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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
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Lepe, Leip, v.1 Also: lep, leipe, liep, leep, leap(e, lape, laipe; (Douglas leping, -yng). P.t. lap(e, lapp(e; lop(e; (leapt). P.p. loppin, -en, lopin, -yne, -one; lowppen, louping; lappin, -en; lepin, leppin. [ME. lepe(n, leepe, early leapen, læpenn (Orm), also leoppe, leppe, lippe, p.t. leop(e, lep(e, leep(e, leppe, lope, loop, p.p. lopen, e.m.E. leape etc., p.t. lope also north. lap, p.p. lopen, OE. hléapan, p.t. hléop, pl. hlupon, p.p. -hléapen (= ON. hlaupa, p.p. hlaupenn, see Loup v.): weak forms of the p.t. and p.p. also occur in ME. f. the 13th c. and become regular in e.m.E.The pres. t. lepe, leip was at first appar. more common than the cognate loup, with which (and Lope v.) it had however the p.t. and p.p. largely in common. For convenience, the p.t. and p.p. are treated here, including p.p. lowppen, louping, which might, on etymological grounds, be claimed rather for Loup v.]Also Ovirlepe v.

1. intr. To rush, dash, dart, run (furth, out, to another, etc.). Chiefly with complements. Also absol., to run off, depart.To lepe out, to come or get out, to emerge or escape.(1) (a) 1375 Barb. xviii. 502.
All gert thai lepe [E. lep] out our thar hand, And maid thame all glaid
1600 Crim. Trials II. 178.
And than he leippis to the King, and gatt him be baith the handis
(b) 1375 Barb. x. 242.
Thai that neir enbuschit war Lap out
a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii. 73.
Adryane … in myddis of al that ware thare Lape furth to thame
c1450-2 Howlat 841.
Ȝit he lap [B. lope] fra the lowe richt in a lyne
1533 Boece ii. xii. 83.
Quhen this was done sone lap out Gillus & ran ourethwort the feildis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8335.
Efter Tytan had tane his staf in hand, And lichtlie lap as lord out ouir the land
1596 Dalr. I. 208/1.
Quhen he had slane Jubal, king of Armorik, he lap with authoritie in his kingdome
1600 Crim. Trials II. 156.
Quhilk Mr Thomas, missing my lord, lap out at the dur, and come furth of the place
c 1600 Ib. I. i. 135.
The revainger … gawe him sax woundis … and incontinent lap in amangis the rest of the throng
(c) a1651 Calderwood VII. 425.
Were not that knave, who now is lowppen over sea … had written Perth Assemblie
1644 Baillie II. 217.
The sudden and unexpected invasione of Kintyre by Coll Macgillespick's son, who, with two thousand five hundred runagates from Ireland, are loppen over there
1658 R. Moray Lett. 15/25 Jan.
Is this not prettily leppin to the gait?
 (2) a1570-86 Dunb. Maitl. F. lviii. 25.
Beleif dois liep, traist dois nocht tarie

b. To lepe about (a place), to surround: cf. Lap v.1 4. a1578 Pitsc. I. 300/17.
This noble regent lape manfullie about the house and seigit it
c1650 Spalding I. 44.
Thay lap about the houss and tryit to tir the samen

c. To rush or spring (upon a person, etc.) in assault. 1533 Boece ix. xvi. 330.
Ane wolf … lap to the king and bate him
15.. Clar. i. 971.
[The lion] lape upone him in ane rage … , For he that day had gottine no bluide
1571 Inverness Rec. I. 208.
Katte Hendre … lape in my face and raiff my face my beyrd and my sark
1634 Kirkcaldy Presb. 77.
He … lapp betwein hir shoulders and she fell over on the hadder stack

d. To break out in rebellion. 1657 Balfour Ann. III. 119.
The Irische had lepin out … in opin rebellion
a1670 Scot Staggering State (1754) 153.
He, … grieving that he had not that power in court that he thought his birth … deserved, leapt out and made sundry out-reds against the King

