Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[bairn; Scot. beyrn] /bɛərn; Scot. beɪrn/
noun, Scot. and North England.
a child; son or daughter.
Origin of bairn
before 900; Middle English bern, barn, Old English bearn; cognate with Gothic, Old Norse, Old High German, Old Saxon, barn, Old Frisian bern, Middle Dutch baren, Albanian me barrë pregnant; akin to Lithuanian bérnas boy, fellow, bear1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bairn
Historical Examples
  • Nay, verily, I was a child before; all by-gones are but bairn's play.

    Letters of Samuel Rutherford Samuel Rutherford
  • Hath he no the smooth face o' a bairn and the thews' o' Behemoth?'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "We've welded America already into the clan, dear bairn," smiled Mrs. Cameron.

  • Too awful it is for an aged man to bide and bear, that his bairn so young rides on the gallows.

    Beowulf Anonymous
  • But, May, my bairn, the guid man's sleeping wi' downright fatigue.

  • But, at any rate, she was his wife, and the bairn would be his bairn.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • Eh, but sic maun be sair affrontit wi' themsels, that disgrace at ance the wife that should hae been and the bairn that shouldna!

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • You forget I was but a bairn when we romped in the hay-dash.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • Yes; this bairn Anne, Mrs. Ross, as you see, has been misbehaving herself.

    Merkland Mrs. Oliphant
  • I speired at 'im what he meant by terrifyin' a bairn, but he didna say naething.

    A Window in Thrums J. M. Barrie
British Dictionary definitions for bairn


/bɛən; Scottish bern/
(Scot & Northern English) a child
Word Origin
Old English bearn; related to bearm lap, Old Norse, Old High German barn child
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bairn

"child" (of any age), Old English bearn "child, son, descendant," probably related to beran ("to bear, carry, give birth;" see bear (v.)). Originally not chiefly Scottish, but felt as such from c.1700. This was the English form of the original Germanic word for "child" (see child). Dutch, Old High German kind, German Kind are from a prehistoric *gen-to-m "born," from the same root as Latin gignere. Middle English had bairn-team "brood of children."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for bairn

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bairn