Monday, 28 April 2014

Child - "Fruit of the Womb"

A picture of an ultrasound scan
"The fruit of the womb"
(photo by Shannon Smith)


Noun. Also (archaic, esp. in sense 3) childe, chylde. Plural children.]
[Old English cild related to Gothic kilþei womb, inkilþo pregnant, as it were 'fruit of the womb'.
The Middle English plural childre, childer became childeren, children.]

1 A foetus; an infant; specifically (dialectical) a female infant. OE

2(a) A boy or girl. OE

2(b) In biblical translations: a youth approaching or entering on manhood. LME

3 singular. A youth of gentle birth. Chiefly as a title. archaic. OE

4 transferred. A person who has (or is considered to have) the character, manners, or attainments of a child,
especially a person of immature experience or judgement; a childish person. ME

5(a) A pupil at school. ME

5(b) specifically. A chorister. E16

6 archaic. A lad in service; a page, an attendant, etc. LME-E17

7 A man, a lad, a fellow. Compare with CHIELD. Long archaic, rare. M16

II As correlative to parent
8(a) A son or daughter (at any age) of (or with my etc);
an offspring of human parents. (Used chiefly, & longer, of a daughter.) OE

8(b) A young animal. rare. L16

9 In plural. Descendants; member of the tribe or clan. ME

10 A disciple of a teacher; a follower or adherent of. Usually in plural. ME

11 figuaritve. A product, derivative, extract, dependant, attachment, etc., of. ME

There's a certain indulgence in covering child for Lexicolatry, and it isn't the first time (nor will it be the last) that I've snuck in a picture of my beloved daughter (see the entries on blond and brunet for other examples). The root meaning of child, however, is singularly stirring. As a man, it's true that I will never experience the majestic miracle of another life growing inside me; I can, however, fully attest to the sublime, awesome and humbling miracle that is the conception, development and birth of another human being, a person for whom you ache with love and affection and protective instinct.

A proud father holds a newborn baby on his lap
One of the proudest moments of my life
Do please leave any comments below.


  1. That picture is very, very high on the awwwww scale!
    A father plays a very important role in a daughter's life. Your words of wisdom will stay with her for life.
    I still remember so much my dad said to me, and I still look up to him, though he died 25 years ago.
    And I know my daughter looks to her dad the same way.
    There really is something special about dads and their little girls!
    Enjoy! Especially before those teen years come along!! :)

    1. Thank you Jingles. It's one of my favourite photos.

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