Middle English Dictionary Entry

whelp n.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The young of the dog, a puppy; a dog, esp. a young or small one; also in fig. context [quot. c1275]; also, an unborn pup; hound ~; bicche ~, a female puppy or dog; (b) the offspring of various other animals, a cub, etc.; also, an unborn cub, etc.; also in fig. context; ~ of a lioun, lioun (liounes) ~ [see also lioun n.(1) 1.(e)]; bere (fox, wolf) ~; tigre ~, a figure of a tiger cub; (c) as a term of abuse, used insultingly or derisively: contemptible wretch, son of a bitch, worthless dog; also, with ref. to a witch’s animated device: misbegotten thing [quot. c1475]; dogges (fox) ~; whelpes of develes, helle ~, spawn of the devil; fendes ~, a vicious or detestable person; (d) some contrivance or part of a device, prob. made of iron and associated with a winch and ropes: ?a projection on a windlass; ?a clamp or bracket of some kind [cp. dogge n. 4.]; (e) error for wolf n.; (f) in surnames and place names [see Smith PNElem. 1.270,272].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (1400-02) Doc.Manor in MP 3461 : In stipendio Wilhelmi Joye carpentarii scalpantis meremium pro iiij postibus novis una cum imposicione unius whepe unius overway ac eciam bordantis latera ex ultralibet parte molendini.
  • Note: Needed for form: Also (error) whepe.
    Note: Belongs to sense (d).
    Note: This is likely to be an error for MED whelp n. (and not a new entry). See sense (d), last gloss.
    Note: See dogge n., sense 4.: "a heavey metal clamp or brace of some kind." Perhaps a whelp is a smaller clamp.--notes per MLL