Munchkin



[muhnch-kin] /ˈmʌntʃ kɪn/

noun, (often initial capital letter)
1.
a small person, especially one who is dwarfish or elfin in appearance.
2.
Informal. a child:
The munchkins enjoyed holding and feeding the animals in the petting zoo.
/ˈmʌntʃkɪn/
noun
1.
(informal, mainly US) an undersized person or a child, esp an appealing one
2.
a breed of medium-sized cat with short legs
n.

1900, coined by U.S. author L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” He never explained how he got the word. The word most like it is perhaps mutchkin, an old Scottish measure of capacity for liquids, which was used by Scott. (It comes from Middle Dutch mutseken, originally “a little cap,” from mutse “cap,” earlier almutse “amice, hood, headdress,” from Latin amictus “mantle, cloak,” noun use of past participle of amicire “to wrap, throw around,” a compound from ambi- (see ambi-) + iacere (see jet (v.)).

noun

A low-ranking employee, staff member, etc; a menial: Justice Department spokesman Thomas De Cair sniffed that Honegger was ”a low-level Munchkin”/ Most of the munchkins, junior campaign aides, won’t make it to the transition staff

[1970s+; fr the name of the dwarfish helpers in L Frank Baum’s 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]

/muhnch’kin/ [Squeaky-voiced little people in L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz”] A teenage-or-younger micro enthusiast hacking BASIC or something else equally constricted. A term of mild derision – munchkins are annoying but some grow up to be hackers after passing through a larval stage. The term urchin is also used. See also wannabee, bitty box.
[Jargon File]

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