e. fig. To lepe abak (back), to resile, to back out of an agreement. 1533 Gau 99/4.
Quhen I [God] laid my hand apone thayme that thay suld knaw me thane thay lap abak and passit fra me
a1538 Abell 33 a.
He confirmyt the gift … bot soyn eftir wnthankfullie he lap abak
1568 Sempill Sat. P. xlvii. 101.
The pairteis … maid a fair contrack; Bot now, allace! the men ar loppin aback
1615 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 10 Jan.
[A complaint] that being vnder promeis of mariag with hir … the said John notwithstanding is lopin back & seiking another wyff

f. In other special contexts. a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. cxi. 9.
Fra lawtie so thai leip
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 279 (Wr.).
Mine heart ... Ay howping, through lowping, To leape at libertie
1596 Dalr. I. 163/9.
The Scottis couragious … leipis to straikis
1637 Baillie I. 6.
The Bishope of Argyle wes no sooner dead, then a number lope to their friends for recommendations to Court
c1650 Spalding I. 331 (J).
That the natives lap to arms, about 20,000 men
Ib. II. 473 (Sp. C.).
Forgetting his oath … he lap in to the vther syd

2. To leap or jump (into the air, from one place to another, over something, etc.).Also to leip up or to one's feet.a. With adverb or adv. phrase complements. b. absol.a. (a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 174.
The abbot thane, to scheld the threpe, In-to the fyre but mare can lepe
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 164/16.
Thai ga to the montanis and lepis downe and brekis thair banis
1513 Doug. xii. vi. 116.
[He] gan stynt hys horssis … And ferely dyd lepyng [v.r. leping] from hys cart
1531 Bell. Boece I. xliii.
Salmond … quhilkis lepis nocht cleirlie ouir the lin, … growis mesall
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2396.
Lowrence, quod he, leip in the bukket sone
c1500 Rowll Cursing 177.
Greit Baliall sall gif ane braid And bakwart leip vpon ane beir
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. ii. 175.
Emicuit, leip up, start up
1596 Dalr. I. 145/20.
That ouir dykes and dubis … thay sould spang and leip
(c) 1684 Law Memor. (1818) 233.
Sir George Gordon … leeping into the boat, missed and did loup in the sea
(b) 1375 Barb. x. 238.
Thai that war within the wayn Lap out belif
Ib. 660.
Sum of thame … fled, and lap our the wall
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2078.
With that the foxe lap quite the creillis fray
1501 Treas. Acc. II. 108.
Giffin to Wille Merser, quhen he lap in the stank, … xiiij s.
1513 Doug. v. viii. 50.
The tother, seand the dynt cum, … sone lap on syde
1535 Stewart 41891.
Rycht lichtlie than he lap out of his bed
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 468.
Thay clam so hie, tyll thay lape ouir thair ledderis
a1568 Bann. MS. 163 a/11.
God … owre the dyke lap
1569 Reg. Privy C. I. 682.
[They] come to his place of Balcorse, lap ower the wallis thairof [and] enterit thairin
1600 Crim. Trials II. 200.
Alexander Ruthvene lap in at the buyth-wyndo, and rypit all the buyth for powder
1622 Ib. III. 528.
Ane heip of grene webbis being lying on the fluir, Margaret Wallace lap over the same, and cumis to the bairne
1650 Brechin Presb. 33.
James Da … saw a branded dog meett Jonat Couper … , and that he lap upon her
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. (1699) 235.(b) 1649 Sc. N. & Q. i Ser. III. 122.
There came out … a mikle black thing … and lope up o' the bed stead
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 302.
Quhen the schipe wes brokyn, One a burd thane are we lopyne
1513 Doug. ii. x. 12.
Sum to the erd loppin from hie towris of stane
a1540 Freiris Berw. 588.
Our the stair the freir in myre hes loppin
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I. 180.
[A pig] lap wp as if he wald haiff lopin in the air
(b) 15.. Clar. iii. 1547.
He saw ane window and wald have lappin out
b. (a) a1500 Bk. Chess 636.
To teche … his sonnis … To leipe, ryn, swym, just & schute
1513 Doug. ix. ix. 38.
Tho with thar swechtis, as thai reill and leipe, The byrnand towr down rollys
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Prol. Romans (Tindale) III. 338/12.
To rynne, to laipe
1531 Bell. Boece I. xliii.
Als sone as thir salmond cumis to the lin, thay leip; and sa mony as ar wicht, or lepis weil, thay get up throw the lin
a1568 Bann. MS. 135 b/69.
Quha cuvattis farrest to leip mon quhylumis gang abak
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1531 (Wr.).
The streame is … broader farre than we dow leape
(b) c1409-1436 Kingis Q. cliii.
Lytill fischis by the brym, … Lap and playit
c1475 Wall. VII. 1056.
Sum lap, sum fell, sum floteryt in the se
c1515 Asl. MS. II. 274/35.
Sanct Jhone joyet in his moderis wame & lap Quhen thow spak with Elizebeth thi ant
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 552.
The ledder schuke, he lape, and gat one fall
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1395 (Wr.).
I would wee looked ere wee lap
(c) 1647 Durham Univ. J. XXXIV. 63.
[They] carried hime … over the doorheid of ane of the chalmers of the said Place, … & when they had brought him doune they said to him ‘Weill lappen, plewch beim’

