AskDefine | Define poppet

Dictionary Definition

poppet n : a mushroom-shaped valve that rises perpendicular from its seat; commonly used in internal-combustion engines [syn: poppet valve]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. An endearingly sweet or beautiful child.
  2. A young woman or girl.
    Come ‛ere poppet!
  3. The stem and valve head in a poppet valve.

Extensive Definition

The word poppet is an older spelling of puppet, from the Middle English popet, meaning a small child or doll. In British Dialect it continues to hold this meaning. Poppet is also a chiefly English term of endearment. Poppet now generally refers to its use in folk-magic.
While the origins of 'poppet' come from old England, namely from Marionette performances in Cheshire, England, in today's term, 'Poppet' is expressed throughout the world as a term of endearment between loved ones. It has travelled beyond the bounds of the United Kingdom, and has found use in areas of the world such as Australia, India, and many other British commonwealth nations. Columbus, Ohio is among many places where one may find the term 'poppet' to be very commonly used, due to its large South Asian community.

Folk magic

In folk-magic and witchcraft, a poppet is a doll made to represent a person, for casting spells on that person. These dolls may be fashioned from such materials as a carved root, grain or corn shafts, a fruit, paper, wax, a potato, clay, branches, or cloth stuffed with herbs. The intention is that whatever actions are performed upon the effigy will be transferred to the subject based in sympathetic magic. It was from these dolls that the myth of Voodoo dolls arose.


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