2007March24, Saturday

Interesting Word: “Bairn”

Posted in Interesting Words at 19:57 by Trey Austin

I’ve been trying to get into BBC’s new series Robin Hood. If you try and watch it on Saturday nights on BBC America (264 on DirecTV), be warned not to try and do anything else (surf, read, play an RTS game, or blog) while it’s on; it’s not like one of those absent-minded hour dramas on TV where you can follow what’s going on without really paying all that much attention (if you’re like me, you can catch a total of 15 minutes and even get the nuances of the storyline that lots of people won’t get glued to the box). You really do have to pay attention to it to get into it, because the dialogue and storylines are more sophisticated than what you’d find on many American shows.

Tonight, while watching the show, i heard a word i had come across before, but i thought it was interesting, and one that we don’t often come upon in everyday speech.

From BBC’s Robin Hood, episode 4, “Parent Hood”:

The forest is no place for a bairn.

Bairn (bârn)
A child of any age; a son or a daughter.

From Old English bearn, related to beran (verb, to bear, carry, or give birth to a child). Not chiefly of Scottish derivation, even if used chiefly (if not exclusively) by the Scots today.



  1. tempe said,

    As in “Fairbairn”?

  2. Trey Austin said,

    Absolutely. 🙂 I’m sure our professor will be glad to know that he was a beautiful baby.

  3. al said,

    My Grandmother, on my father’s side, was born in Scotland. I was thinking about my heritage last night. Specifically, how we can adopt a people for our own without much provocation and how we are to adopt the family of God as our own. But that has nothing to do with why I am commenting…

    I try to teach my children good things but my bairn Alice is ready to kill the English lad in her class for crimes against her ancestors, committed 400 years ago. Its in her blood I guess.

    al sends

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