An often homeless boy who roams about the streets; an urchin.
[French, probably of eastern dialectal French origin (Lorraine) : *gamm-, root meaning “good-for-nothing, vagabond” and of German origin (akin to dialectal German (Hesse, the Rhineland) gammeln, to bum around, be idle or unproductive, from Middle High German gamel, game, fun, mirth, variant of gamen, from Old High German gaman; akin to Old English gamen, game) + French -in, diminutive noun suffix.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.