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Baitling

Definition: A young (often bratty, “snot-nosed”) child; an illegitimate bastard offspring.

Pronunciation: bet-LEENg

Origin:

I’ve seen this term spelt one of two ways– “baitling”, or “bantling”. Either way, they both mean the exact same thing. But the etymology of baitling comes back as emphasizing a Scottish origin, probably influenced by the related German word, Bänkling, meaning “illegitimate child”.

Why this word?

It’s a term which can apply and be relevant for all peoples.

Who doesn’t know a baitling?

More specifically, who hasn’t ever had the unfortunate parody of “luck” to meet a true, spoiled little twat (whom you’d just love to smack around the ears one good time, if you were sure that their simpering Yuppie mother wouldn’t try to have you deported for it)?

I’m not advocating violence against children. I’m not advocating violence against anyone. I believe that we’ve evolved the use of rational language for a reason. There shouldn’t –by our collective median ability, as a species, to understand and be taught logical comprehension –really ever be a reason to squander your gift of communication in favour of hauling back your arm and slapping your hand around someone else’s face. Talking, coupled with a willingness to listen, can often resolve most conflicts, believe it or not.

…But.

Anyone who’s ever spent time around an obstinate four year old knows that the art of diplomatic conversation does not come naturally. It must be taught.

However, the art of smacking the face of the sitter and refusing to put on pants is an innate language known by all species with the potential to wear pants (see: most species of monkeys, apes, felines whom have had their wills broken, canines who never knew they had free will in the first place, and some particularly patient creatures of livestock.)

And such a tongue’s closest, most effective translation is often found in the sharp, frustrated resounding smack from a palm against the pudgy bottom of that little shit who just won’t stop pulling on the cat’s tail.

How do you use the word baitling in a sentence?

Example: “She hadn’t been a baitling, exactly– Well, now she was; the acceptable, adult version of one– Positively full of herself, oozing a confidence and overbearing bravado so strangely ‘charming’, that usually the target of her blinding smile stopped feeling exasperated by her bombastic enthusiasm after ten minutes in Paolo’s company.

“But, when she was small– No, not a baitling, never a baitling. The reddest, bounciest, angriest little challenge to have ever come out of Scotland, maybe, but never a terrible horror. A brat alright, but never had Pal been something that made her father wish she’d never been born.

“Her brother, however…”

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Written by Veronica Jacobs

Veronica Jacobs is a fiction writer, blogger, academic editor, and sci-fi enthusiast. Currently working freelance (with a background in English Literature), she spends most of her time writing.

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