One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A being subject to death, a mortal, as opposed to immortal or divine beings.
2As a personification: an offspring of Death; a little demon serving Death. Now only in science and fantasy fiction: a type of imaginary being associated with death. rare.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Joshua Sylvester (d. 1618), poet and translator. From death + -ling.
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