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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HIZZIESKIP, n. Also hizzyskip, hissie-; hooseskep, house-; hussyskep; h(o)us(e)-wif(e)skep, -skip; hussifskip, -skep, hussyfskap; ¶housewife's cap. [′hɪzi-, ′hʌzi-, -skɪp, -skɛp]

1. Housewifery, housekeeping, household management (Sc. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xii.:
But I wadna affront your housewifeskep, gudewife; and, wi' your permission, I'se e'en pit them in my napkin.
Edb. 1867 A. Leighton Romances 191:
Our gentle clerk . . . [assisted] her mother in what at that time was denominated hussyskep.
Gall. 1902 A. E. Maxwell Lilts 27:
Weel shod feet that step Aye but and ben, and in and oot, Sae eident in housekep [sic].
wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs McCraw 100:
A bonnie wife he's gotten, that's nae mair idee o' hooseskep than a coo.
Abd. 1933 C. Murray in Oor Mither Tongue (MacWhannell) 202:
He grudges her naething, be't sweeties or claes, An' has for her hizzyskip clappin' an' praise.
Sc. 1953 Edb. Ev. Dispatch (8 Dec.):
Many aspects of our national life, ranging from literature and scholarship to local government and (to use an old Scots word) hussifskep.

2. Phrs.: (1) mair by chance than guid hissieskip, more by luck than good management (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also mair by gweed hap nor gweed hizzieskip (Abd.4 1929); (2) to have one's hand in one's hussyskep, to be very busy with one's own (domestic) affairs.(2) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 159:
My hand is in my hussy'f skap, Goodman, as ye may see.
Sc. 1829 Scott Journal (1890) II. 307:
I looked in on Cadell, whose hand is in his housewife's cap, driving and pushing to get all the works forward in due order.

3. A bag for holding darning or mending materials (Fif.17 1950, hussifskip; Lnk. 1957). Cf. Hizzie, n., 3.

[O.Sc. hussyskep, = 1., a.1568. From Hizzie, q.v. + -skep, -skip, O.N. -skapr (= Eng. -ship. Cf. heirskip, Heirship). The spellings housewife-, etc. are etymological. Sense 3. may arise from a misunderstanding of the 1776 quot. (from John Grumlie), and confusion with Skep, a basket.]

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"Hizzieskip n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Jun 2023 <>



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