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To add to EJoshuaS's answer, "tyke" does have a colloquial or humorous connotation. I'm not familiar with this story, but if the word appears in dialogue then it's use is not important. However, if it appears in the narrative, then Lowry may have intended for the word to have some importance: say, to reflect in some way the narrator's prejudices. ...


"Tyke" is simply a word for a small child. That's why, for example, Little Tykes is a brand of children's toys.

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