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[muhnch-kin] /ˈmʌntʃ kɪn/
noun, (often initial capital letter)
a small person, especially one who is dwarfish or elfin in appearance.
Informal. a child:
The munchkins enjoyed holding and feeding the animals in the petting zoo.
after the Munchkins, a dwarflike race portrayed in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and other fantasy novels Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for munchkin


(informal, mainly US) an undersized person or a child, esp an appealing one
a breed of medium-sized cat with short legs
Word Origin
C20: from the Munchkins, a dwarfish race of people in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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
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Word Origin and History for munchkin



1900, coined by U.S. author L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." He never explained how he got the word. The word most like it is perhaps mutchkin, an old Scottish measure of capacity for liquids, which was used by Scott. (It comes from Middle Dutch mutseken, originally "a little cap," from mutse "cap," earlier almutse "amice, hood, headdress," from Latin amictus "mantle, cloak," noun use of past participle of amicire "to wrap, throw around," a compound from ambi- (see ambi-) + iacere (see jet (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for munchkin



A low-ranking employee, staff member, etc; a menial: Justice Department spokesman Thomas De Cair sniffed that Honegger was ''a low-level Munchkin''/ Most of the munchkins, junior campaign aides, won't make it to the transition staff

[1970s+; fr the name of the dwarfish helpers in L Frank Baum's 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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munchkin in Technology

/muhnch'kin/ [Squeaky-voiced little people in L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz"] A teenage-or-younger micro enthusiast hacking BASIC or something else equally constricted. A term of mild derision - munchkins are annoying but some grow up to be hackers after passing through a larval stage. The term urchin is also used. See also wannabee, bitty box.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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