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Brat

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Brat

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:03 am

• brat •


Pronunciation: bræt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. (Offensive) A mischievous child, a little rascal, a guttersnipe. 2. A rag or apron in some dialects.

Notes: Because of its questionable origin (see Word History), today's Good Word has few lexical relatives. It has an adjective, brattish "like a brat", and an abstract noun that expresses the quality of a brat, brattishness. It is an offensive word, especially to the child at whom it is directed, so take care in using it.

In Play: Since today's word is offensive, it is usually used in anger: "Which little brat spilled syrup on the remote control?!" This word may be used more mildly to refer to children who are simply making noise or otherwise misbehaving: "I can't get anything done with these little brats running around!"

Word History: This word has had a variety of senses over the centuries—if the meanings are all associated with the same word. Today's Good Word is thought to be related to the British dialectal expression meaning "a coarse or ragged garment", as in Old English (Northumbrian) bratt "cloak". This then would connect the original sense to the old sense of today's word, "beggar's child". Bratt was taken from Celtic: Old Irish bratt "cloak, cloth", Scots Gaelic brat "apron", or Welsh brat "pinafore, rag". In any case, the meaning would seem to have migrated from "child in a brat" to simply "brat". (James Thompson, who, I am sure, was never a brat himself, suggested today's Good Word.)
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Re: Brat

Postby gailr » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:01 am

"I can't get anything done with these little brats running around!"

Sounds like these brats are the wurst...
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Re: Brat

Postby Charles.McCarthy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:03 pm

I remember as a child (1945, upstate New York) being admonished not to use brat because it also implied illegitimate.
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Re: Brat

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:26 pm

WELCOMECharles
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Brat

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:43 pm

Charles.McCarthy: Welcome to the Agora. Post often.

Brat never implied illegitimacy in my hinterlands of Texas experience. There are quite a few terms that do. The brutal word bastard was used. Fortunately, there have been no bastards born in Texas since right before I was born. Edna Gladney, a formidable woman of the early 1900s, prevailed upon the Texas Legislature to pass a law that required birth certificates to contain the maiden name of the mother and the name of the father with no reference to a state of matrimony. I think other states have since taken that format.

The use of brat depends on the context and the tone of voice. It can be pejorative. It can also be a term of light endearment.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Brat

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:57 pm

Guttersnipe, itself, would be a good word to explore.
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Re: Brat

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:05 pm

After 30 years of youth camps, plus working with kids in church, the word brat always calls up my favorite endearing memories of teenagers, i.e. Brats.
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Re: Brat

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:07 pm

Fireworks *#*#*#*!
I am now a bi-GP!
pl
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Re: Brat

Postby MTC » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:35 pm

Congratulations, Perry. :D

No puns. I'll play this one straight.
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Re: Brat

Postby gailr » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:12 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Fireworks *#*#*#*!
I am now a bi-GP!

And what prompted you to make that milestone in this thread? :D

Although Miss Manners does not offer guidance for this particular occasion, one remains confident that she would nod approvingly upon the bestowal of this commemorative virtual fob watch. The discerning observer will note not only the double silver cover, but the elegant dual time works, symbolizing one's attaining the coveted Double Grand Panjandrum status. The timepiece further boasts a view of the intricate and elegant works, suggesting a keen mind ever working to produce many deep posts yet to come.

* frightens self with purple prose *

* hastily -- yet solemnly -- shakes each of Perry's hands in turn and escapes to another thread *
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Re: Brat

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:03 pm

#bows in thanks and follows to another thread.
ps- answer to why in thisthread. Because it happened here. Debated returning to the threadwhereitwad pointed out how close it was, but....
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