Etymology
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changeling (n.)

1550s, "one given to change," from change (n.) + diminutive suffix -ling. Meaning "person or thing left in place of one secretly taken" is from 1560s; specific reference to an infant or young child (usually stupid, strange, or ugly) superstitiously believed to have been left by the faeries in place of a beautiful or charming one they have stolen away is from 1580s. An earlier word for it was oaf or auf.

updated on October 31, 2017

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Definitions of changeling from WordNet

changeling (n.)
a person of subnormal intelligence;
Synonyms: idiot / imbecile / cretin / moron / half-wit / retard
changeling (n.)
a child secretly exchanged for another in infancy;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.