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From church +‎ -ling.


churchling (plural churchlings)

  1. A church-goer.
    • 1956, David Wesley Soper, Epistle to the skeptics:
      Neither worldling nor churchling privately possesses his love. The churchling, in prayer and praise, is or ought to be alert to the divine summons as the worldling is not; in race relations and common justice it is sometimes the other way around.
  2. (sometimes diminutive) A mere churchman.
    • 1903, The Independent:
      " [...] And," he added, "it transforms a churchling into a Christian to come into contact with the Pope."
    • 1904, Charles Lamb, Alfred Ainger, The letters of Charles Lamb:
      You do not tell me of those romantic land bays that be as thou goest to Lover's Seat: neither of that little churchling in the midst of a wood (in the opposite direction, nine furlongs from the town), that seems dropped by the Angel [...]
  3. (pejorative) A bigoted churchman.
    • 2012, Elspeth Cooper, Songs of the Earth:
      'I thought you were going to show us some swordcraft, churchling, not dance steps.' Arlin's tone was mocking. 'Sorry, I mistook you for a girl.'

Related terms[edit]