From Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë:

A wild, wicked slip she was—but she had the bonniest eye, the sweetest smile, and lightest foot in the parish […]

What does "slip" mean?

  • A slight young woman.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 15:46
  • I think the opening phrase is a great bit of writing. In the 2010 retelling Wuthering Bites it appeared as "A wild, wicked slip she was, and as daring as the devil himself, but she had the bonniest eyes and the sweetest smile." I admit this comment veers off topic, but I wanted to voice my appreciation for Brontë's turn of phrase. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

"sprig or twig for planting or grafting, small shoot," late 15c., of uncertain origin. Compare Middle Dutch slippe, German schlippe, schlipfe "cut, slit, strip." Hence "young person of small build" (1580s, as in a slip of a girl); see slip (n.1).

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