Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An imaginary spirit of the waters, generally appearing in the form of a horse, who was believed to give warning of approaching death by drowning, and sometimes maliciously to assist in drowning persons.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Scotch Myth.) An imaginary spirit of the waters, horselike in form, vulgarly believed to warn, by preternatural noises and lights, those who are to be drowned.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A malevolent shapeshifting spirit, most often in the form of a horse, believed to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland.
  • noun An Australian breed of sheepdog.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (Scottish folklore) water spirit in the form of a horse that likes to drown its riders
  • noun an Australian sheepdog with pointed ears

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The dog breed derives from the name shared by the first two breeding bitches (dam and pup), which name derives from the mythological spirit.

Examples

Comments

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  • A mythical Scottish water spirit, but also an Australian breed of dog: "probably descended from the border collie and the dingo, this breed has been known since 1870," according to Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs, 1980.

    February 21, 2007