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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).

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 3 Oct 2022 <>



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