Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Covered with nap; having abundance of nap on the surface: as, a nappy cloth.
  • Heady; strong: applied to ale or beer.
  • Tipsy; slightly elevated or intoxicated with drink.
  • noun Strong ale.
  • noun A round dish of earthenware or glass with a flat bottom and sloping sides.
  • Brittle; easily broken.

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

  • adjective Having a nap or pile; downy; shaggy.
  • noun A round earthen dish, with a flat bottom and sloping sides.
  • adjective Inclined to sleep; sleepy.
  • adjective obsolete Tending to cause sleepiness; serving to make sleepy; strong; heady.
  • noun Chiefly Brit. A diaper{4}.

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

  • noun UK, Ireland An absorbent garment worn by a baby who does not yet have voluntary control of his or her bladder and bowels or by someone who is incontinent.
  • noun A shallow, flat-bottomed earthenware or glass bowl with sloping sides.
  • adjective Having a nap (of cloth etc.).
  • adjective US, slang Of hair: tightly curled or twisted; frizzy (occasionally specifically in reference to Blacks' textured hair).
  • adjective Foamy; having a large head.
  • adjective of a horse Nervous, excitable.
  • noun obsolete A kind of strong ale; nappy ale.

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

  • adjective (of hair) in small tight curls
  • noun garment consisting of a folded cloth drawn up between the legs and fastened at the waist; worn by infants to catch excrement

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably shortened from napkin (but possibly a corruption of French nappe, since napkin is already a diminutive).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English nap, Anglo-Saxon hnaep, cup, bowl. See hanaper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From nap +‎ -y.

Examples

  • The term nappy has been used repeatedly as an insult as though our natural selves are less than.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • The term nappy has been used repeatedly as an insult as though our natural selves are less than.

    Zahara Jolie-Pitt Ask Your Mama To Buy A Comb

  • Once the nappy is on her pjs go on and then I let her bounce on the bed a little bit.

    The bed-time routine « Mad Dave and Lil

  • Our opposing counsel were dead asleep in nappy nap land by the time Jeff whispered, essentially, “Did you infringe our patent?” and the deponent responded in another whisper, “Yeah, I guess so.”

    PIG’S FEET is the new MUSLIM

  • Once the nappy is on her pjs go on and then I let her bounce on the bed a little bit.

    2009 October « Mad Dave and Lil

  • Spirits were raised when one teenage Hooray asked Mother of Hoorays for his cuddly muslin nappy and proceeded to suck his thumb, the silence was momentarily golden but after a quick fix he was back in the groove.

    42 entries from November 2007

  • Spirits were raised when one teenage Hooray asked Mother of Hoorays for his cuddly muslin nappy and proceeded to suck his thumb, the silence was momentarily golden but after a quick fix he was back in the groove.

    Compulsory people watching

  • Spirits were raised when one teenage Hooray asked Mother of Hoorays for his cuddly muslin nappy and proceeded to suck his thumb, the silence was momentarily golden but after a quick fix he was back in the groove.

    Compulsory people watching

  • Am I alone in thinking that the sight of a wrinkly, grey, washed-out, middle-aged man holding a tiny little pink thing in a nappy is faintly disgusting?

    Old Men, Old Women, Young Babies

  • I don't think anybody takes the phrase nappy-headed hos to mean that they were actually prostitutes.

    CNN Transcript Aug 14, 2007

Comments

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  • CNN / April 24, 2007

    Carolivia Herron is a former English professor and the author of the children's book "Nappy Hair." The book tells the story of an African-American family extolling the strength and wonder of young Brenda's natural hair while affirming her beauty and culture. Uncle Mordecai is the principal character who praises Brenda, and Herron has written the following article from the perspective of what Uncle Mordecai would say about the sullying of the word "nappy."

    April 13, 2007

  • Yew Hear!

    January 1, 2009