I came across this usage of the word brat:

She's been acting like a spoiled brat all evening.

Now brat means a misbehaved child. In the sentence above putting spoiled before the word brat is necessary. It seems irrelevant as the meaning of brat I think already communicates that. Any thoughts?

  • Other kinds of brat are possible as well as spoiled ('spoilt' in British English) ones. A brat might be wilful, spiteful, cheeky, rude, selfish, etc. Apr 24, 2023 at 20:00
  • "In the sentence above putting spoiled before the word brat is necessary." Why do you say this? Apr 24, 2023 at 20:05
  • Brat is just a colloquial term for a child, usually implying a rude or annoying one. Apr 25, 2023 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


Not all "brats" are "spoiled".

I was an army brat, so I moved from one town to another as my parents were given new postings.

A couple of brats live under the bridge. They are dressed in rags and go begging at the station each day.

But the words "spoilt" and "brat" do go together very often. Like "excruciating pain" or "whispered softly" (can you whisper any other way?). This is just a common collocation and highly idiomatic.

Such combinations exist in all languages. I challenge you to think of four or five examples in yours.

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