- an inexperienced person; beginner; novice
- Now Rare a newly arrived immigrant
- a person easily deceived; dupe
Origin of greenhornorigin, originally with reference to a young animal with immature horns
- An inexperienced or immature person, especially one who is easily deceived.
- A newcomer, especially one who is unfamiliar with the ways of a place or group.
Origin of greenhornMiddle English greene horn horn of a newly slaughtered animal grene green ; see green . horn horn ; see horn .
Unconfirmed. Hypotheses include:
- Middle English greene horn, the horn of a newly slaughtered animal
- From the reference to an animal with green (that is, young) horns
- From 17th century jewelery manufacturing which used decorated horn which was impressed at a specific temperature. If heated too high (a common mistake by apprentices), the horn turned green.