From Middle English lamb, from Old English lamb, from Proto-West Germanic *lamb, from Proto-Germanic *lambaz, probably from Proto-Indo-European *h₁l̥h₁onbʰos, enlargement of *h₁elh₁én, ultimately from *h₁el-.
- A young sheep.
- Synonym: sheepling
- (uncountable) The flesh of a lamb or sheep used as food.
- (figuratively) A person who is meek, docile and easily led.
- 1934, Kay Boyle, My Next Bride, Virago, published 1986, page 8:
- They were as alike as prisoners, dressed in black silk waists and fitted skirts, with shawls of crimped black lamb across their shoulders.
- A simple, unsophisticated person.
- (finance, slang) One who ignorantly speculates on the stock exchange and is victimized.
- (slang) A fan of American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer Mariah Carey (born 1969).
- 2003, Bust, page 88:
- Part of me revels in the campiness of Mariah’s butterfly metaphors and puppies-and-kittens existence. […] But I also genuinely love her music, including this album. I’m one of her lambs.
- 2010 February 15, Greg Kot, “Mimi cuts loose: Mariah Carey concert at Chicago Theatre shows that the diva can laugh at herself”, in Chicago Tribune, 163rd year, number 46, section 3, page 6:
- Her latest album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” is her best work yet, a warmer and more subtle album that makes her more relatable to those of us who aren’t Mariah die-hards—or “lambs,” as she refers to them.
- 2019 January 3, Rich Juzwiak, “In Praise of Their Diva”, in The New York Times, section D, page 1:
- This year, Ms. Carey debuted a new Las Vegas revue, and, to celebrate, a group of 36 “lambs,” mostly in their 30s and 40s, boarded a party bus and cruised the Vegas strip for about three hours.
- 2020 February 25, Chris Azzopardi, “I Love You (But Do You Love Mariah Carey?)”, in The New York Times:
- But when I saw Mariah in Detroit last year during the Caution World Tour, I was a proud lamb in my tour T-shirt, my very adult body suddenly transformed into my 14-year-old self when she emerged onstage.
- For more quotations using this term, see Citations:lamb.
- beaver lamb
- ewe lamb
- house lamb
- in like a lion, out like a lamb
- innocent as a lamb
- in two shakes of a lamb's tail
- lamb fries
- lambing season
- lamb pie
- lamb's bread
- lamb's ears
- lamb's fries
- lamb's lettuce
- lamb's quarters
- lamb's tongue
- lamb succory
- lamb to the slaughter/like a lamb to the slaughter/come like a lamb to the slaughter/as a lamb to the slaughter
- March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb
- mutton dressed as lamb, mutton dressed up as lamb
- one may as well hang for a sheep as a lamb
- Paschal Lamb, paschal lamb
- sacrificial lamb
- Scythian lamb
- skin the lamb
- tod and lambs
- vegetable lamb
- (intransitive) Of a sheep, to give birth.
- (transitive or intransitive) To assist (sheep) to give birth.
- The shepherd was up all night, lambing her young ewes.
- lamb (both the animal and meat)
- kid (baby goat)
- (playing cards, stýrivolt) seven of the chosen cards (trump seven)
- Romanization of
- a lamb
- a lamb (young sheep); (pre-1938) alternative form of
- (by extension, Christianity, figurative) Christ as sacrificial lamb
Historical inflection of lamb
Forms in italics are currently considered non-standard. Forms in [brackets] were official, but considered second-tier. Forms in (parentheses) were allowed under Midlandsnormalen. 1Nouns were capitalised for most of the 19th century.
lamb n (nominative plural lambru)
Old High German
- Middle High German: lamp, lam
- Köbler, Gerhard, Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch, (6. Auflage) 2014
- Joseph Wright, An Old High German Primer, Second Edition
- a lamb
- Low German: Lamm