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90s Slang You Should Know


[brat] /bræt/
a child, especially an annoying, spoiled, or impolite child (usually used in contempt or irritation).
Origin of brat
1495-1505; perhaps transferred use of brat rag, Old English bratt cloak < Celtic; compare Irish brat mantle, cloak
Related forms
brattish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for brat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "He ain't got no time for such as the brat and me," she replied bitterly.

    Tess of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • But there wos a brat all rags and dirty face and sauce as I was when you saw me fust.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • The brat grew restless and wandered disconsolately around the room, leaving traces of sticky fingers everywhere.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • Paul looked down at the brat, who was curly-headed and as sharp as a needle.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • I was as intolerably filthy as any brat that ever came out of a sewer.

British Dictionary definitions for brat


a child, esp one who is ill-mannered or unruly: used contemptuously or playfully
Word Origin
C16: perhaps special use of earlier brat rag, from Old English bratt cloak, of Celtic origin; related to Old Irish bratt cloth, brat²


(Northern English, dialect) an apron or overall
Word Origin
from Old English brat cloak; related to Old Irish bratt cloth used to cover the body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brat

c.1500, slang, "beggar's child," originally northern, Midlands and western England dialect word for "makeshift or ragged garment;" probably the same word as Old English bratt "cloak," which is from a Celtic source (cf. Old Irish bratt "cloak, cloth"). The modern meaning is perhaps from notion of "child's apron." Hollywood Brat Pack (modeled on 1950s Rat Pack) is from 1985.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for brat

brat 1


A child, esp an obnoxious or troublesome one

[1505+; origin unknown]

brat 2


Bratwurst, a kind of sausage: a neighborhood more attuned to baseball, brats, and beer (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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