word modified to convey a slighter degree of its root meaning
A diminutive is a formation of a word used to express smallness of the object or quality that is meant with the word the diminutive is formed from.
Examples in EnglishEdit
Diminutives are common in most dialects of English. Terms such as "undies" for underwear and "movie" for "moving picture" are frequently heard terms in English.
Common diminutives are:
- -ey/-ie/-y: dearie, doggy, kitty (this also being the basis of the naming of Brittany i.e. Minor Britain in reference to its cultural ties to the Celts of Great Britain.)
- -ette: diskette, cigarette, kitchenette, suffragette (Suffrage)
- -let: piglet, chicklet, applet, eyelet, gauntlet, tablet
- -ling: duckling, gosling
- -s(y): "Wills", Becks
- -a: Macca, Gazza
- -o: smoko (smoking break)