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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SLIP, v., n.1 Also slipp (Jak.); slup (wm.Sc. 1923 H. Foulis Hurricane Jack 88). Dim. slippie. Sc. forms and usages:

I. v.

Sc. form of Eng. slip.Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 12:
they crucifehd wis, they crucifehd wis
o jeannie, eh'm sluppin awa

Sc. usages:

1. tr. To release, let go, dismiss from school or the like (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); to allow to dismount from a vehicle, to drop (Sh. 1970); to overlook, refrain from noticing, to pass over without mention, obs. in Eng. Ppl.adj. slippit, -et, released from all rule, unrestrained, running wild (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.), esp. of a grazing animal released from its tether (Sh. 1970).Sh. 1901 T. P. Ollason Mareel 10:
Twa half-grown lasses, 'at wir carryin' on laek a pair o' slippit things.
Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. 228:
Jirry hes sense in some wyes; bit in idder wyes he hes non at aall. He's ower slippid sometimes.
Sh. 1951 Sh. Folk Book II. 65:
Slip du me an Ah'll slip de (say nothing, and I'll be silent also).
Sh. 1956 Shetland News (4 Dec.):
A cheery burst of shouting and laughing as the bairns were slipped from school.
Sh. 1968 New Shetlander No. 84. 16:
Maurice o Setter slippet me below wir hoose.

2. To allow (a chance or the like) to slip, to fail or omit (to perform some action) (Ork., Per. 1970); to miss, “skip”, by-pass. Obs. in Eng. since 18th c.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 122:
[He] changes, lends, extorses, cheats and grips, And no ae Turn of gainfu' Us'ry slips.
Mry. 1788 Session Papers, Petition J. Allan (1 July) 15:
He always saw the other feuars of Garmouth never slip to do the same.
Dmf. 1831 R. Shennan Tales 164:
Then slip not the chance when it is in your power.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 120:
Sheu t'ought the Trow been come tae grip her, — An' seur wus she he wad nae slip her.

3. In pass. of a cow: to have the pelvic ligaments relaxed before parturition (Bnff., Per., wm. and sm.Sc. 1970).Ayr.4 1928:
She'll no calve the nicht; she's no sair eneuch slippit.

