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Bad babies

Posted by ESC on March 27, 2002

In Reply to: Re: Skeeziks posted by Marian on March 27, 2002

: : : : I've heard the term "Skeeziks" used by certain older people as a nickname for youngsters. Does anyone know where the term originated, and if it has any meaning?
: : : : Is it used in Great Britain?

: : : I've never heard that in the UK.

: : Nor I. Colloquially over here, we use the ubiquitous "kid", though I've heard the older generation on occasion also use "nipper" or, if the child in question were a truculent and badly-behaved male teen, they might describe him as a "yob".

: Years ago I spent two weeks in London and had occasion to stand in line at one of the larger banks. A boy of around 6 or 7 was in line with a woman, presumably his mother, just ahead of me. For some reason, while the woman was not looking and while I was probably lost in thought, the boy hauled off and kicked me in the shin. It hurt, and I was quite surprised, but, being that I was just a visiting American and being unsure whether I had somehow inadvertently given the little fellow some reason to be upset with me, I held my tongue. Mysteriously, a couple of others in one of the adjacent lines saw the incident and appeared to let it go, so I did as well. This boy was too young to be a yob. Does any other word come to mind?

I have a hard time getting mad at misbehaving children. I get mad at their parents. "Yuppie larvae" is a nice derogatory term for children. It has a connotation of being spoiled and ill-mannered. "Crumb crushers," "rug rats," and "yard apes" don't really have a child-friendly ring to them. One of the parenting magazines has a cartoon, "Bad Baby."