Posted by ESC on March 16, 2000
In Reply to: "Redheaded Step Child" posted by Shane Collinsworth on March 15, 2000
: Any one know where this phrase comes from? Used mostly as "I will beat you like a redheaded step child".
I guess the implication is, the redheaded stepchild stands out in a family of brown-headed stepsiblings. He or she is subject to more than the usual abuse because it is obvious that the stepchild looks like his absent/dead redheaded parent. And this is a constant reminder to the stepparent that this is not really his/her child.
But let's hope this saying is outdated.