Please could you help me with an adjective word or any expression used by native speakers of English to describe a child who habitually likes to always lean or rub his or her body against the body of another person especially their parents or other adults, like cats do against the body of their carers or owners?

I used to describe them as clingy child, sticky child or adherent child but I felt like none sounded or communicate well to me. And hence, I came to you for help and guidance. Thank you in anticipation of your help.

English language student/learner

  • English Language Learners was specially created for folks like you! Oct 14, 2017 at 15:23
  • Whatever you call it, the phenomenon could be triggered by any number of things, including, for example, dependence, anxiety, nervousness, shyness, insecurity, temperament (some kids are just naturally clingy, shy, and insecure). As long as their clinginess doesn't morph into frotteurism, kids usually grow out of their clinginess, at least physically. Some kids, however, never cut the apron strings by which they are attached to their mothers! Oct 14, 2017 at 15:38

2 Answers 2


a snuggler might be appropriate.

  • Don't say that it might be appropriate: say that it is, and explain why.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 18, 2017 at 7:30

My family would use the term "cuddly" when happy with the child, or "clingy" when not-so-happy.

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