• synonyms


[spal-peen, spal-peen]
noun Irish English.
  1. a lad or boy.
  2. a rascal; scamp.
Show More

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

Historical Examples

  • Can't ye lend a hand to the spalpeen while you're doing nothing?

    Manners, Vol 2 of 3

    Frances Brooke

  • He called this morning and said the spalpeen was doing splendid.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for spalpeen


noun Irish
  1. an itinerant seasonal labourer
  2. a rascal or layabout
Show More

Word Origin

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