Tyke, Imp, Waif, and Les Misérables

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
BSD figurine and cat
“Tyke vs Cat”. (that figurine is BSD Mascot. Its name is Beastie, or BSD Daemon. (BSD is computer operating system similar to Linux)) For detail, see: The Unix Pestilence.
BSD Beastie reading doc
BSD daemon devouring docs

tyke means:

[etymology of tyke https://www.etymonline.com/word/tyke] «c.1400, “cur, mongrel,” from O.N. tik “bitch,” related to M.L.G. tike. … The meaning “child” is from 1902, though it was used in playful reproof from 1894.»

mongrel means:

cur means:


A related, fitting word here is “imp”. It means:

[etymology of imp https://www.etymonline.com/word/imp] «O.E. impe, impa “young shoot, graft,” from impian “to graft,” …, verbal adjective formed from emphyein “implant,” from em- “in” + phyein “to plant” (see physic). Sense of “child, offspring” (late 14c.) came from transfer of word from plants to people, with notion of “newness” preserved. Modern meaning “little devil” (1580s) is from common use in pejorative phrases like imp of Satan.»


Another, related word is “waif”, meaning: A homeless person, especially a forsaken or orphaned child.

Emile Bayard - Cosette
The waif Cosette in Victor Hugo's 1862 novel 2491×3881

Les Misérables (pronounced /leɪ ˌmɪzəˈrɑːb/ or /leɪ ˈmɪzəˌrɑːb/; French pronunciation: ​[le mizeʁabl(ə)]) is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title. However, several alternatives have been used, including The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims and The Dispossessed.[1] Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.[2]

Examining the nature of law and grace, the novel elaborates upon the history of France, the architecture and urban design of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Misérables has been popularized through numerous adaptations for the stage, television, and film, including a musical and a film adaptation of that musical.

The appearance of the novel was highly anticipated and advertised. Critical reactions were diverse, but most of them were negative. Commercially, the work was a great success globally.

[Wikipedia [ Les Misérables ] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Misérables ]]

[etymology of waif https://www.etymonline.com/word/waif] «late 14c., “unclaimed property, flotsam, stray animal,” from Anglo-Norm. waif, gwaif (early 13c.) “ownerless property,” probably from a Scandinavian source akin to O.N. veif “waving thing, flag,” from P.Gmc. *waif-, from PIE *weip- “to turn, vacillate, tremble ecstatically” (see vibrate). Cf. M.L. waivium “thing thrown away by a thief in flight.” A Scottish/northern English parallel form was wavenger (late 15c.). » «Meaning “person (especially a child) without home or friends” first attested 1784, from legal phrase waif and stray (1620s). Neglected children being uncommonly thin, the word tended toward this sense. Connotations of “fashionable, small, slender woman” began 1991 with application to childishly slim supermodels, for example: Kate Moss.»