한동안 연락이 잠잠했던 친구에게서 연락이 왔다. 여자친구를 사귀게 되었다고. 그런데 여자친구가 10살 어린, 갓 고등학교를 졸업한 여자아이란다. 나도 모르게 “이런 도둑놈ㅋㅋㅋㅋ” 이라는 말이 나왔다. 영어로는 비슷한 느낌을 어떻게 표현할까? “What a cradle robber..”


  1. A person who marries or becomes romantically involved with someone who is much younger or who employs or otherwise engages a young person for a purpose inappropriate for his or her age.


example-image a cradle 이 표현은 아주 비주얼적이다. cradle 은 아기 침대를 뜻하는데, cradle robber는 즉 아기 침대(cradle)를 훔쳐가는(rob) 사람(-er)을 연상시킨다. 한국어로 “도둑놈” 이라고 하는 것과 아주 비슷한데, 좀 더 비주얼적인게 인상적이다


  • Who’s the lucky bride? Or should I say, who’s the lucky cradle robber? (2 Broke Girls)
  • So to get back at him I kind of called him a cradle robber. (Being Erica)
  • You’re too old and creaky to be robbing the cradle. (Hot in Cleveland)
  • And I am not robbing the cradle. If anything, I am robbing the grave. (The Office)
  • Geez, you’re practically robbing the cradle, Ray. l’m almost 20, thank you. (Beverly Hills)


  • But their mother’s marriage did not sit well with them. In fact, some came forward to denounce her as a cradle-robber. (NYT)
  • He does not cradle-rob. He goes out with women a tad closer to, but not quite, his age. (NYT)
  • “He’s seven years younger, and he looks really young,” said Ms. Thomas, who is 33. “I’ve been asked if he’s my son, my nephew, my little brother. And I don’t look old! When we got our marriage license in Chicago, the woman asked our date of births.” […] “I’m not a cradle robber.’ (NYT)


  • That awkward moment your boss meets your boyfriend then calls you a cradle robber
  • Kid was flirting with me because he thought I was his age. He’s 16. I’m 19. Stay away, youngin’. I’m no cradle robber.
  • Cradle robber? See which star is 39 years older than his wife and tell us what you think!


  • Is it a slang? Yes.
  • Can I use it in an email? Yes (but only between friends :)
  • Can I use it in a formal setting? No.

context plot data source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/


이 표현은 얼마나 오래된 표현일까? ngram_img image source: Google Ngram 구글 Ngram로 확인해보면, robbing the cradle 이라는 표현은 1850 이후로 점점 쓰이기 시작했고, cradle robber라는 속어는 1950년후 이후로 유행을 탄 것을 확인할 수 있다.