From Middle English lispen, lipsen, wlispen, from Old English *wlispian (attested in āwlyspian (“to lisp”)), from Old English wlisp, wlips (“stammering, lisping”, adj), from Proto-Germanic *wlispaz (“lisping”), from Proto-Indo-European *wlis-, *wleys- (“rod”), from *wel- (“to turn, roll”). Cognate with Middle Low German wlispen (“to lisp”), Dutch lispen (“to lisp”), German lispeln (“to lisp”), Danish lespe (“to lisp”), Swedish läspa (“to lisp”).
lisp (plural lisps)
- The habit or an act of lisping.
- He used to have a terrible lisp before going to a speech therapist.
- It's common for children to speak with a lisp.
- To pronounce the consonant ‘s’ imperfectly; to give ‘s’ and ‘z’ the sounds of ‘th’ (/θ/, /ð/). This is a speech impediment common among children.
- To speak with imperfect articulation; to mispronounce, such as a child learning to talk.
- Alexander Pope
- As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, / I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.
- Alexander Pope
- (archaic) To speak hesitatingly and with a low voice, as if afraid.
- Lest when my lisping, guilty tongue should halt.
- (archaic) to express by the use of simple, childlike language.
- to speak unto them after their own capacity, and to lisp words unto them according as the babes and children of that age might sound them again
- (archaic) To speak with reserve or concealment; to utter timidly or confidentially.
- to lisp treason
- 1830, Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village: Fourth Series: Cottage Names
- But the fashion spreads deeper and wider; the village is infected and the village green; Amelias and Claras sweep your rooms and cook your dinners, gentle Sophias milk your cows, and if you ask a pretty smiling girl at a cottage door to tell you her name, the rosy lips lisp out Caroline.