A child, a puny little fellow, in the same ratio to a man as a shrimp to a lobster. Fry is also used for children. (Anglo-Saxon, Scrine-an, to shrink; Danish, skrumpe; Dutch, krimpen.)
It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp Would strike such terror to his enemics.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894