c. quasi-tr., with cognate object. 1535 Stewart 57478.
The Douglas said, he suld haif gart him leip Thre lowpis in ane
15.. Lichtoun Dreme 24.
I … lap thre loupis and I wes haill and feir
1629 Boyd Last B. 376.
What a foole is hee, who seeing his neighbour breake his leg in breaking of an orchard for an apple, would leape the same loupe

d. fig. 1375 Barb. xiii. 658.
Quhen the Kyng Eduardis mycht Wes lawit, Kyng Robert lap on hicht
1595 Thanes of Cawdor 210.
Be the … calumnius inventioune his former confessioune concernyng the murthour … mycht be the easyer louping our

3. To mount or spring on or upon (an or one's) horse, on (hors-) bak, in one's sadill, intill one's stirappis.(a) c1420 Wynt. v. 1108.
Hys fute he hade in sterape set On hors to lepe [C. lep]
Ib. 2312.
On hys crag or on hys face … Ay hys a fute he walde set … Apon his hors quhen he wald leipe [: sterype; C. walde lape: sterape; E.2 quhen that he lap]
a1500 Seven S. 2218.
Than Merling gart the King … Leipe on his palfray & furth ryde
1533 Boece vi. i. 186.
Euer quhen Sapor was to ride he vsit his bak as ane stabell vnder his fete to lepe in his sadill
(b) 1375 Barb. ii. 319.
On thar hors [they] lap hastily
Ib. ix. 566, etc. ?1438 Alex. ii. 8385.
He … lap vpon him [F. i saut] full gude speid But steroppis
a1500 Peblis to Play 156.
In till his stirrappis he lap
c1475 Wall. xi. 91.
On bak be lap
a1578 Pitsc. I. 176/20.
Schir Johnne Ramsay … lape on the horse behind the King for to saif his lyf
c1610 Melville Mem. 86.
Then he lap on horsbak and cam fracly to the court
a1634 Read Buch. 263.
An number of rascalls … lapp wpon carriage horse and nages
(b) c1590 J. Stewart 17/67.
On horse scho lop, and did hir journay tak

b. To lepe on (also on loft, up), to mount on horseback. Also said of the leader of a party of horsemen.(1) (a) ?1438 Alex. ii. 8789.
Lepe on, beaushir!
1456 Hay II. 161/10.
The Sarrazen … geve him mete and gert lepe on behynd him
a1538 Abell 30.
The King of Pers … trampit on Walaris bak to leip on
1596 Dalr. I. 225/14.
That croce … quhilke quhen he was to leip onn, … he vset to kisse
Ib. II. 320/18.
On thay leip, schortlie to Scotland thay cum
(b) 1375 Barb. ii. 28.
The Brus lap on, and thiddir raid
1456 Hay II. 160/33.
He saw his awin mule cummand … again till him with all his vittailis … and lap on and passit his wayes
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 614.
Schir Rannald to his riche steid raikit … , Lightly lap he on loft
c1475 Wall. x. 432.
Kerle full son a cursour till him brocht; Than wp he lap, amang the ost he socht
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 472.
On he lap Upon his hors, without support
1659 Hay Diary 101.
About 5 acloak we lap on again, and cam be Bletoun
(c) 1600 Acts IV. 304/1.
The Kingis maiestie is loppin on, and riddin throwche the Inche
c1615 Chron. Kings 162.
The cry is reassit be Gowreyis folkis that the King is away, and lopone on
(2) c1650 Spalding I. 137.
Aluaies he lap on in Aberdein about 60 horss, with suordes, pistollis, and hagbuttis allanerlie
Ib. II. 329. Ib. 342.
He lap on, with about 80 hors, and rode … to Strathbogie

