From the description of an episode of the BBC radio play "Dot":

A little East End snotling finds her way into the War Rooms. How will Dot dispose of her?

The only definition I could find is in the urban dictionary, on which I obviously won't rely on. But the person that bursts in is indeed a child, as described by the Urban Dictionary entry. So I'd like to have some sort of corroboration.


In this case the urban dictionary is spot on:

snotling : Noun, usually derrogatory: A small child.

Small, unruly, spoiled children them are often characterized as having runny noses because their parents can't be bothered to wipe their faces (or teach them how to wipe themselves). Thus "snot running down their faces", or "snotlings" for short.

In this case, the term describes Dot's opinion of small children, more than any general observation. It's also likely the small child will also be wise beyond her years, and difficult to manage, because it wouldn't be funny otherwise.

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  • 1
    Thanks, I assumed that because in German we also have "Rotzlöffel" for a small child (snot = Rotz) – mondegreen dispenser Nov 24 '17 at 19:26
  • @mondegreendispenser a "snot spoon"? :D – Andrew Nov 24 '17 at 19:28
  • Yes indeed, that's it literally. I had never cared about the etymology, but according to sites I've found the spoon refers to, well, eating the snot. I think we better don't go further into that... – mondegreen dispenser Nov 24 '17 at 19:35
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    This is a combination of snot, meaning "a person, esp. a young person, who is impudent, insolent, etc." and the diminutive suffix -ling, which means "a small or young person or thing". "Little snot" is a fairly common insult applied to a poorly behaved child (or anyone acting childishly), and "snotling" is a somewhat clever way of posing that same insult. – Canadian Yankee Nov 24 '17 at 22:41
  • @Canadian Yankee Ah thanks, I didn't know about the other meanings of snot; this has made things even clearer now. – mondegreen dispenser Nov 24 '17 at 23:56

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