- a lad or boy.
- a rascal; scamp.
Origin of spalpeen
1770–80; < Irish spailpín seasonal hired laborer, rude person, scamp, equivalent to spailp spell, bout, turn + -ín noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spalpeen
Can't ye lend a hand to the spalpeen while you're doing nothing?Manners, Vol 2 of 3
He called this morning and said the spalpeen was doing splendid.The Boy Patrol Around the Council Fire
Edward Sylvester Ellis
Why couldn't that spalpeen have showed himself where he made me expect him?Blazing Arrow
Edward S. Ellis
Why, thin, did the spalpeen say it was himself that was bested?
If ye'll smash that spalpeen I'll be attending to the same wid this one.
- an itinerant seasonal labourer
- a rascal or layabout
C18: from Irish Gaelic spailpín itinerant labourer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012