Find your perfect word!
From Middle English irchoun (“hedgehog”), borrowed from Old Northern French irechon, variant of Old Northern French herichun, Old French heriçun, heriçon (compare modern hérisson), from Vulgar Latin *ericio, ericionem, from Latin ericius (“hedgehog”).
urchin (plural urchins)
- A mischievous child.
- A street urchin, a child who lives, or spends most of their time, in the streets.
- (archaic) A hedgehog.
- A sea urchin.
- A mischievous elf supposed sometimes to take the form of a hedgehog.
- One of a pair in a series of small card cylinders arranged around a carding drum; so called from its fancied resemblance to the hedgehog.
- (historical) A neutron-generating device that triggered the nuclear detonation of the earliest plutonium atomic bombs.