The word kid is very commonly used to mean child: when asking 'How many kids do you have?' - someone almost definitely does not mean 'How many baby goats do you have?'

My question is, how, why and when have we got from goats to children?

I've heard a few different ideas but I was wondering if anyone knew more definitely.

  • I have heard it might be from German 'das Kind'
  • Or from baby goats crying like human babies

closed as off-topic by curiousdannii, user66974, NVZ, Helmar, Scott Nov 20 '16 at 18:32

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  • 4
    Kid: - c. 1200, "the young of a goat," from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse kið "young goat," - Extended meaning "child" is first recorded as slang 1590s, established in informal usage by 1840s etymonline.com/index.php?term=kid – user66974 Nov 19 '16 at 9:11
  • 1
    This seems to occur in other languages, too. In Spanish you can say 'cabro' which originally means a small goat to mean 'boy' ('cabra' for 'girl' is less common). – Pablo Straub Nov 19 '16 at 12:28
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    It's a normal metaphor to construct "out of thin air", especially given the similarity in their sounds, so there would be no way to nail it down to a single origin. – Hot Licks Nov 19 '16 at 13:34
  • Not duplicate but english.stackexchange.com/questions/358714/… maybe of interest – k1eran Nov 19 '16 at 14:10
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    @HotLicks: Just out of curiosity, what are you saying?   Are you saying that “kid” has come to mean “child” because “kid” sounds like “child”? – Scott Nov 20 '16 at 18:32

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