Bairn

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Bairn is Scots, Scottish English, and Northern English for a child.[1] It originated in Old English as "bearn", becoming chiefly Scottish circa 1700.[2]

A man with "his boat and bairns" in a calotype print from the 1840s, now in the National Galleries of Scotland.

Cain bairns are children seized by witches and warlocks as tribute for the devil.

Examples of use[edit]

Examples of the term's use include the phrase "Jock Tamson's Bairns" as an idiomatic expression of egalitarian sentiment and the title of the 19th century Geordie folk song "Come Geordie ha'd the bairn." "Baloo Baleerie", a traditional Scottish lullaby, incorporates the term repeatedly, as does "The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry", a traditional folk song from Orkney.

The UK named one of their Second World War coastal tankers the SS Empire Bairn.

In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode The Paradise Syndrome, Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott refers to the damaged Enterprise engines as "my poor bairns."[3]

References[edit]