from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of spalpeen.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Afore yer calls yer spalpeens out o 'the press-room squint at that. "

    A Knight of the Nineteenth Century

  • “It was enjoyable . . . until they attacked me from behind, the miserable spalpeens.”

    Much Ado About Marriage

  • I have participated in vacuous group discussions – run by oily management facilitators – to come up with Mission Statements; I have listened to seminars exhorting me to Pursue Excellence and have been indoctrinated on the techniques of inspiring commitment in others by pop-psychology spouting spalpeens wearing an excess of smelly underarm deodorant.

    The status quo is not an option « Anglican Samizdat

  • Well, bad cess on the muthering spalpeens, as S.J. Perelman was wont to say.

    Archive 2006-11-01

  • The great fact emerges that after that historic date all holographs so far exhumed initialled by Haromphrey bear the sigla H.C.E. and while he was only and long and always good Dook Umphrey for the hungerlean spalpeens of Lucalizod and Chimbers to his cronies it was equally certainly a pleasant turn of the populace which gave him as sense of those normative letters the nickname Here Comes

    Finnegans Wake

  • There's to be no shooting till the skirmishers amongst those southron spalpeens flee back to their line.

    Advance and Retreat

  • "Well, if you won't let those southron spalpeens set themselves, when are we to move?"

    Advance and Retreat

  • "Ye miserable spalpeens," said Paddy, laying to with a great big stick, and between times whipping the treasures from the pockets of fallen men.

    The Kangaroo Marines

  • "Ye dirty, mouldy-faced sons of dog-eatin ', blue-nosed spalpeens -- Oi'll bomb yis," roared Paddy, gripping a jam tin and lighting the fuse.

    The Kangaroo Marines

  • I little thought, your honour, that these spalpeens, saving your presence, intended anything more than friendship.

    A Sailor of King George


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  • I believe this word is the plural of spalpeen.

    "Oh now! ", says the sergeant "I'll have no such chat

    And I neither will take it from spalpeen or brat

    For if you insult me with one other word

    I'll cut off your heads in the morning."

    From the Irish folk song Arthur McBride and the Sergeant. The song was most famously covered by Bob Dylan and by Paul Brady. Brady singing and playing it is easily found on YouTube.

    January 17, 2010

  • "'Ye wouldna ken what's meant by the term "spalpeens," would ye, Mistress Fraser?' MacRae asked, raising one bushy brow."

    —Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (NY: Dell, 1994), 674

    January 17, 2010