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kelpie


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A water spirit of Scottish folklore, typically taking the form of a horse, reputed to delight in the drowning of travellers. The word (recorded from the late 17th century) may come from Scottish Gaelic cailpeach, colpach ‘bullock, colt’.

The later derived sense of a sheepdog of an Australian breed, originally bred from a Scottish collie, apparently comes from the name of a particular bitch, King's Kelpie (c.1879).

Subjects: Religion.


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