Today’s word, skelp, gave me a wee bit of a headache. You see, I use it a lot in daily life and when I’m writing. But, when I’m writing, I tend to use it in a very different way than I do in everyday life. I’d best give you the definition so that you can see where my difficulty came from.
As a verb, skelp means spank, smack, slap, hit; to hammer, beat, work with vigour, gallop, move fast. As a noun, it means a blow, smack, a blast of wind, a downpour of rain. There’s even more here.
Maybe my issue isn’t clear yet. Remember, I write romantic suspense, and that kind of story has sexy times and thoughts about sexy times. So, when I did a search in Scrivener (my writing app of choice) for skelp, and it’s English versions, I was inundated with sex-related slaps, spanks, and vigorous motions. Don’t get me started on the word blow.
Finally, I managed to find something that wasn’t a sex scene (taken from Running The Asset):
Hauns hapt aroon Elle, ane glaunin haird agin hir mou, the ither harlin hir ticht agin the lang, pithy feegur o the mannie ahin hir.
Elle flistit. Warslin agin heez airn grup; dumpin it heez leigs, skelpin it him wi hir neives. He gruncht an lowsed heez grup aroon hir weist. Bit afore she cud dae onything, he shuved the sindry hairdness o a gun intae hir are-bone.
“Gin ye wint tae souch awa, haud fukin warslin.”
And now in English.
Hands wrapped around Elle, one clamping hard against her mouth, the other hauling her tight against the tall, solid figure of the man behind her.
Elle exploded with rage. Struggling against his iron grip; kicking at his legs, beating at him with her fists. He grunted and released his grip around her waist. But before she could do anything, he pressed the distinct hardness of a gun into her ribs.
“If you’re wanting to breathe your last, keep fucking struggling.”