1. (in Scottish legends) a water spirit, usually having the form of a horse, reputed to cause drownings or to warn those in danger of drowning.


  1. Australian kelpie.

noun plural -pies

  1. an Australian breed of sheepdog, originally developed from Scottish collies, having a smooth coat of various colours and erect ears


  1. (in Scottish folklore) a water spirit in the form of a horse that drowned its riders

1747, Scottish, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Gaelic colpach “heifer, steer, colt;” colpa “cow, horse.” The Lowland name of a demon in the shape of a horse that was reputed to haunt lakes and rivers and to delight in causing drownings. But unlike its equivalents in Danish (nøkken) and Icelandic (nykur), it occasionally was benevolent, especially to millers by keeping their streams running.

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