Etymology
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subaltern (n.)

"junior military officer," 1680s, earlier more generally, "person of inferior rank" (c. 1600), noun use of adjective subaltern "having an inferior position, subordinate" (1580s), from French subalterne, from Late Latin subalternus, from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + alternus "every other (one), one after the other" (from PIE root *al- "beyond").

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underbred (adj.)
"of inferior breeding, vulgar," 1640s, from under + past participle of breed (v.). Of animals, "not pure bred," attested from 1890.
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succedaneum (n.)
"substitute," 1640s, from neuter of Latin succedaneus "succeeding, acting as substitute" (see succeed). Especially of inferior drugs substituted for better ones. Related: Succedaneous.
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princeling (n.)

1610s, "young or little prince;" 1794, "petty or inferior prince," from prince + -ling. Other terms for the same things include princekin (1855, Thackeray), princelet (1680s).

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clunker (n.)

"anything inferior," 1940s, agent noun from clunk (v.), probably in imitation of the sounds made by old machinery. Specific sense of "old car" was in use by 1936.

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hambone (n.)
also ham-bone, 1771, "bone of a ham," from ham (n.1) + bone (n.). Meaning "inferior actor or performer" is from 1893, an elaboration of ham (n.2).
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scrubby (adj.)

1590s, "stunted, inferior, shabby;" see scrub (n.1) + -y (2). In reference to land, "covered with brush or underwood," from 1670s. Related: Scrubbiness.

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jerkwater (adj.)
also jerk-water, "petty, inferior, insignificant," 1890, earlier in reference to certain railroad trains and lines (1878); in both cases the notion is of a steam locomotive crew having to take on boiler water from a trough or a creek because there was no water tank; see jerk (v.1) + water (n.1). This led to an adjectival use of jerk as "inferior, insignificant;" hence also jerkwater town (1893).
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Chianti (n.)

also Chiante, kind of dry red wine, 1833, from Chianti Mountains of Tuscany, where the wine was made. "[L]oosely applied to various inferior Italian wines" [OED].

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sonny (n.)
"small boy," 1833, from son + -y (3). As a familiar form of address to one younger or inferior, from 1852. The song "Sonny Boy" (Jolson) was popular 1928.
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