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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Jape, Jaip, n.1 [ME. iape (c 1340), of obscure derivation : cf. the verb.]

1. A trick, an artifice to deceive or cheat, a deception. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 612.
Sair I dreid me for some vther jaip That Venus suld throw her subtillitie In till sum bysning beist transfigurat me
Ib. iii. 440.
Benytas of ane mussill maid ane aip, With money vther subtill mow and jaip
Id. Æn. ii. iv. 63.
Turnand quhelis thai set in, by and by, Vndir the feit of this ilke bysning jaip [sc. the wooden horse]
Ib. vii. Prol. 9.
Quhat wenys fulys this saxt buke be bot japis, Al ful of leys or ald ydolatryis

2. A mocking jest; a joke. 1513 Doug. Conscience 13.
[They] thocht at Sciens was our lang ane jaip, The sci away fast can thay rub and scraip
Id. Æn. iv. Prol. 20.
Ȝour sary joys beyn bot janglyng and japys
15.. Clar. iv. 253.
I wald the reidar tuike not sik consait … Least that he leuch thairat and maid ane jape

3. a. A trinket. b. A plaything, toy, pet. 1488 Treas. Acc. I. 81.
Twa tuthpikis of gold with a chenȝe, … a moist ball of gold, ane hert of gold, with vthir small japis
15.. Sym & Bruder 33.
Quhen thai had reddit thair ragis, To Rome thay war inspyrit, Tuk vp thair jaipis and all thair jaggis, Fure furth as thay war hyrit
1570 Sat. P. xiii. 134.
God wait gif ȝe be jaips to hald in stoir, Or bony byrdis to keip in to ane cage
1590 Burel Pilgr. I. xiv.
Out come the quhittret furwith, Ane litill beist … , Ȝit in the wood thair wes nane wast To harberie that iaip
1603 Philotus xcvii.
Thow hes gotten ane jolie jaip, In lykenes of ane lasse

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"Jape n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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