Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR URCHINS

A young dog, for example, is attacked by urchins who throw stones at it.

How could the flogger of urchins be otherwise than animated and joyous?

Again homeless, I wandered about with urchins as ragged and destitute as myself.

At least three other urchins had claimed relationship with that self-same lady.

These urchins immediately ran home, and told what they had seen.

We patted the poor horse that grew a tail for urchins to pluck at.

They have not quite the rowdy actuality of Mr. Tarkington's urchins.

He left her, and proceeded to help the man who was dragging the urchins to their feet.

He had made himself the special protector of the ten little Slabtown urchins.

To be sure, there were some urchins who yelled: A la chienlit!

WORD ORIGIN

late 13c., yrichon "hedgehog," from Old North French *irechon (cf. Picard irechon, Walloon ireson, Hainaut hirchon), from Old French herichun "hedgehog" (Modern French hérisson), formed with diminutive suffix -on + Vulgar Latin *hericionem, from Latin ericius "hedgehog," from PIE root *gher- "to bristle" (cf. Greek kheros "hedgehog;" see horror).

Still used for "hedgehog" in non-standard speech in Cumbria, Yorkshire, Shropshire. Applied throughout 16c. to people whose appearance or behavior suggested hedgehogs, from hunchbacks (1520s) to goblins (1580s) to bad girls (c.1530); meaning "poorly or raggedly clothed youngster" emerged 1550s, but was not in frequent use until after c.1780. Sea urchin is recorded from 1590s (a 19c. Newfoundland name for them was whore's eggs).

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.