varmint

varmint
   This word derives from vermin, which is itself used as a reproachful form of address, but an expression like ‘you young varmint’ means little more than ‘you bad boy’. It is mostly applied, in fact, to a mischievous child, especially a boy, but is little heard in standard English on either side of the Atlantic.
   It is one of the words which writers of children’s stories keep alive, putting it into the mouths of colourful country characters. ‘Hands off me, ye meddlesome varmint!’ says a father to his young son, in Jennifer, by Janet Whitney.
   It is used with more force in Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. At one point Scarlett says to Rhett Butler: ‘You get out of this buggy, you dirty-minded varmint’ Laurie Lee, in Cider with Rosie, has an old lady who says to some village girls: ‘You baggages! You jumped-up varmints! Be off, or I’ll fetch me broom.’

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

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  • varmint — 1530s, chiefly Amer.Eng. dialectal variant of VERMIN (Cf. vermin). Meaning objectionable or troublesome person is recorded from 1773 …   Etymology dictionary

  • varmint — or varment [vär′mənt] n. [dial. var. of VERMIN, with unhistoric t] [Informal or Dial.] a person or animal regarded as troublesome or objectionable: also used as a generalized epithet of disparagement …   English World dictionary

  • varmint — var|mint [ varmınt ] noun count OLD FASHIONED 1. ) someone who causes trouble 2. ) AMERICAN INFORMAL a small animal …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Varmint rifle — is an American English term for a relatively small caliber firearm (or even a high powered air gun) primarily used for varmint hunting killing animals such as coyotes and other vermin considered to be farm pests. The varmint gun fills a design… …   Wikipedia

  • Varmint hunting — For the video game, see Country Varmint Hunter .Varmint hunting is the practice of hunting vermin, generally small mammals targeted as a means of pest control, rather than for food. Varminter may refer to a varmint hunter , or describe hunting… …   Wikipedia

  • Varmint of Burke's Garden — The Varmint of Burke s Garden was the name given to a coyote that terrorized the community of Burke s Garden, Virginia, in 1952. The animal killed over 400 registered sheep and caused damages in excess of $32,000 before being killed.To aid in the …   Wikipedia

  • varmint gun — noun or varmint rifle : varminter …   Useful english dictionary

  • varmint rifle — noun see varmint gun …   Useful english dictionary

  • varmint — noun Etymology: alteration of vermin Date: circa 1539 1. an animal considered a pest; specifically one classed as vermin and unprotected by game law 2. a contemptible person ; rascal; broadly person, fellow …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • varmint — /vahr meuhnt/, n. 1. Chiefly Southern and South Midland U.S. a. vermin. b. an objectionable or undesirable animal, usually predatory, as a coyote or bobcat. 2. a despicable, obnoxious, or annoying person. Also, varment. [1530 40; var. of VERMIN… …   Universalium

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