Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English gadling (companion in arms; man, fellow; a person of low birth; rascal, scoundrel; bastard; base, lowborn), gadeling (vagabond), from Old English geaduling, gædeling (kinsman, fellow, companion in arms, comrade), from Proto-Germanic *gadulingaz, *gadilingaz (relative, kinsman), equivalent to gad +‎ -ling. Related to Old English gāda (comrade, companion).


gadling (plural gadlings)

  1. (obsolete) A companion in arms, fellow, comrade.
    • The Towneley Plays
      Gadlings, I am a full great wight.
  2. A roving vagabond; one who roams
    • 1947, Thomas Bertram Costain, The Moneyman[1], digitized edition, Doubleday, published 2006, page 57:
      I'm delighted to see you. You're as brown, my gadling, as though you had returned from another journey to the East with Jean de Village.
  3. A man of humble condition; a fellow; a low fellow; lowborn; originally comrade or companion, in a good sense, but later used in reproach
    • 1906, Rudyard Kipling, Puck of Pook's Hill[2], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2008, page 96:
      “Pest on him!” said De Aquila. “I have more to do than to shiver in the Great Hall for every gadling the King sends. Left he no word?”
  4. A spike on a gauntlet; a gad.


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for gadling in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia