n. A combination of "henchman" and "hireling." Intended to be gender-neutral and not necessarily derogatory. A henchling is usually distinguished from a minion by having some degree of free will, and from a henchman or henchwoman by not necessarily being aligned to evil (which the latter typically are).
Dilbert is a henchling of the pointy-haired boss. Though the boss is evil and treats Dilbert as a minion, Dilbert has free will and is not evil himself.
by d@d March 12, 2008