Where does the word chitterling or chitlin come from? And how did it come to apply to children?
The official definition of chitterling is, we hesitate to say, the small intestines of pigs, which are cooked and eaten as food. However, chit is a term for a child, especially a pert girl, and it also refers to a root or a sprig of new growth. In Middle English, the term chitte refers to a young animal. Chitling is used in the southern United States to describe the smallest pig in a litter. The word chitlin is probably a regional pronunciation of the more proper chitterling. Chitlin as it applies to children could have its root in these word variants or may have evolved from the sound of the word, which is very much like the word children.