One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Pale and feeble or sickly-looking.‘a shilpit wee lad who is used and abused’
weak, weakly, weakened, puny, wasted, frail, infirm, delicate, sickly, ailing, unwell, poorly, failing, helpless, powerless, impotent, enfeebled, enervated, debilitated, incapacitated, effeteView synonyms
- ‘Heaven help me, here's that shilpit creature and me hoping for once she'd slip up and be unpunctual.’
- ‘Dear me, what a shilpit bit thing ye were when I first saw ye about three months ago!’
- ‘He excels at playing shilpit, it's true, but there's something else going on behind those piercing blue eyes today.’
- ‘The author cuts a shilpit figure, hunched over his lager and fags.’
- ‘The room was full of shilpit pointy-heids and sundry technocrats.’
Early 19th century: of unknown origin.
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