Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CLYPE, Clipe, Claip, Clep, v.1 [kləip Sc., but Rxb. + klep]

1. intr.

(1) To tell tales about, inform against someone. When not used absolutely, always with on. Gen.Sc. Bnff.6 1914:
Ye manna clype on's noo, Mary, fin ye gang hame.
Mearns 1934 “L. G. Gibbon” Grey Granite I. 76:
If that doesn't please you, gang off and clype.
Lnk. 1923 G. Blake Mince Collop Close xi.:
Mrs Rafferty had cliped on Bella to the police.
Gall. 1930 (per Wgt.3):
Sandy yince cam' up an tell't me that Johnie was lyin' sleepin' on a rickle o' corn in the middle o' the day when he shud ha'e been workin', an' when I chackit Johnie for't, he said, “I'll mak' him rue the day he clyp't on me.”

Hence (a) clypin', cleping, adj., tell-tale; (b) clyper, n., a tattler, tell-tale. (a) Sc. 1722 Ramsay Tale of Three Bonnets i. i.:
When men of Mettle thought it Nonsense To heed that cleping Thing ca'd Conscience.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 10:
Did clypin' bow nae deck the lift, The rain micht ne'er hae been!
(b) Ags. 1912 J. A. Duthie Rhymes and Reminisc. 75:
There were aye some clypers ready to tell on 'm.

(2) “To be loquacious, to tattle” (Abd., Ayr., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2); “especially, as implying the idea of pertness” (Sc. 1808 Jam., clep); to gossip. Known to Bnff.2 Kcb.9 1936. Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
She's aye claipin'.

2. tr. To report, relate, tell (Bnff.2, Fif.10 Arg.1 1936). Bch.(D) 1921 J. Wight in Swatches o' Hamespun 7:
Thinkin' on things she dursena clype.
Ags. 1816 G. Beattie John o' Arnha' (1862) 12:
A . . . digression; By bards of yore who sang of gods, Clep'd underplots and episodes.
Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 137:
Up till noo, whan A'm proodly clypin' the story, the secret society o' Edward Main hes kept the vow.

3. Comb.: clype-clash, “a tale-bearer” (Keb.1 1936; Uls.2 1929). Ags. 1898 Arbroath Guide (5 March) 3/6:
I was never kent for a clype clash a' my days.

[O.Sc. clep(e), c.1400, cleip, 1513, to name, address, accuse, denounce, Mid.Eng. clepe, O.E. cleopian, to call, name; also O.Sc. clip, clyp, from c.1500–c.1512, to call or name, from the O.E. variant form clipian (D.O.S.T.). There is no older form to explain the vowel [əi] in clype, which is a modern development due to some obscure analogy.]

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"Clype v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2020 <>



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