Definition of duppy in English:



West Indian
  • A malevolent spirit or ghost.

    • ‘To dispel my disappointment and any Irish duppies - ghosts - that might be hovering about we attacked the three hours scramble to the summit of Blue Mountain Peak.’
    • ‘Many folk beliefs involve methods for keeping ghosts, or duppies, from returning to haunt living people.’
    • ‘Children should not cry during the night though, because a duppy might steal the infant's voice, making it hoarse the next day.’
    • ‘‘Mother’ told her that she had triumphed over the duppy.’
    • ‘African and Afro-Creole Jamaicans believed that each person has a dual spirit: one, the duppy that left the body on death and returned to its ancestral lands, and the other, known as the shadow, that accompanied a human being during life.’
    • ‘He never had the proper voodoo rituals, and now his duppy is raging, has been all year.’
    • ‘How you would go about facilitating their removal is dependent on the personality of the duppy, and requires a degree of diagnostic work.’
    • ‘It's a hassle, but not as much hassle as having a homeless angry duppy on your back, and not being in a position to know what it is or what to do with it.’
    apparition, spectre, phantom, hallucination, ghost, wraith, shadow, manifestation, chimera, illusion, mirage, image


Late 18th century probably of West African origin.