What does the expression red-headed stepchild mean?

What does the expression red-headed stepchild mean?

Most reference books are silent on the phrase, but the massive Dictionary of American Regional English finds a citation in 1941, when the journal American Speech defined “like a red-headed stepchild” as “unjustly, unkindly.” The regional dictionary adds this definition: “someone or something that is unwanted or badly …

Where does the phrase beat you like a redheaded stepchild?

“From the day the Republican party came into power the South has been treated like a red-headed stepchild.” (The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) 29 Jun. 1910.) But, according the web site A Good Scottish Name, the origin of the phrase dates to the 1830’s & 40’s when Irish emigrants began arriving in America.

Where did the term stepchild come from?

Answer: The original sense of the combining form “step-” can be seen in a related Old English verb, “astepan,” which meant “to bereave or deprive.” Thus “steopcild” (“stepchild”) in Old English meant “orphan,” that is, a child deprived of a parent by death.

Where did the term red-headed come from?

The term “redhead” likely comes from the simple need to refer to redheads in English before orange used was to describe the color. In other words, humans were describing redheads before they were describing anything as being the color orange. So, it just stuck.

Why is it called stepmother?

It comes from Old English. The word steopcild (“step-child”) meant “orphan” and a steopmodor (“step-mother”) was a woman who became mother of an orphan. We lost the association to an orphan along the way and it now, of course, just means “mother by marriage.”

Why is a stepfather called a stepfather?

The origin is from Old English via German, the word steop, which meant orphan. So the term step-parent is only by association, which evolved in modern times due to to the increase in divorce.

What does red hair mean on a girl?

Women who choose to wear a very red hair are distinguished by their audacity. The red is the sign of courage, but also of sensuality. Dazzling color par excellence, the red is the color of passion and blood. This shade is energetic and when a person likes red she must have a strong personality.

Why are step children called stepchild?

The Old English form comes from steopcild (“stepchild”), which meant “orphan”. Before 800, stepfather/stepmother meant “one who becomes a father/mother to an orphan”, and stepson/stepdaughter meant “an orphan who becomes a son/daughter by the remarriage of a parent”.

What is Red Headed Stepchild?

With red hair being rare, a child born to non red headed parents was often assumed to be the child of an affair. Thus was treated badly, usually in the form of beatings. I’ll beat you like a red headed stepchild. Get a red headed stepchild mug for your Facebook friend Georges. A person or group treated without the favor of birthright.

What is stepchild?

Stepchild can be seen as a euphemism for bastard. They’re basically the program’s red headed stepchild; no one gives them funding. One who is beaten often. Man, he smacked her like she was a red headed stepchild!

Are red headed stepchildren prone to promiscuity?

According to popular belief red headed stepchildren are prone to severe discipline problems, rebelliousness and promiscuity. Kena is such a red headed stepchild… no really she is she’s run away from home as a kid and has slept with 400 guys.

Why was the Edsel Ford’s Red-Headed Stepchild?

If a product is an embarrassment to a company, it is the company’s red-headed stepchild. The satellite office was outperforming the head office statistically, but because it created work for people in the head office, it was treated like a red-headed stepchild . Because the Edsel didn’t sell well, it became Ford’s red-headed stepchild.