Human Beings Have Children – Goats Have Kids

© 2010 Norman Samuda-Smith


Collins English Dictionary – Definition:

 KID: ‘The young of a goat or of a related animal such as an antelope…’

 CHILD: ‘A boy or girl between birth and the unborn baby…’


How do you refer to your offspring?  When I last spoke to my children none of them were bleating like goats or sheep.

The word Kid comes from the Middle English word kide of Scandinavian origin; similar to Old Norse kidh, a young goat.  This is something which has been of concern to me recently as used practically all over the world; people referring to children as kids.

It says in all dictionaries, a “kid” is a baby goat and a “child” is human. So when did we start calling our children “kids?”

I’ve done some painstaking research to answer this question and came up with nothing and, apart from the definitions of the word ‘kids’ there is little to suggest how we came to use this term. All I know is; personally, I don’t like it.

I am sure that people who refer to children as “kids” do so because they think that the word “kids” is another word for children and, I assume, as a term of endearment. As far as I’m concerned, the proper way to call children is children. It is time we realise we should not encourage the term “kids” towards our offspring.


Other sources:

Kid: Extended meaning of “child” first recorded as slang 1599, established in formal usage by 1840s.

Kiddo: First recorded 1896.  It applied to skilful young thieves and pugilists since at least 1812.  “Kid stuff” – “something easy” is from 1923.

Suspected to be from the German “kind” meaning child.  Note also the occasional use of German “Wunderkind”.


‘Til next month – Everyting Bless


*All rights reserved.  No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the writer Norman Samuda-Smith.*


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