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See also: Griffin


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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English griffoun, from Old French griffon, from Latin gryphus, from Ancient Greek γρύψ (grúps).


  • IPA(key): /ɡɹɪfɪn/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪfɪn


a griffin (1)

griffin (plural griffins)

  1. A mythical beast having the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle.
  2. A large vulture (Gyps fulvus) found in the mountainous parts of Southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor, supposed to be the "eagle" of the Bible.
  3. An English variety of apple.
  4. (dated, India) A person who has just arrived from Europe.
    • 1842, The Asiatic journal and monthly register, volume 38, page 40:
      Tables were laid out in the palace, profusely covered with wines and refreshments, in the European style; old hands and griffins, fair sex and civilians, seemed all determined to enjoy themselves []
  5. A cadet newly arrived in British India: half English, half Indian.[1]
  6. A watchful guardian, especially a duenna in charge of a young woman.

Derived terms[edit]


  • Chinese Pidgin English: griffin




Chinese Pidgin English[edit]


From English griffin (newcomer to India).



  1. A person who had spent less than a year in China.
  2. A racing pony in its first season.


  • Gow, W. S. P. (1924) Gow’s Guide to Shanghai, 1924: A Complete, Concise and Accurate Handbook of the City and District, Especially Compiled for the Use of Tourists and Commercial Visitors to the Far East, Shanghai, page 105:Griffin: (Anglo-Indian) a newcomer. One with less than a years’[sic] residence in China. Also a racing pony in his first season. (“China ponies” are bred in Mongolia and brought down annually).