from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A child brought up by its grandmother; hence, a spoiled child; a delicate nursling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun rare A child brought up by its grandmother; a spoiled child.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic A spoilt child.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin mammothreptus, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek μαμμόθρεπτος ("brought up by one’s grandmother"), from μάμμη ("grandmother") + θρεπτός verbal adjective from τρέφειν ("to bring up").


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  • A child brought up by its grandmother; also, a spoiled child.

    November 2, 2007

  • A rare word in Greek, Latin, and English, with an interesting succession of senses, largely gained by misapprehension. The Greek meaning comes from mamm- "grandmother" and thrept- "reared, fed", past participle of treph- "rear, produce, maintain, feed, suckle, etc.". (The change of aspiration is the effect of Grassmann's Law, and the reason I looked this up: I didn't recognize threp-.)

    This obscure Greek word somehow came to the attention of St Augustine of Hippo, which is 'surprising', says the OED, because he didn't know Greek. In any case, the mamma word means "breast" in Latin, rather than "grandmother", so he used it to mean "reared (sc. too long) at the breast".

    Ben Jonson used it in English as "immature person", i.e. a spoilt child, in a figurative sense. 'But very well? O you are a meere Mammothrept in iudgement.'

    Another author, Braithwait, used it shortly after this in the expressions 'strict Mamothrept' and 'severe mammothrepts', as if misunderstanding Jonson and taking it as "critic".

    March 6, 2009

  • Mammoths are scary so I'm leaving this page.

    March 6, 2009

  • Worse are mammothraptors: hairy, tusked, hungry, and fleet on two feet.

    March 6, 2009

  • Are they a candidate for this list, mayhap?

    March 6, 2009

  • Wasn't Ben Jonson an Olympic sprinter? Maybe that's how he escaped the beasties. Immaturely of course, but if it works, hey ...

    March 7, 2009

  • JM gives the Granny to all mammothrepts.

    November 22, 2009