It’s a long time since I have heard this charming, kindly, playful word. I’ve had it used towards me in affection and kindness and with sarcasm. In the first instance, in the soothing tones of a warm-hearted nurse during a medical procedure: ‘It’ll be over in a jiffy, poppet’.  In the second instance, I suddenly remembered the response of a school teacher when I told her I’d left my homework at home.

‘What good’s it doing there, poppet?’ she said.

The word seems to have some connection with ‘doll’, probably via the French poupée. 

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