January 7, 2008 — 5 Comments

  1. Hi AbVan,
    I have no clue where that saying comes from so I looked it up. This is what I found.

    A step child would get beaten more than a biological child. As redheads are traditionally disliked and picked on, a redheaded stepchild would get an even worse beating! Nasty, simple, basic.

    “Beating you like a red-headed stepchild” refers to a terrible beating. It is a variation of “beating you like a rented mule.”

    Etymology is notoriously hard to pin down. Here are some clues to the origin of its specifics:

    * A stepchild is often presumed to be less favored than biological children. If a parent was abusive, a stepchild might get the worst of it. (Similarly, a rented mule would be less valuable than one you own.)

    * A child having red hair might be an indication that they have a different father, thereby reinforcing that they are a stepchild.

    * Red hair is often associated with a fiery personality. (Similarly, a mule is considered an especially stubborn animal.)

  2. Bloody Americans : “shall get beaten” not “beat”.

    I fear this is one of those phrases that can only be espoused by either a stepchild or a gingernut. A bit like a black man, saying “‘sup ma nigger” to his black friend yet popping a cap if a white man says it. . Yeah?

    Football schmootball. I’ll be glad when it’s over and you and Wordnerd come to your senses.

  3. Aw Geez! Bloody Aussies!
    If it was the ‘Kings English’ I was looking for I would have said….

    I just want to let all of you know that on the aforementioned date the
    Ohio State University football sport club shall be defeated by a superior team of youths taking to the field of sport so as to promote friendliness and general good will towards their fellow football sport team members of the Louisiana State University
    But I didn’t!!! Did I? NOOOOOOOOOO!
    I said that Oh10 State is going down!! Down in flames, says I!!