4. Combs. and phrs.: (1) slip-airn, see n., 2.; (2) slip-band, in harvesting: a straw binding for a sheaf which, because of a defective knot, slips open (Ork. 1970), thus entitling the bandster (who ties it) to claim a kiss from the gatherer (who makes the band) as a penalty. Cf. (11) below; (3) slip-bolt, a door- or sash-bolt made to slip into a cylindrical socket, a barrel-bolt (Sc. 1952 Builder (20 June) 943). Gen.Sc.; (4) slip-bottom, the base of a receptacle which slides out to ensure easy emptying. Hence slip-bottomed, adj., having a detachable base; (5) slip-by, a task performed in a negligent manner, shoddy work (I., n., em.Sc.(a), wm.Sc. 1970); †(6) slip-coffin, see quot.; (7) slip-down, a soft, bland food which slips easily down the throat, phs. curds. Cf. Eng. dial. slip-down, “old milk slightly curdled” (E.D.D.); (8) slip-lock, a sliding bolt. Hence slip-locket, -ed, adj., fastened with a bolt, bolted. Cf. (3); (9) slip-ma- or -me-labor, -laaber, -lauber, -lawber, a lazy, untrustworthy person (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 167; Sh. 1957 Sh. Folk-Bk. III. 33, Sh. 1970). Also in form slip-me-laav (Edm.) and used attrib. = careless, negligent, of persons; of work: badly or casually done (Gregor; Ork. 1970); (10) slip-on, a type of great-coat worn like a cloak in the Highlands (Highl. 1825 Jam.); (11) slip-raip, = (2) above (ne.Sc., Per., Lnk. 1970); (12) slip-shod, adj., as in Eng., but specif. (i) wearing shoes but no stockings (Slk. 1825 Jam.; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 159; em.Sc.(a), wm., sm. and s.Sc. 1970); (ii) having one's shoe-laces hanging loose (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; wm., sm. and s.Sc. 1970); (13) slip-sole, a step of a stair (Sc. 1887 Architect. Soc. Dict. VII. 90). Cf. Mid.Eng. slip, a stairway; a window-sill made to be inserted between already existing jambs; (14) to slip aff, (i) to die in a quiet and peaceful manner. Cf. (16) below; (ii) to slip aff o' oneself, one's feet, to take off one's clothes, shoes (Sh. 1970); (15) to slip a fit, euphemistically, to die; (16) to slip awa, to die quietly (Per., Fif. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc.; (17) to slip on, used absol., to dress oneself quickly (Sh. 1970); (18) to slip one's breath, to die. Colloq. and obsol. in Eng.; (19) to slip one's grip, lit., to release one's hold (Sh. 1970); fig. to lose hold on life, to die (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 167); (20) to slip one's wa(y)s, to take oneself off, depart (Ork. 1970); (21) to slip the girths, (girds, girr), (i) of a pack-load: to fall down through the bursting of the horse's girth (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Hence fig. to tumble down, to crash to the ground; (ii) to bear an illegitimate child (Ayr. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Gird, n.1; (22) to slip the heid, of an apprentice or the like: to break one's indenture, release oneself arbitrarily from one's responsibilities or undertakings (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) S.95); (23) to slip the school, to play truant (Rs. 1929); (24) to slip the timmers, to die, “kick the bucket” (Bnff., Abd. 1970); (25) to slip the tow, to slither down the haulage-rope in a coal-mine; (26) to slip up, to put on (one's hat) unobtrusively.(2) Abd. 1891 G. W. Anderson Strathbogie 87:
I ance made a slip-band and promised Tae fee for his scythe the neist year.
(4) Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 40:
An' I hae seen the muck ta'en to the fields On horses' backs, in strang slip-bottom'd creels.
Sc. 1854 H. Miller Schools (1858) 285:
In square wicker-work panniers with slip-bottoms.
(5) Cld. 1880 Jam.:
That's no' half done: ye've jist gien't a slip-by.
(6) Sc. 1852 Chambers's Jnl. (1 April) 207:
In the olden time, paupers were only conveyed to the church-yard in a coffin, not buried in one. The article in use was what was called a slip-coffin, having a movable hinged bottom, which being let down over the grave, and a bolt withdrawn, the body dropped in and was quickly covered over, while the box was set aside for future use in the same way.
(7) Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan I. xiii.:
I sent May Ramage down with a tinyful of slip-down to Mr. Sclatch.
(8) Sc. 1826 H. Duncan William Douglas III. iii.:
Sae ye'll fin your door slip-locket.
(9) Kcb. 1825 W. Nicholson Poems (1897) 80:
Puir slipmalabors ye hae little wit.
Sh. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 230:
“Never trust ta him. He's just a slip-me-laubur.” The word labour is used to denote any employment, pleasure as well as duty.
(10) Sc. 1815 C. I. Johnstone Clan-Albin I. xiii.:
Hugh flung his slyp-on around him: for the Highlanders of the Isles and West Highlands wear their upper garments exactly in the good easy way of their brethren in Ireland , their sleeves dangling over the back.
(11) Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (19 Aug.):
To see that the bandsters were making fast their bindings, and the gedderers weren'a makin' ower mony slip-rapes.
(12) (i) Dmf. 1866 Carlyle Reminisc. (Froude 1881) I. 150:
Sauntering miserably with an old plaid over his head, slip shod in a pair of old clogs.
(13) Gsw. 1731 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 350:
For putting in three slip soles in three windows.
(14) (i) Fif. 1899 E. F. Heddle Marget 30:
I'm thinkin' I'm slippin off.
(ii) Sh. 1897 Shetland News (23 Oct.):
Slip aff o' your feet, an' set you in ta da fire.
(15) Ayr. 1834 Galt Liter. Life III. 40:
Ye might, if Bauldy slips a foot, put in for the place.
(16) Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 54:
Soud ye kick up, an' slip awa?
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 15:
The like o' them slippin' awa is an everyday occurrence.
Per. 1894 I. MacLaren Brier Bush 181:
No one died in Drumtochty “he slippet awa.”
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy xxix.:
Whiles it's better that they should slip awa'.
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 144:
Maggie never spoke again. She slippit awa' without a sign.
Abd. 1929 Weekly Jnl. (14 March) 6:
His grannie was fest slippin' awa'.
(17) Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Tales 35:
He jimps up, an' slips on upon him.
(18) Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 248:
Shou'd his Kate slip her breath, Ye should lady it doon at Cardoo.
(19) Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Tales 254:
Dat meenit da Deevil slippit his grip o' da lass.
(20) Kcb. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 100:
Conveener Tamson slips his wa's.
Ayr. 1816 A. Boswell Poet Wks. (1871) 165:
Gie the chield room, lads, — slip your ways.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxxviii.:
If I were to slip my ways hame again.
Mry. 1865 W. Tester Poems 136:
Ere the brave Shirra O's had got slippit their wa's.
Ags. 1880 J. Watt Poet. Sk. 113:
Sud we e'en slip oor wa's to be oot when he ca's.
(21) (i) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xix.:
They were feared their auld edifice might slip the girths in gaun through siccan rough physic.
(24) Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 24:
Wha-ever slips the timmers lippens me to mak' his bed.
(25) Fif. 1883 W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers 52:
Like a collier slippin' the tow.
(26) Inv. 1732 J. Noble ( Miscellanea 1902) 128:
He slipt up his hat and left the room.

