January 08, 2017
- imp (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : a small demon2 : a mischievous child
- How do you use it?
- "Why you little imp!" exclaimed Nana when she caught Eliza standing on the kitchen counter to reach the cookie jar.
- Are you a word wiz?
"Imp" comes to us from the Old English verb "impian." What do you think "impian" means?The Old English verb "impian" meant "to graft." ("Graft" means to cause a bud or shoot of a plant to become united with a main stem of another plant.) "Impian" developed into both the verb "imp," meaning "to graft," and the noun "imp," which was originally used to refer to a graft or a shoot of a tree. Before long, "imp" also referred to the "offshoot" of a person, or their child. Around the same time, "imp" began to be used of a small demon, and then of a devilish little child.