I’m looking for a word that denotes a child (either a young one or a fully grown one) who acts disrespectfully and spitefully toward their parents.

For instance, if you see your friend being disrespectful toward his or her parent, you might ask your friend,

Why are you acting like a ________ ?

An adverbial form would be sufficient too, like

“Why are you acting [adverbial form of word]?”

I do not want any words that have connotations of annoying, whiny, irritating, etc. This includes “brat,” “rascal,” etc.

The word can be archaic (that is, old-fashioned) but preferably not obsolete (i.e. no longer used at all).


2 Answers 2


Few of the eloquent as well as euphemistic words use to present disrespectful and impertinent kid(s) or person are:

impudently (adverb) ODO

Meaning: rude and not showing respect, especially towards someone who is older or in a more important position

Usage: an impudent child

malapert (noun) ODO


:(of person)

Meaning: An impudent person.

Usage: "A child's outcry, more malapert than the priest, called the attention of the lingerers, and before any one knew, the passion of destruction had seized like a frenzy upon the people."

Above is an excerpt from the book: Royal Edinburgh: Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets by Mrs. Oliphant

Collins dictionary also suggest malapertly (adverb)

  • 1
    That’s more like! Malapert is the closest word so far!
    – user305707
    Aug 21, 2018 at 22:07
  • 1
    It's great this suggestion works for the OP, but as a matter of good practice, you probably shouldn't be entirely rewriting an answer. If you feel like you need to entirely redo, post a separate answer so the new suggestions can be judged on their own separately. It's very disconcerting for a user to vote one way, and then accidentally revisit (no one scans visited questions/answers to look for changes) and find that the text has been changed in a different direction, falsifying the original vote. Sure, the system allows a change in vote then, but the system doesn't inform you of a change.
    – Mitch
    Aug 24, 2018 at 12:57
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    @Mitch: I'm not sure. I get your point, but, on the other hand, I feel people can do whatever they want with their answer in most respects. Aug 24, 2018 at 14:43

Brat and punk come to mind, followed by a long list of apt, witty, precise, but, alas, mostly outdated, words.


Since the OP does not mind (he just said so), here are some words that may strike some people as way out of date:

imp: little devil (applied to children)

urchin: a mischievous boy

rascal: dishonest or unscrupulous person; and mischief maker when applied to kids

scamp: very naughty young person

  • I don’t mind if a word is “outdated”; that isn’t a bad thing.
    – user305707
    Aug 21, 2018 at 18:22
  • Yes, where is this “list”?
    – user305707
    Aug 21, 2018 at 19:31
  • @Mari-LouA I thought I had commented here with a bunch of words, but I don't know where it went. something about brat and punk not being outdated. Oh... alist that Ricky mentioned. Hm, yeah, where is that?
    – Mitch
    Aug 21, 2018 at 20:13
  • @TheWordsmith: Just updated the answer. Please find the list in it.
    – Ricky
    Aug 21, 2018 at 20:22
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    Oh yeah, just remembered. a brat whines to his parents that he didn't want that color bike for Christmas. A punk whines to his parents that he doesn't care whose needle he uses to shoot heroin. Parents, amirite!
    – Mitch
    Aug 21, 2018 at 21:01