II. n. 1. A thong or strap of leather or similar material by which a sword is attached to the wearer's belt. Cf. Eng. slip, a leash, noose.Fif. 1722 Caled. Mercury (29 Oct.):
A Snake Skin Scabert, and a Hog's Skin Slip, both worn through near the Crampet.

2. A metal ring attaching the swingle-trees of a plough to the trace-chains from the harness (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 202; Arg. 1937; Cai. 1970). Combs. slip-airn, -iron (Cld. 1825 Jam.), slippond [ < slip-ban(d)], id.e.Lth. 1808 Foord Acct. Bk. MS. 36:
Briddle and Chain and sock and coulter rounds plaits slippond and esses for trees.

3. An arrangement of a pulley or cradle running on a sloped railway, designed for drawing ships out of the water for repair (see quots.). The invention was patented in 1818 by Thomas Morton of Leith, hence the term patent slip in gen. use for this apparatus in dockyards. Cf. Eng. slip, a slipway for ships.Sc. 1830 Edinburgh Encycl. XVIII. 256:
Slips have also been sent by Mr. Morton to France and Russia.
Sc. 1880 Encycl. Brit. XI. 470:
Slips are the contrivance of Mr. Thomas Morton of Leith, and consist of a carriage or cradle working on an inclined railway.

4 “A wooden frame set on the top of a cart, for enlarging its size, when the draught consists of corn, hay, or wood for fuel” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.).

5. (1) A loose garment for slipping over one's clothes to protect them, a pinafore, esp. for a child (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.). Gen.Sc. Now dial. in Eng. Hence slipful, a skirtful, a lapful.Abd. 1905 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 240:
Puddlin' an' weetin' my feet an' blaudin' my slip.
Uls. 1912 J.A.P. Belfast Boy viii.:
Many a slipfull she had gathered to light the fire.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 6:
Like sails o' ships He fulls their slips.

(2) As in Eng., an underdress. Comb. ‡slip-body, an under-bodice, camisole. Gen.Sc. Deriv. slippi(e), n., “a flannel vest worn under a shirt”, a Semmit (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1950).Abd. 1880 Bon-Accord (2 Oct.) 16:
Slip Bodies, 1s. each.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums viii.:
When he grew out o' it, she made a slipbody o't for hersel.
Sh. 1892 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 114:
Peerie slip and bit o shaal.
Per. 1896 I. Maclaren Kate Carnegie 197:
Ae slipbody, weel hemmed.

6. An abortion, miscarriage (Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Dmb. 1970). Obs. in Eng. in 17th c. Cf. Eng. slip, to abort, gen. of cattle.Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle ii. iii.:
They say an opal's gey unlucky. . . . She had an unco bad slip the very month she got it.

[O.Sc. slippon, = II. 2., 1536.]

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"Slip v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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