AskDefine | Define urchin

Dictionary Definition

urchin n : poor and often mischievous city child

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A mischievous child.
  2. street kid, a child from from a poor neighborhood.
  3. A hedgehog.

Related terms


mischievous child
street kid

Extensive Definition

Urchin or urcheon is the old English term for hedgehog. As such, it is applied to many things that take a similar form to a hedgehog:
  • Sea urchins are spiny sea creatures that are round and prickly like hedgehogs.
  • In old theater, urchin was a common name for an elf or fairy that took on a prickly appearance.
  • The word "urcheon" is used to refer to the hedgehog in heraldry
It may also refer to:
urchin in French: Urchin

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Arab, JD, beach bum, beachcomber, beggar, bo, brat, bum, bummer, cub, dickens, dogie, elf, enfant terrible, gamin, gamine, guttersnipe, hobbledehoy, hobo, holy terror, homeless waif, idler, imp, juvenile delinquent, landloper, lazzarone, little monkey, loafer, losel, minx, monkey, mudlark, piker, puck, punk, punk kid, pup, ragamuffin, ragman, ragpicker, rounder, ski bum, spoiled brat, stiff, stray, street Arab, street arab, street urchin, sundowner, surf bum, swagman, swagsman, tatterdemalion, tennis bum, tramp, turnpiker, vag, vagabond, vagrant, waif, waifs and strays, wastrel, whelp, whippersnapper
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