|And now children are pulling faces! What is this world coming to?|
(photo by Carolina Georgatou)
Noun. Now dialectical.
[Old English (late Northumbrian) bratt from Old Irish bratt (Irish, Gaelic brat) mantle.]
1 Originally, a cloak. In later dialectical use, a pinafore, an apron;
contemptuously a rag, a scrap (of clothing). OE
2 The tough skin which form on porridge, etc. Scots. L17
Noun. Usually derogatory. Mid-16th century.
[Perhaps abbreviation of BRATCHET, or same word as preceding.]
A child, now especially an ill-behaved child.
Noun. Scots. Usually derogatory. Late 16th century.
[Apparently the same word as BRACHET.]
A little brat, an infant.
Once, while standing in line at a bakery, there was a beaming little blonde girl standing in the queue, smiling from ear to ear as her mum ordered a birthday cake with "I am 5!" printed on it. Catching the girl's eye I smiled at her, eager to share in her excitement. Her smile instantly disappeared and she ran over to where I was standing, kicking me in the shin as hard as she could with a cry of "Power Rangers!" Now, it's true that she was only five and I was a grown man, but a booted five-year-old can still pack quite a kick, especially when it's to the shin and you're not expecting it. Clearly the master of the instantaneous face-change, she reverted to her angel's face and sauntered back over to her mum who had turned, watched her little Power Ranger kick me, and then when I looked up from rubbing my shin she rolled her eyes at me! The word brat didn't escape my lips on that occasion, but it certainly went through my mind, as did several other choice words as the mum gathered up her stuff and, on leaving, rolled her eyes at me again. Brats might not be born, but they're certainly created, and I was pretty sure I had been in the presence of the master bratsmith on that day.
|And brat is also the skin that forms on porridge which is ... umm ... interesting, right?|
(photo by Adrian Clark)
What's the equivalent of brat in your language or area?
Were you a brat growing up?
How should we deal with the plague of brats overrunning our streets and promenades?
Please leave your most ill-behaved comments below.