One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A street urchin.
mischievous child, imp, monkey, puck, rascal, rogue, minx, mischief-maker, prankster, tearawayurchin, street urchin, ragamuffin, guttersnipe, waif, stray, outcastView synonyms
- ‘Lacking formal education, adult supervision, and sometimes even a home, such youths were derided as ‘rats,’ ‘gamins,’ ‘urchins’ and ‘gutter-snipes.’’
- ‘The gamin creates their ideal in spirit when she takes the most broken-down shack and tries to make it ‘home.’’
- ‘The final shot is of the Tramp and the gamin walking away from us, down the road.’
- ‘The Bowery Theater, in particular, was described as ‘a common ground for the gamins.’’
- ‘If Chicago lacks the vision to see ahead, it will reap the harvest of fostering a kindergarten on the streets where gamins learn crime.’
Mid 19th century: French, originally an eastern dialect word, of unknown origin.
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