Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Kipper


English Wikipedia has an article on:
Kippered "split" herring.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɪpə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪpə(ɹ)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English cypera (male salmon), perhaps related to Old English coper (reddish-brown metal) (see copper), on resemblance of color. Another theory connects it to kip (sharp, hooked lower jaw of the male salmon in breeding season), from Middle English kippen (to seize, snatch), but OED doubts this.


kipper (plural kippers)

  1. A split, salted and smoked herring or salmon.
  2. A male salmon after spawning.
  3. (military, RAF World War II code name) A patrol to protect fishing boats in the Irish and North Seas against attack from the air.
  4. (Britain, naval slang) A torpedo.
    • 2009, Jean Hood, Submarine (page 197)
      'Fancy running the risk of getting a kipper [a torpedo] to go with his grub.'
Derived terms[edit]


kipper (third-person singular simple present kippers, present participle kippering, simple past and past participle kippered)

  1. (cooking) To prepare (a herring or similar fish) by splitting, salting, and smoking.

Etymology 2[edit]

Short form of UKIP +‎ -er, influenced by kipper, the type of fish.


kipper (plural kippers)

  1. (Britain, humorous, often with capital) A member or supporter of UKIP (UK Independence Party).

Etymology 3[edit]

Perhaps akin to Old Norse kjapt (briskly; impetuously), kippa ("to snatch; pull; jerk" > Middle English kippen (to seize)), kipra (to wrinkle; draw tightly), Norwegian kjapp (fast; brisk), Dutch kippen (to seize; catch; grip). More at kip.


kipper (comparative more kipper, superlative most kipper)

  1. (Britain, dialect) amorous
  2. (Britain, dialect) lively; light-footed; nimble
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)



From Middle Low German schippere, cognate to English skipper. Dialectal "kippar" is loaned from a Scandinavian language. Compare Old Swedish skipari


kipper (genitive kipri, partitive kiprit)

  1. skipper.
  2. Head of a small ship.