Definition of duppy in English:



West Indian
  • A malevolent spirit or ghost.

    • ‘Many folk beliefs involve methods for keeping ghosts, or duppies, from returning to haunt living people.’
    • ‘How you would go about facilitating their removal is dependent on the personality of the duppy, and requires a degree of diagnostic work.’
    • ‘‘Mother’ told her that she had triumphed over the duppy.’
    • ‘Children should not cry during the night though, because a duppy might steal the infant's voice, making it hoarse the next day.’
    • ‘It's a hassle, but not as much hassle as having a homeless angry duppy on your back, and not being in a position to know what it is or what to do with it.’
    • ‘He never had the proper voodoo rituals, and now his duppy is raging, has been all year.’
    • ‘To dispel my disappointment and any Irish duppies - ghosts - that might be hovering about we attacked the three hours scramble to the summit of Blue Mountain Peak.’
    • ‘African and Afro-Creole Jamaicans believed that each person has a dual spirit: one, the duppy that left the body on death and returned to its ancestral lands, and the other, known as the shadow, that accompanied a human being during life.’
    apparition, spectre, phantom, hallucination, ghost, wraith, shadow, manifestation, chimera, illusion, mirage, image
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Late 18th century: probably of West African origin.