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Jamaica, circa 18th century. From Bube dupe (ghost).



duppy (plural duppies)

  1. (Caribbean) A ghost or spirit, often appearing in the form of a dog barking or howling through the night.
    • 1774, Long, Edward, The History of Jamaica[1], volume 2, page 416:
      They firmly believe in the apparition of spectres. Those of deceased friends are duppies; others, of more hostile and tremendous aspect, like our raw-head-and-bloody-bones, are called bugaboos.


Derived terms[edit]


duppy (third-person singular simple present duppies, present participle duppying, simple past and past participle duppied)

  1. (MLE, transitive) To kill; to murder.
    • 2008, Kingsley Ogundele, online message quoted in 2010 January 27, Rob Sharp, "CSI: Chatroom", The Independent
      He refers to his intention to kill a schoolgirl pregnant with Jolie's unborn baby – who the pair believe is giving Jolie undue hassle. "I'll get da fiend to duppy her den," he writes.
    • 2011, Alex Wheatle, The Dirty South, Profile Books →ISBN, page 176
      He duppied my bredren and as long as I could remember Paps was telling me not to trust the Feds.
  2. (MLE, by extension, transitive) To excel in.
    • 2011, Kano, guest on Lethal Bizzle, "Pow 2011"
      I duppied every rave.