From Middle English clepen, clepien, from Old English cleopian, clipian (“to speak, cry out, call, summon, invoke, cry to, implore”), from Proto-Germanic *klipōną (“to ring, sound”), from Proto-Indo-European *gal- (“to sound”). Cognate with Old Frisian klippa, kleppa (“to ring”), Dutch kleppen (“to toll, chatter”), Middle Low German kleppen (“to strike, sound”), Middle Low German kleperen (“to rattle”).
- (intransitive, archaic or dialectal) To give a call; cry out; appeal.
- (transitive, archaic or dialectal) To call; call upon; cry out to.
- (transitive, archaic or dialectal) To call to oneself; invite; summon.
- (transitive, archaic or dialectal) To call; call by the name of; name.
- 1593, [William Shakespeare], Venvs and Adonis, London: […] Richard Field, […], OCLC 837166078; Shakespeare’s Venvs & Adonis: […], 4th edition, London: J[oseph] M[alaby] Dent and Co. […], 1896, OCLC 19803734, line 995–996:
- She clepes him king of graues, & graue for kings, / Imperious ſupreme of all mortall things.
- 1937, Rex Stout, chapter 8, in The Red Box:
- Boyden McNair, with his right elbow on his knee and his bent head resting on the hand which covered his eyes, sat near Wolfe's desk in the dunce's chair, yclept that by me on the day that District Attorney Anderson of Westchester sat in it while Wolfe made a dunce of him.
- (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal, often with 'on') To tell lies about; inform against (someone).
- (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To be loquacious; tattle; gossip.
- (transitive, now chiefly dialectal) To report; relate; tell.
- (call by the name of): designate, dub, name; see also Thesaurus:denominate
- (tell lies about; inform against): grass, snitch; see also Thesaurus:rat out
- (be loquacious; tattle; gossip): blab; see also Thesaurus:gossip or Thesaurus:chatter
clepe (plural clepes)
- (now chiefly dialectal) A cry; an appeal; a call.
- a. 1547, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, transl., “Virgil’s Æneid”, in Geo. Fred. Nott, editor, The Works of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey and of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, volume I, London: T. Bensley, published 1815, book II, lines 1021–1024, page 124:
- So bold was I to show my voice that night / With clepes, and cries, to fill the street throughout / With Creuse’ name in sorrow, with vain tears ; / And often-sithes the same for to repeat.
- Alternative form of
clepe m (plural clepes)
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith