(Modern English )


The ME n. clypper is formed on a v. which occurs elsewhere in NWGmc (apart from OE; cp. LG klippen, Fris klippen, klappen, kleppen), but its etymology is uncertain. Contamination from kippa, *knippa or klypa has been suggested (cf. Mag. and de Vries). The OED (s.v. clip v.2) posits identification with LG klippen 'to make a sharp sound', the application being transferred from the sound to the associated sharp actions and suggests onomatopoeic influence.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

klippa (v.) 'to clip'
(ONP klippa (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far klippa, Norw klippa, Dan klippe, Sw klippa, Sw dial klöppa, Shetl klipp

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED’s citations are predominantly, but not exclusively, N (in its sense (b) ‘sheepshearer’, N/EM); its earliest citation is (a1382) WBible(1) (Dc 369(1)). Later in more general dial usage (see OED, EDD).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 802


MED clipper (n.)[], OED clipper (n. 1) , HTOED , EDD clipper (sb.1), Bj. 246, de Vries klippa, Mag. klippa