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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

JILP, v., n.1 Also gilp; jalp. [dʒɪlp]

I. v. Of a liquid: 1. tr. to spurt, to jerk, to splash, to spill, as water from a vessel, “not by oversetting it but by putting the water in motion” (Abd. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc., m.Lth., Lnk. 1959); “to dash water on one” (Lth. 1825 Jam.).ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 20:
I winna drink anither drap! . . . An' gin ye jilp it doon my throat, Then you an' I'll strive.

2. intr. to splash about or over through being set in motion (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1959).Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 73, 113:
My reemin nap, in cog an' cap, Gaed gilpin roun' like wash, . . . Now there's naething gilps but scout In ilka bicker.

Ppl.adj., vbl.n. jilpin, gilpin, (what is) being spilt or splashed, freq. applied to some drink of a weak, thin or insipid nature.Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 24:
Nor did we drink o' gilpin water, But reemin nap wi' houp weel heartit.
Abd. 1956 J. Murray Rural Rhymes 35:
Awa' wi' tins an' sic like trock, Yer bottles, jars an' 'ears auld stock, They're fainless jilpins.

II. n. 1. A small quantity of water spilt or splashed about (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 91; ne.Sc., Ags., m.Lth. 1959); a spurt, a splash.Ags. 1891 Arbroath Guide (23 May):
She garred a big jalp o' this het mixture gang plash on my leg.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 21:
The water pooers oot Wi' a jilp and a jeuk ower the steens.
Bnff. 1955 Banffshire Jnl. (22 Feb.):
Aboot a smirr o' snaw or sleet Or jilp o' rain.

2. A small quantity of any liquid, gen. used in a derogatory sense to denote any thin or insipid drink (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxx.; Bnff., Abd., Kcd., Ags. 1959). Also dim. form gilpie; pl. dregs (n. and s.Sc. 1808 Jam., jalp).Abd. c.1850 Banffshire Jnl. (24 Oct. 1904) 8:
Nae jilps o' tay nor baker's baps For Drachlaw's healthy, hungry chaps.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 169:
Fat's a gilpie o' ale tull the sloakin' o' a body?
Abd. 1941 C. Gavin Black Milestone vi.:
A spoonful of coffee essence and a jilp of hot water.

3. “The act of dashing or throwing water” (Lth. 1825 Jam., jilp).

[Onomat.; cf. Jaup, id. q.v.]

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"Jilp v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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