8
Treated with dislike, distaste, much the same as a "second class citizen." Less important. Ostracized, at times.
(If the stepchild had red hair, and the parent didn't, people would assume that the parent was the step-parent. This is obviously an ignorant assumption, since the gene for red hair is not a "dominate" gene, but a "recessive" gene -- it would skip generations before showing up again.)
In the state of Alabama, it is well known that Auburn University will always be the Redheaded Stepchild to the University of Alabama, when pertaining to football and all other things athletic - and chess. RTR!
by EvilRedHet September 28, 2010
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9
In business, this is a product, remote office, employee, etc., who doesn't get respect. The moniker stems from the popular slang phrase "beat you like a red-headed stepchild." Often times, the disrespect is undeserved.

If a product is an embarrassment to a company, it is the company's red-headed stepchild.
The satellite office was outperforming the head office statistically, but because it created work for people in the head office, it was treated like a red-headed stepchild.

Because the Edsel didn't sell well, it became Ford's red-headed stepchild.
by Glenwood October 01, 2006
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10
Possible source: the story of King David's lineage. According to midrash (exegetical works on the Bible), his father Jesse separated from his mother due to concern about his own Jewish lineage with the intent not to procreate with her any longer. He planned to have more children with a non-Jewish maidservant who instead conspired with his wife to allow her to be with him one more time. She conceived and when it became apparent that she was pregnant the family wanted to ostracize her for her suspected infidelity. Her youngest son David (who is described in the Bible as being of ruddy complexion and having red hair) was shunned by the rest of Jesse's children - they wouldn't allow him to eat at the family table, and purposely assigned him to the role of shepherd in the hopes that he'd be devoured by wild animals. It wasn't until the prophet Samuel anointed him as the successor to Saul as King of Israel that doubts of his lineage were laid to rest.

Stepchild can be seen as a euphemism for bastard.
They're basically the program's red headed stepchild; no one gives them funding.
by RoninerHasid June 07, 2016
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11
Term from rural America describing person who is socially outcast and easily picked on. Usually meeting the business end of a fist, boot, broomstick, bat, broken bottle, and/or foreign objects of injurious force. Often at the end of the tag line, "I'll beat you like a..."
"Hey you boy, yeah you. We don't take kindly to new folk lookin' funny like that. You best be leavin' or I'll beat you like a red-headed stepchild"

by Bloody Abo September 04, 2006
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12
Man, he smacked her like she was a red headed stepchild!
by |darc| December 08, 2002
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13
The phrase was first coined by James Joyce in his smash-hit musical, Annie, in which he geniously depicts the stereotypical Irish-male's concern for slamming whiskey and disrespecting women, especially the ones from the loins of his sinner wife. (See child support.) Several years later, Joyce also uses this phrase in a letter to his actual wife to describe his penis.
1) Beat that thing like a red headed stepchild.

2) Perhaps I can help you beat your red headed stepchild. With my mouth.
by Benjamin Franklin 1776 July 04, 2008
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14
Derives its meaning from the idea that;
1. Red heads are to be avoided
2. That step children are to be avoided.

So the idea of the both combined is doubly hateful
"beat him like a red headed step-child"
by mrforde August 22, 2006
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