Word Origin & History
O.E. lamb, from P.Gmc. *lambaz (cf. O.N., O.Fris., Goth. lamb, M.H.G. lamp, Ger. lamm "lamb"). Common to the Gmc. languages, but with no known cognates outside them. O.E. plural was lomberu. Applied to persons (especially young Church members, gentle souls, etc.) from late O.E. Also sometimes used ironically
for cruel or rough characters (e.g. Kirke's Lambs in wars of 1684-86).