Brat

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2 comments on this post.
  1. Betsey Metz:

    When reading an article by Stephen Heyman in the Travel Section of the NYTimes (8/31/14)I became curious about the origin of the word “brat” so looked it up and found your exposition back in 2011 on The Word Detective. Heyman was referring to an exhibition in Vienna that included postcards from Sigmund Freud written to his wife while on holiday in Switzerland. The museum translated the message as “Say hello to the brats. . .” The usage surprised me which is why I looked it up. I wonder if the word “brats” had appeared in the German original. I trust Freud was using the term as Americans might say “little devils.”

  2. Sequuitor:

    For what it is forth… my 1850 Latin lexicon offers as a Latin translation ( amongst a number of options) infants. None of the options given carry negative connotations nor appear pejorative.
    I further ponder wether brat might be a corruption of bractus- meaning branch- possibly construed as scion.
    Just musing- anyone familiar with Greek , Aramaic, or some similarly ancient language care to weigh in ?

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