One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A spoilt child; (usually figurative) a person of immature judgement. Now archaic.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Ben Jonson (?1573–1637), poet and playwright. From post-classical Latin mammothreptus kept at the breast too long from Hellenistic Greek or Byzantine Greek μαμμόθρεπτος brought up by one's grandmother from Hellenistic Greek μάμμη grandmother + θρεπτός, adjective from the base of τρέϕειν to bring up. St Augustine's use of this rare Greek word is surprising, since he did not know Greek; an earlier post-classical Latin source may have been lost. The Latin sense is probably influenced by classical Latin mamma.
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