One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small brother. Sometimes as a title or an affectionate form of address. Occasionally depreciative.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), author, biographer, and historian. From brother + -kin, originally after German Brüderchen (Old High German bruoderkin, in a 13th-century manuscript of a glossary).
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