Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Changeling (2 syl.).

 Change.Chant du Depart. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Changeling (2 syl.).
 
A peevish, sickly child. The notion used to be that the fairies took a healthy child, and left in its place one of their starveling elves which never did kindly   1
       
“Oh, that it could be proved
       
That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
In cradle-clothes our children as they lay,
And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.”
       
Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., i. 1.
 


 Change.Chant du Depart. 

 
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