bad seed

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bad seed (usually uncountable, plural bad seeds)

  1. A genetic source of bad behavior or other results.
    • 1533, Paracelsus, Paracelsus: Essential Readings‎, translation of Liber Prologi in Vitam Beatam by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, published 1999, page 147:
      A bad seed produces a bad tree and in due course bad fruit, and a good seed produces a good tree and good fruit.
    • 2001, Victor Groza; Karen F. Rosenberg, Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption, page 7:
      In families that insist the child is different, the myth that prevails and perpetuates is the "bad seed theory." This becomes easier for families to do when the kids behave poorly and the only information they receive about the biological family are its problems and dysfunction
    • 2003, Colin Channer, Waiting in Vain‎, page 256:
      "Listen, some people just come from bad seed." Mr. Heath shook his head. ... "If Ian is from bad seed, though, is from the mother, not the father