From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



PIE word

From Middle English yclept, ycleped, iclept [and other forms] (i-, y- (prefix forming past participles)[1] + 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)[2] + -ed, -t (suffix forming past participles of weak verbs)),[3] 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)).[4] 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.



yclept (not comparable)

  1. (archaic, poetic or humorous) Called (by a certain name), named.
    Synonym: hight

Usage notes[edit]

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.

Alternative forms[edit]



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.



  1. past participle of clepe


  1. ^ i-, pref.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ clēpen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ -(e)d, suf.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ Compare yclept | ycleped, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “yclept, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.