Definition of little Orphan Annie in English:

little Orphan Annie

(also little Orphant Annie)


  • (A name for) a poor, deprived, or pathetic-looking girl or woman (originally, one who is an orphan).


Early 20th century; earliest use found in The Chicago Tribune. From Little Orphant Annie, the name of an orphan child in The Elf-Child, a popular poem by American writer James Whitcomb Riley published in 1885, upon which were based a long-running cartoon strip Little Orphan Annie by American cartoonist Harold Gray first published in the New York Daily News in August 1924, and subsequently also a radio show, several films, and the Broadway musical Annie!.