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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.

Lippie, Lepy, Leipie, n. Also: lip(p)y, lipie, lipé, lyppie; liepie; lepé; leippie, leipé. [Origin doubtful. Appar. confined to the northern and eastern half of the country, from Caithness to the Forth. Also in the mod. dial. of the same region, in the form lippie (occas. leppie) only. (Cf. also Leip.)Perh. a dimin. of ME. lepe, leep, (north.) leippe (1495–6). e.m.E. leap, OE. léap, a (large) basket, a basket for catching or keeping fish, and (in Sussex) a measure, given as two-thirds or as half of a bushel. There appears however to be no certain trace of the simple lepe (= basket) in Scots, though it was appar. in common use in north. ME. On this theory the form lepy, leipie would be the orig. one and the surviving lippie would represent a variant of this with late vowel-shortening.]

1. A dry measure, normally the quarter of a peck or forpet.(a) 1542 Old Ross-shire I. 108.
Out of ilk sek full of corne … delyverit to shipis ane gopin estimat to half ane lipie
1583–4 Culross B. Ct. in Douglas Bequest 24 Mar.
The cropis … extending ȝeirlie to twa furlitis, ane peck, twa lipeis and thrie pairt lipie of wictuall
1602 Old Ross-shire I. 58.
Four pecks [to be] in everie firlatt and thrie lippies allenarlie in everie pek
1611 Dunblane Test. III. 125 b.
ij firlotis ij peckis ij lippies aitis
1624 Black Bk. Taymouth 365.
It is statute that ilk country cadger sall haive 4 d. mair for ilk lipe of salt nor straingeris getis
1638 Pittenweem Ann. 27.
Twa lippies meal
1641 Reg. Great S. 360/1.
Levandi [in Dundee] … unum lie laidle-full de quolibet lie load victualium et salis … (que … restricta est ad ½ lie lippie, de data 26 Sept. 1633)
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII. 231.
Janet Paton [of Crook of Devon] … having an lippy of lintseed sawn in … his yard
1663–6 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp 19 b. 1664 Banff Ann. I. 149.
The pek to be four lipies
1665 Dunkeld Presb. II. 62.
Boyl half ane lippie of salt with thrie choppins of his oun water
1673 Justiciary Ct. Rec. II. 166.
[The fowler at Tulliebole] was coming by the mill and called for a lippie of sidds to his doggs
1677 Brechin Test. VII. 7 b. 1683 Stirling B. Rec. II. 322. 1685–6 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 186. 1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 363.
The Hiland forces at … Stirling … 2 lipies of meall to each of them
1692 Misc. B. Rec. 112.
(Dunfermline:) lippies
1697 Dunferm. Ann. 362. Urquhart Rabelais iii. xviii. (OED. s.v. Lippy).(b) 1570 Edinb. Test. II. 95.
To Watt Skirling thre peccis and ane lepy beir price vj s. j d.
1587 Reg. Great S. 486/2.
(Fife:) Lepeis
1596 Wedderburn Compt. Bk. 152.
1635 Brechin Test. V. 168 b.
(c) 1583–4 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 315.
The said baxters … sall pay … ane leippie, quhilk is the fourt pairt of ane pek, and that of ilk foure laid of quheitt … grund at the said mylnis
1597 St. A. Baxter Bks. 62.
That na brother of craft … giffe ony mair … nor thre leipes of ilk thre bollis of knaiship flowr
1601 Ib. 65.
That na brother of craft … pay mair knaship nor ane straikit leipie and ane half of flowre for ilk bag of quheit grinding
1622 Reg. Great S. 126/1.
(Logie-murdoch:) 1 lie leippie meill
1633 Acts V. 116/1.
(Restalrig;) Of cleir teind of quheit nyne bolls, tua firlotts, ane peck, tua lippies, half leippie, and four quarters of ane half leippie
1696 Cullen B. Rec. 21 Apr.
Tuo leippies
(d) 1697 Cullen B. Rec. 30 June.
The number and quantity of one boll one furlate one peck one liepie bear out of ane croft of land in Longadderings

b. fig. A quantity dispensed, a ‘measure’ (of something). a1700 Whigs Welcome from Bothwell Brig in Bk. Pasquils (1827) i. 5.
Your God … From his coat-tail you'l claime, boys. Leipies of grace

2. A standard measure-vessel of this size. 1607 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 332.
The deyne of gild to have cair of … the firlottis, peckis, half peckis, lipies in the meilmerkatt and in all uther plaices
1609 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 70.
Ane f[ir]lot thrie pecks thrie lipeis all girdit with irne
1612 Conv. Burghs II. 374.
Lynlithgow to tak na mair for furlett, pek, and leippie … bot fourty merk
1655 Ib. III. 400.
The … baillies … alledgeing the fourt pairt or leippie quhairwith he measured the samyn [a bag of linget] wes wnjust
1664 Banff Ann. I. 148.
To have ane sufficient measur ather firlat, pek, or lippie
1669 Stirling Comm. Good 51.
For making 4 half peckis & lyppies, … for girding of them
1694 Inchmahome Pr. 164.
Ane lippie

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"Lippie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Feb 2024 <>



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