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From clerk +‎ -ling.



clerkling (plural clerklings)

  1. a clerk, emphasizing his insignificance or young age
    • 1912, Jose Rizal, The Reign of Greed[1]:
      Every Spaniard that spoke to him, whether clerkling or underling, was presented as a leading merchant, a marquis, or a count, while on the other hand any one who passed him by was a greenhorn, a petty official, a nobody!
    • (Can we date this quote?), Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), translated by John Payne (1842-1916), The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio[2]:
      A little after, he sent a lad, as he were the priest's clerkling that had confessed her, to the lady to ask if she wot of were come thither again.
    • 1917, Sinclair Lewis, The Job[3]:
      Una stood with a hulking man pressing as close to her side as he dared, and a dapper clerkling squeezed against her breast.