Origin of urchin
Examples from the Web for urchin
Despite enjoying singing, and a tiny role as ‘Urchin No. 30’ in a production of Oliver!
The urchin stood before them, taking them in thoroughly with his sharp little eyes.The Mascot of Sweet Briar Gulch|Henry Wallace Phillips
On a pile head sat an urchin fishing, with a long bamboo pole many sizes too large for him.The Rules of the Game|Stewart Edward White
“As long as I have responsibility for the urchin——” said Miss Dionysia.In the Roar of the Sea|Sabine Baring-Gould
Word Origin for urchin
late 13c., yrichon "hedgehog," from Old North French *irechon (cf. Picard irechon, Walloon ireson, Hainaut hirchon), from Old French herichun "hedgehog" (Modern French hérisson), formed with diminutive suffix -on + Vulgar Latin *hericionem, from Latin ericius "hedgehog," from PIE root *gher- "to bristle" (cf. Greek kheros "hedgehog;" see horror).
Still used for "hedgehog" in non-standard speech in Cumbria, Yorkshire, Shropshire. Applied throughout 16c. to people whose appearance or behavior suggested hedgehogs, from hunchbacks (1520s) to goblins (1580s) to bad girls (c.1530); meaning "poorly or raggedly clothed youngster" emerged 1550s, but was not in frequent use until after c.1780. Sea urchin is recorded from 1590s (a 19c. Newfoundland name for them was whore's eggs).