One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small black dog of a breed with a ruff of fur round its neck and typically a docked tail.
- ‘It was Popeye (passenger seat, left), one of our schipperkes.’
- ‘First prize in the popular Sunday afternoon contests went to the collar with the lock that presented, yet preserved, the glistening protrusion of black neck hair on the schipperke's early ancestors.’
- ‘Didi is a registered pure-bred gold schipperke, the colour of a golden fox, with foxy ears and a pointy foxy snout.’
- ‘I have 3 schipperkes, but if I had the space would go empty out the local SPCA and give every dog a super home.’
Late 19th century: from Dutch dialect, literally ‘little boatman’, with reference to its use as a watchdog on barges.
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