c. To jump doun or dismount fra (from) one's horse. ?1438 Alex. ii. 411.
The King lap doun
Ib. 4650. 1535 Stewart 57764.
Doun fra his hors richt lychtlie that he lap
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 544.
The Squyer lap richt haistelie From his cursour

4. To leap up and down, dance, caper, prance, as for joy or in high spirits. Also transf. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2052.
[The cadger] lap full lichtlie about him [the fox] quhair he lay
Id. III. 118/17. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvi. 15.
With that the fowll sevin deidly synnis Begowth to leip at anis
15.. Christis Kirk 45. c 1569 R. Wedderburn in Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. VIII. 45.
Thus may ye lans and leip at large
1572 Sat. P. xxxii. 20.
We … lap, quhen we had done, For mirrynes
c1590 J. Stewart 77/171.
The schiphirds … danst, … Vith jofull harts thay lop and no thing panst
transf. 1567 G. Ball. 109.
The hillis dansit and lychtly lap lyke lambis

5. transf. Of things: To leap, jump, spring, ‘fly’ (in some direction); also, to ‘fly’ apart or in pieces.(1) 1375 Barb. xiii. 658 (E).
It that wndre lawch was ar Mon lepe on loft
a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 619.
Thane men mycht se … Hou the pecis [of the broken chalice] … Lape to-gydyr
Ib. xxvii. 1033.
Out of his hals than lape the bane
1535 Stewart 9885.
Quhill leg and lym and all lap out of lith
Ib. 11980.
Quhill ruvis raif and steill stapillis out lap
1578 Reg. Privy C. III. 40.
Quhill his ene lap out upoun his cheikis
1643 Orkney Witch Trial in Dalyell Darker Superst. 266.
Quhen the corne was caryit to the grind, it lap vpoun his wyfis face lyk myttis
(2) 1513 Doug. v. iv. 99.
The arys in flendris lap
Ib. xii. xii. 113.
This ontrew temperit blaid … at the first clap … in litill pecis lap
1535 Stewart 7200.
Leg harnes lap and lymmis vnder als

6. Of the stomach or lungs, the pulses, the heart: To bound, leap up; to beat violently, throb. a1500 K. Hart 920.
Myn wittis hes he [Rere-supper] waistit oft with wyne And maid my stomak with hait lustis leip
1513 Doug. ix. vii. 103.
And for the cald of deth hys lungis lap
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 274.
My punsis lap with pyth
1633 Johnston Diary (1911) I. 164.
Som glimring hoope, quhairat my heart lappe

7. tr. To jump, also to climb or clamber, over (a wall etc.); to jump down from (a wall or stair-head etc.). To lepe the dyke also = to make one's escape.(1) c1475 Wall. vi. 257.
Sum grecis lap, and sum stekit with in
1567 Crim. Trials I. i. 494.
[They] ȝeid down ane clois … to haif loppin the wall of Leith Wynd and thair my lord thoucht it over heich
1609 Ib. III. 42. 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 107.
Some lap the wallis and escapit
1582 Lanark B. Rec. 89.
For feir of my lyf, I lap the stair and fled my wey
1609 Crim. Trials III. 2.
[They] lappe the Castle wall at the utter gate
c1650 Spalding II. 357.(2) a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1046 (Wr.).
Skilde and pithy reasons why That Danger lap the dyke

8. Of certain animals: To spring upon (the female) in copulation, to leap (the female). Also transf. 1542 Old Ross-shire I. 109.
All young ky that the bull nevir lap
1594 Black Bk. Taymouth 299.
Ane litill gray meir … loppin with the yong lardis lyart cursor
transf. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 387.
And I wes layth to be loppin with sic ane lob aver

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"Lepe v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2022 <>



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