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The Canine in Conversation
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tyke. A small child, especially a boy.

The Oxford English Dictionary informs us that it is originally a contemptuous term for a low bred or coarse dog, its usage similar to that of cur. And, Also said in playful reproof to a child; hence (unreprovingly)reference 1 So it is a playful insult, though I doubt that most U.S. English speakers are aware of the opprobrious original usage.

1. The Oxford English Dictionary Online. 2005. 3d ed. Accessed from

About the illustration: A small boy. © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.  
see also: cur; mongrel Last updated: February 2, 2010
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