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A child whose parent is in the army. The phrase is often associated with the fact that such a child has lived in many different places (as relocations are common for members of the military). After being an army brat, I'm very happy to have lived in the same place for the last 20 years. Yep, Susie's an army brat—her father is a decorated soldier.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
n. a child born to a parent in the army. (Such a child will live in many different places.) I was an army brat and went to seven different schools before I got out of high school.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A child of a member of the regular army. Although brat is not a flattering term, the phrase is not at all derogatory. It dates from the first half of the 1900s. Because regular army personnel often are transferred from station to station, their children frequently had to change schools, and this circumstance is what is most often referred to. A New York Post article in 1971 had it, “I was in sixteen different grammar schools. Then I’d be whisked away because my father was in the Army and I was an Army brat.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer