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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CHAPS, Chapse, Chips, Chops, v. Also choops. Cf. Chap, v.2  and Choopts v. [tʃɑps Sc., but ne.Sc. + tʃɪps and m.Sc. + tʃɔps; tʃɑpsɪ̢ (Ayr. per Kcb.10)]

1. In phr. chaps me (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.2, Fif.10, Slg.3, Arg.1, Lnk.3, Kcb.1 1939), chips me (Abd.15 1936), chops me (Gsw. 1899 Glasgow Herald (2 Sept.)), with or without an obj. = I claim, I prefer. Sometimes me is omitted. Cf. slang Eng. bags I! Also used as a n.phr. to signify a childish pastime (see Arg. quot.); cf. Chally. Known to Bnff.2, Arg.1 1939.Sc. 1927 W. Chapman in Scots Mag. (Aug.) 329:
Auntie, chaps me to dae oot the windae.
Bnff.6 c.1920:
Chaps me the first bite o' the apple.
Abd.(D) 1920 C. Murray In the Country Places 37:
She blaws aboot mansions up there in the sky, But chaps me a deese in a but-an'-a-ben.
Fif.1 1930:
One out of a party of bird's-nesting boys will cry, on a nest with eggs being found, “Chaps first egg,” and another “Chaps second,” etc.
Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xxxiv.:
Wanton Wully went out to drift along the street in the light of the bright shop-windows before which bairns played “chaps me,” making choice of treasures for their gaudiness alone, like most of us, who should know better.
Dmf. 1898 J. Paton Castlebraes 59: 
"Choops me the Kitchen!" shouted the Miller . . . I was also saying, 'Choops me the Kitchen'.

2. With pers. subj.: to pick out, choose (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Slg.3 1939).Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail I. xix.:
“I'll chapse that place,” said Walter, who was sitting opposite to his father.

3. To choose sides in the playing of a game (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10, Kcb.1 1939). Cf. Chap, v.2, 2.Edb. 1898 J. Baillie Walter Crighton xii.:
“You and I'll ‘chaps sides,'” cried Ross: “Sherps or ends?” he said, holding a pencil within his hands.
Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 20:
When at school choosing sides for a game we said, “I chaps Jake,” and so on.

4. To hold a person to a bargain.Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas, etc. 69:
O! that some fierce . . . Dane Wad . . . challenge a' our men — I'd jump for joy, an' whirl my sword about, An' roar out, “Chaps you!!” ere the word be out.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 78:
“I chapse ye!” quo the Laird o' Linn, “we'll wat thoombs on that bargain!”

5. Almost equal to an int. = rather!w.Sc. 1932 A. H. Charteris When the Scot Smiles xvi.:
“Would ye be for sellin' the neebour o't?” . . . “Chaps me!” sez I.

[Prob. from same origin as Chap, v.2 Chaps may be the survival of an O.Sc. imperative in s, orig. a pl., but later extended to the sing. (see Murray D.S.C.S. pp. 214–215). The chips form is prob. due to the idea on the part of the dial. speaker that chips is a more polite pronunciation, a common reaction in dial. to the contact with the standard educational medium.]

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"Chaps v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Oct 2023 <>



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