Water-kelpie

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Water-kelpie a malignant water-spirit, generally in the form of a horse, which delights to drown unwary travellers
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. wæter; Dut. water, Ger. wasser; Gr. hydōr, L. udus, wet, unda, a wave, Sans. udan, water.

Usage

In literature:

KELPIE, an imaginary water-spirit which, it is said, appears generally in the form of a horse.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
Does somebody go behind and push it, or is it dragged in front by sea-horses and water-kelpies?
"Willis the Pilot" by Johanna Spyri
Behind him rolled the moor, with the hollow where lay, water in a deep jade cup, the Kelpie's Pool.
"Foes" by Mary Johnston
The Welsh water-horse resembles the Kelpie of the Scotch.
"Welsh Folk-Lore a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales" by Elias Owen
Soon the water-kelpie came to him in the form of a horse; and ran before him, neighing fiercely, and breathing fire from his mouth.
"Fairy Book" by Sophie May
The water maidens of Greek mythology and the Germanic nixies and water kelpies are developed forms of spirits.
"Introduction to the History of Religions" by Crawford Howell Toy
Didst thou take us for a water-kelpie?
"Recreations of Christopher North, Volume I (of 2)" by John Wilson
And in that country live terrible water-kelpies.
"The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries" by W. Y. Evans Wentz
Anders had heard a story something like that, only it was about a water kelpy, not a brownie.
"Tales from the Fjeld" by P. Chr. Asbjörnsen
England and Ireland had no water-sprites which answered to the Nix and the Kelpie, only the Merrow, who was a Mermaid.
"Brownies and Bogles" by Louise Imogen Guiney
***

In poetry:

Then the hoolits that bide in the Brocklan' wud
Flaff roun' wi' an' eerie cry;
While the water kelpies in ilka pool
Coor doon till it gangs by.
"The Fiddler O' Boglebriggs" by Alexander Anderson
The side was stey, and the bottom deep,
Frae bank to brae the water pouring;
And the bonny grey mare did sweat for fear,
For she heard the water-kelpy roaring.
"Annan Water" by Andrew Lang