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"Portrait of a Young Man (Tymotheos)" by Jan van Eyck, 1432. The liripipe is draped forward at left (subject's right).

A liripipe (/ˈlɪrɪˌpp/;also liripoop, liripipion, liripion) is a historical part of clothing, the tail of a hood or cloak, or a long-tailed hood.


With long-tailed hoods it includes in particular a chaperon or gugel, or the peak of a shoe. A graffito on the church wall of Swannington Church in Norfolk depicts a "late medieval woman wearing a long, laced gown and hood with a long liripipe ornament."[1]

In modern times, the liripipe mostly refers to an element of academic dress being the tail of the cowl of an academic hood.


The word is believed to originate from the Medieval Latin term liripipium, which is of unsure origin. Webster's Dictionary suggests it is a corruption of cleri ephippium (clergy's "tippet") but this is uncertain. The Oxford English Dictionary, attributing the hypothesis to Gilles Ménage, calls it a "ludicrous guess".

Perhaps due to its academic association, it is also a word used to refer to "part or lesson committed to memory".

Other uses[edit]

The word "liripoop" has also the meaning of "silly person", most probably because it is an inherently funny word, cf. "Nincompoop".[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [ The Guardian March 29, 2014, article by Matt Champion, photo from the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey of 2014