From Middle English yclept, ycleped, iclept [and other forms] (i-, y- (prefix forming past participles) + clepen (“to say, speak, utter; to call, shout; to name; to address; to appeal to, beg, pray; to ask, request; to appear; to send for, summon; to convene; to call forth, induce; to lay claim”) + -ed, -t (suffix forming past participles of weak verbs)), from Old English ġeclypod, ġeclipod (ġe- (suffix forming past participles or participle adjectives) + clypian, clipian (“to call out, cry; to appeal”) (West Saxon) [and other forms] + -d (suffix forming past participles)). Clipian is derived from Proto-Germanic *klipjaną, *klapjaną (“to be noisy; to chatter”), probably related to *klappōną (“to clap, pound, or strike (especially two things against each other); to make loud noises, especially breathing or pulsating; to chatter”), and ultimately onomatopoeic. Doublet of clap.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪˈklɛpt/, /-ˈkliːpt/, (poetic) /ɪˈkliːpɪd/
Audio (southern England) (file) Audio (southern England) (file) Audio (southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɪˈklɛpt/
- Rhymes: -ɛpt
yclept (not comparable)
- (archaic, poetic or humorous) Called (by a certain name), named.
- Synonym: hight
- c. 1595–1596 (date written), W. Shakespere [i.e., William Shakespeare], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie Called, Loues Labors Lost. […] (First Quarto), London: […] W[illiam] W[hite] for Cut[h]bert Burby, published 1598, →OCLC; republished as Shakspere’s Loves Labours Lost (Shakspere-Quarto Facsimiles; no. 5), London: W[illiam] Griggs, […], , →OCLC, [Act I, scene i], lines 236–237 and 240–241:
- And as I am a Gentleman, betooke my ſelfe to walke: the time When? about the ſixt houre, […] Now for the ground Which? which I meane I walkt vpon, it is ycliped Thy Park.
- a. 1645, John Milton, “L’Allegro”, in Poems of Mr. John Milton, […], London: […] Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Mosely, […], published 1646, →OCLC, page 31:
- But com thou Goddes fair and free, / In Heav'n ycleap'd Euphrosyne, […]
- 1663, [Samuel Butler], “The Second Part of Hudibras”, in Hudibras. The First and Second Parts. […], London: […] John Martyn and Henry Herringman, […], published 1678, →OCLC; republished in A[lfred] R[ayney] Waller, editor, Hudibras: Written in the Time of the Late Wars, Cambridge: University Press, 1905, →OCLC, canto I, page 106:
- There is a tall long-sided Dame, / (But wondrous light) ycleped Fame, / That like a thin Camelion Bourds / He[r] self on Air, and eats her words: […]
- 1687, A[phra] Behn, The Emperor of the Moon. A Farce. […], London: […] R. Holt, for Joseph Knight, and Francis Saunders, […], →OCLC, Act I, scene ii, page 21:
- Upon a winged Horſe, Icliped Pegaſus, / Swift as the fiery Racers of the Sun, / ——I fly——I fly—— / See how I mount, and cut the liquid Sky.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, “A Dreadful Alarm in the Inn, with the Arrival of an Unexpected Friend of Mrs. Fitzpatrick”, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume IV, London: A[ndrew] Millar, […], →OCLC, book XI, page 160:
- [T]here arrived in the Room where the two Ladies were ſitting, a Noiſe, […] more like (for what Animal can reſemble a human Voice) to thoſe Sounds, which, in the pleaſant Manſions of that Gate, which ſeems to derive its Name from a Duplicity of Tongues, iſſue from the Mouths, and ſometimes from the Noſtrils of thoſe fair River Nymphs, ycleped of old the Napææ, or theNaïades; […]
- 1809, Diedrich Knickerbocker [pseudonym; Washington Irving], “Shewing How Profound Secrets are Strangely Brought to Light; […]”, in A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty. […], volume II, New York, N.Y.: Inskeep & Bradford, […], →OCLC, book VI, page 86:
- Sometimes in consequence of some flagrant villany, he would abscond from the garrison, […] squatting himself down on the edge of a pond catching fish for hours together, and bearing no little resemblance to that notable bird ycleped the Mud-poke.
- 1849, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], “Fieldhead”, in Shirley. A Tale. […], volume I, London: Smith, Elder and Co., […], →OCLC, page 276:
- The shortest path from the Hollow to the Rectory wound near a certain mansion, […] the old and tenantless dwelling yclept Fieldhead.
- 1863, Frances Anne Kemble, Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839, London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, →OCLC, page 176:
- The damsel, ycleped Louisa, made rather a shame-faced obeisance, and her old grandmother went on to inform me that she had only lately been forgiven by the overseer for an attempt to run away from the plantation.
- 1907, Barbara Baynton, “Human Toll”, in Sally Krimmer and Alan Lawson, editors, Barbara Baynton: Bush Studies, Other Stories, Human Toll, Verse, Essays and Letters (Portable Australian Authors; UQP Australian Authors), St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, →ISBN, →ISSN, page 147:
- No schoolboys lingered round Bob Robertson's (yclept Roberson's) blacksmith's shop, for this sleepy day no lusty throat bellowed attention to the flaming tongues fanned from its bloodily blazing teeth; no luminous stars flinted from the clanking anvil.
- 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 14: Oxen of the Sun]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, […], →OCLC, part II [Odyssey], page 369:
- And there came against the place as they stood a young learning knight yclept Dixon.
- 1967 July, Roy Thomas, The Avengers, volume 1, number 42, New York, N.Y.: Marvel Comics, →OCLC, page 6:
- In sooth, I care but little for the glory of closing in combat with the one yclept Dragon Man.
- 1987, Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard: […], New York, N.Y.: Delacorte Press, →ISBN, page 229:
- The second puzzle was this: why were the vast rectangles between the encircling columns at ground level blank? How could any art patron have left them bare? When I saw them, they were painted the palest rose-orange, not unlike the Sateen Dura-Luxe shade yclept "Maui Eventide."
- 2001, Glen David Gold, chapter 3, in Carter Beats the Devil […], New York, N.Y.: Hyperion, →ISBN, page 174:
- World traveling sorcerer supreme Charles Carter, yclept Carter the Mysterious, has made a startling discovery that makes the news from Europe seem mild indeed. The Japanese have a horrifying secret weapon: a means of propelling their infantry through solid matter.
While most forms of the verb clepe are obsolete, yclept is still occasionally used as an adjective or verb for humorous or archaic effect; as in the set phrase aptly yclept.
A holdover from Middle English, yclept is one of a small number of English words where y figures as a vowel at the beginning of a word. Others include Yngling, ytterbium, and yttrium.
- past participle of clepe
- ^ “i-, pref.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “clēpen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “-(e)d, suf.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “yclept | ycleped, adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “yclept, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *ḱóm
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