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See also: Lisp and LISP


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Alternative forms[edit]


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 læspe (to lisp), Swedish läspa (to lisp).


  • Standard: IPA(key): /lɪsp/
    • (file)
  • Humorous:
    1. IPA(key): /lɪθp/
    2. IPA(key): /lɪl͡sp/
  • Rhymes: -ɪsp


lisp (plural lisps)

  1. 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.

Derived terms[edit]



lisp (third-person singular simple present lisps, present participle lisping, simple past and past participle lisped)

  1. 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.
    Until the age of 10, Dominic would lisp, but this was fixed by a speech therapist.
  2. To speak with imperfect articulation; to mispronounce, such as a child learning to talk.
  3. (archaic) To speak hesitatingly and with a low voice, as if afraid.
  4. (archaic) to express by the use of simple, childlike language.
    • 1830, Mary Russell Mitford, “Cottage Names”, in Our Village: Sketches of Rural Character and Scenery, volume IV, London: Whittaker, Treacher, & Co., [], →OCLC, page 68:
      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.
    • 1848, Henry Walter, editor, Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures:
      to speak unto them after their own capacity, and to lisp the words unto them , according as the babes and children of that age might sound them againagain
  5. (archaic) To speak with reserve or concealment; to utter timidly or confidentially.
    to lisp treason
    • 1859, Ferna Vale, Natalie; or, A Gem Among the Sea-Weeds:
      "You have done well, sir," said Delwood, calmly, as he placed double the amount of Mrs. Santon's bribe in the Signor's hand; "you have done well, sir; and mark my words,—gold can never relieve a guilty conscience! Go, sir, and see that you lisp not a syllable of this to any one."

Derived terms[edit]


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