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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English ġeclypod, from the verb clipian, where the unusual y- (see more there) is from the Old English past participle prefix ġe-.




  1. past participle of clepe


yclept (not comparable)

  1. (archaic, poetic) Called, named.
    Synonym: hight
    • 1645, John Milton, L'Allegro, line 13,
      But come, thou Goddess fair and free/ In heaven yclept Euphrosyne []
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, page 410,
      those sounds which [] issue from the mouths, and sometimes from the nostrils, of those fair river nymphs, ycleped of old the Naïades []
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, Sally Krimmer; Alan Lawson, editors, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, 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, James Joyce, Ulysses, Dover Publications (2002), →ISBN, page 369,
      And there came against the place as they stood a young learning knight yclept Dixon.
    • 1937, Rex Stout, The Red Box, chapter 8,
      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.
    • 1967, Roy Thomas, Avengers 42, Marvel (1967), 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: The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916-1988), 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, Carter Beats the Devil, Hyperion (2002), →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.

Usage notes[edit]

  • While clepe is obsolete, yclept is still occasionally used for humorous or archaic effect; as in the set phrase aptly yclept.
  • A holdover from Middle English, yclept is one of the few English words where 'y' figures as a vowel at the beginning of a word. Others include yttrium and Yngling.