What does sheepish mean and relationship to sheep?

I had promised to send a friend some signed papers about 2 or 3 weeks ago and I kept forgetting to do it. This afternoon I called him to confess that I feel guilty for not doing so but promised that I would today.

When I called him, I said: " I feel kind of sheepish calling you" and then apologized for not having done so.

My question: Does sheepish mean shy, embarrased or what? And what has sheep got to do with the definition?

I don’t know. Maybe Hal does?

sheep·ish adj.

  1. Embarrassed, as by consciousness of a fault: a sheepish grin.
  2. Meek or stupid.

Your meaning comes from the assumption that someone as stupid as a sheep (2.) would be more likely to embarrass themselves as per 1. There’s no implication of actual stupidity though.


Ah. Rather like how Hal’s been feeling.

I saw the headline and thought “Well, this’ll take all of two responses”.

Looks like I was off by one.

And some of us checked it just to see if there were Hal jokes.





(It’s been a long week…gotta get my giggles somewhere.)