Children are never too tender to be whipped: like tough beef-steaks, the more you beat them the more tender they become.
  — Edgar Allen Poe (1809–1849)

Tender, as an adjective, means soft or weak; young or vulnerable; frail; delicate; easily bruised, injured, or pained.

With respect to human character, a person is called "tender" when he or she is considerate and protective; loving; gentle; or given to sympathy or sentimentality.

With respect to body parts, "tender" means sensitive, painful or sore. A well-spanked bottom, for example, can be called tender.


A meat mallet.
"Tenderized" buttocks.

To tenderize (British spelling: tenderise) means to make something tender by beating it. In cooking, tenderizing refers to processes to soften meat by breaking down collagens; this can be done mechanically through pounding, chemically through enzymes, and/or through cooking techniques. A meat mallet is commonly used for the first option, which is a kind of wooden or metal hammer with rows of small pyramid spikes on the ends.

The term "tenderizing" is also used figuratively in the context of spanking. A 'tenderized' bottom will be red, hot, and possibly a little swollen or marked.

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