1 [kel-pee]
(in Scottish legends) a water spirit, usually having the form of a horse, reputed to cause drownings or to warn those in danger of drowning.

1740–50; origin uncertain Unabridged


noun, plural kelpies.


2 [kel-pee]

1905–10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
kelpie or kelpy1 (ˈkɛlpɪ)
n , pl -pies
an Australian breed of sheepdog, originally developed from Scottish collies, having a smooth coat of various colours and erect ears
[named after a particular specimen of the breed, c. 1870]
kelpy or kelpy1
[named after a particular specimen of the breed, c. 1870]

kelpie2 (ˈkɛlpɪ)
(in Scottish folklore) a water spirit in the form of a horse that drowned its riders
[C18: probably related to Scottish Gaelic cailpeach heifer, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1747, Scottish, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Gael. colpach "heifer, steer, colt;" colpa "cow, horse." The Lowland name of a demon in the shape of a horse that was reputed to haunt lakes and rivers and to delight in causing drownings. But unlike its equivalents in Dan. (nøkken) and Icel.
(nykur), it was occasionally benevolent, especially to millers by keeping their streams running.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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