Difference between Kid and Child

Key Difference: The word ‘kid’ was originally not even used to refer to human children, but meant a baby goat, but in the 16th century the word was adapted to even include human babies and children. The word ‘child’ comes with three different contexts where legally it can refer to any minor that is under the age of 18. Biologically, the word refers to a young human who hasn’t yet reached puberty and socially it can be used to include any person of any age since everyone who was born was a child to someone.

A Goat KidEnglish is already a complicated language and then there are a few words that mean the same thing but are also different, just to add to the confusion. Baby, children and kid are often used interchangeably, but sometimes the contexts do not fit and sometimes the words can seem out of order. Let’s take a look at ‘kid’ and ‘child’ and break them down to understand the proper context that these words can be used in.

 

The word ‘kid’ was originally not even used to refer to human children, but meant a baby goat, but in the 16th century the word was adapted to include human babies and children. However, the word is not used in a formal setting rather in an informal setting. The word usually refers to children until they reach teenagers. The word can also be used negatively – to call out adults who may be acting immature.

KidExamples of ‘kid’:

  • How many kids do you have?
  • My kid is turning 2 tomorrow.
  • You’re kidding me! (When used as a joke)
  • You are such a kid sometimes! (When used in a negative sense)

The word child has a varied usage depending on the context of the sentence. It is most commonly used for young humans from babies to teenagers. However, in some places it can also refer to adults, but we’ll get to that. The word ‘child’ comes with three different contexts where legally it can refer to any minor that is under the age of 18. Biologically, the word refers to a young human who hasn’t yet reached puberty and socially it can be used to include any person of any age since everyone who was born was a child to someone. The term is the preferred word to use in a formal setting but can also be used in an informal setting. It also has a similar negative connotation where it can be used to call someone immature.

ChildExamples of ‘child’:

  • These are my children, Tom and Mary.
  • My children are 24 and 26. (When used in social context)
  • Can you please stop acting like a child?! (When used in a negative sense)

As you can see, there are places where the words can be interchangeable and most commonly they often are. However, there are definitely some situations where these two words should definitely not be switched, these include formal settings or when referring to baby goats.

Comparison between Kid and Child:

 

Kid

Child

Definition

Is a slang or an informal word for children

Legally – a minor under the age of 18

Biologically – a young human before puberty

Socially – any person of any age

Age

Doesn’t require any specific age, includes baby to teenager.

Ideally used to address someone under the age of 13, but can also extend to older people

Level of Formality

Informal, slang

Formal

Alternate Definitions

Also used for baby goats or to make a joke

Biologically every person is the child of someone

Negative Definition

Can be used to address an immature person

Can be used to address an immature person

Reference: iTalki, Quora, Stack Exchange, Duolingo, Pediaa, Word Reference
Image Courtesy: wiktionary.org, campaignforkids.com, crosswalk.com

Most Searched in Society and Culture Most Searched in Beauty and Style
Top 10 Most Searched Differences Most Searched Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Malt vs Barley vs Grain
Fiancé vs Spouse
Nokia Lumia 920 vs BlackBerry Z10
Gateway vs Router

Add new comment

Plain text

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.