Whistle, whistle, auld wife, And ye'se get a man. Wheep, whaup, quo' the wife; I'll whistle as I can.

[Echoic. For freq. forms see Wheeple.]

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"Wheep v., n., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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