Old English sunu "son, descendant," from Proto-Germanic *sunuz (source also of Old Saxon and Old Frisian sunu, Old Norse sonr, Danish søn, Swedish son, Middle Dutch sone, Dutch zoon, Old High German sunu, German Sohn, Gothic sunus "son"). The Germanic words are from PIE *su(e)-nu- "son" (source also of Sanskrit sunus, Greek huios, Avestan hunush, Armenian ustr, Lithuanian sūnus, Old Church Slavonic synu, Russian and Polish syn "son"), a derived noun from root *seue- (1) "to give birth" (source also of Sanskrit sauti "gives birth," Old Irish suth "birth, offspring").
Son of _____ as the title of a sequel to a book or movie is recorded from 1917 ("Son of Tarzan"). Most explanations for son of a gun (1708) are more than a century after its appearance. Henley (1903) describes it as meaning originally "a soldier's bastard;" Smyth's "Sailor's Word-Book" (1867) describes it as "An epithet conveying contempt in a slight degree, and originally applied to boys born afloat, when women were permitted to accompany their husbands to sea ...."
son of a bitch
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