One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
rascal, monkey, devil, imp, rogue, wretch, mischief-maker, troublemaker, pranksterView synonyms
- ‘In the later 19th century spalpeens were most commonly employed as potato diggers.’
- ‘The two spalpeens laughed and dodged through traffic to the opposite side of the narrow street.’
- ‘The spalpeen attempted to resist the officers of the law, and we clubbed him over the head a bit.’
- ‘What are you gazing at, you set of spalpeens.’
Late 18th century (denoting a migratory farm worker): from Irish spailpín, of unknown origin.
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