1. [mid-16C–1900s] a (small) child.
2. [mid-18C–mid-19C] a young woman, a little girl; thus attrib.
[mid-16C–early 19C] (UK Und.) a child who has been brought up to thieving as a profession.
1. [late 17C–mid-19C] a little man.
2. [late 17C–mid-19C] a child brought up as a thief.
3. [late 18C–mid-19C] a man who steals children for gypsies, beggars, etc.
1. street stealing from children.
2. in fig. use, i.e. devoting oneself to the topic of children.
1. a beggar’s child, or any child carried by a beggar in order to excite pity.
2. a young, virgin girl, destined to be a prostitute or beggar’s companion.
[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a young thief.