: to name or to call
The Maxwells' boat was a beautiful old wooden sloop, yclept "True Love."
Did You Know?
"Clepe" itself is a word that is considered archaic and nearly obsolete, but its past participle "yclept" (pronounced ih-KLEPT) continues to be used, albeit rarely. In Old English, the prefix "ge-" denoted the completion or result of an action; in Middle English, the prefix shifted to "y-" and appeared in words such as "ybaptised" and "yoccupied." Eventually, all the "y-" words except "yclept" fell into disuse. One reason that "yclept" persists may be that it provides a touch of playfulness that appeals to some writers. Another may be that although "yclept" is an unfamiliar term to most people, its meaning can usually be inferred from context. Whatever the reason, "yclept" continues to turn up occasionally in current publications despite its strange and antiquated look.
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