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Encyclopedia > Diminutive

A diminutive is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment. It is the opposite of an augmentative. While many languages apply the grammatical diminutive to nouns, a few also use it for adjectives and even other parts of speech. For other uses, see Word (disambiguation). ... An augmentative is a suffix or prefix added to a word in order to convey the sense of a larger size. ... A noun, or noun substantive, is a word or phrase that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. ... An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. ...

Diminutives are often used for affection (see nickname and hypocoristic). In many languages the meaning of diminution can be translated "tiny" or "wee" and diminutives are used frequently when speaking to small children; adult people sometimes use diminutives when they express extreme tenderness and intimacy by behaving and talking like children. (See Apocopation). // A nickname is a name of an entity or thing that is not its proper name. ... A hypocoristic (or hypocorism) is a lesser form of the given name used in more intimate situations, as a term of endearment, a pet name. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

In some languages diminutives are formed in a regular way by adding affixes to nouns and proper names; in English the alteration of meaning is often but not essentially conveyed through smaller size. English diminutives tend to be shorter and more colloquial than the basic form of the word; diminutives formed by adding affixes in other languages are often longer and not necessarily colloquial. An affix is a morpheme that is attached to a base morpheme to form a word. ... A colloquialism is an informal expression, that is, an expression not used in formal speech or writing. ...

In many languages formation of diminutives by suffixes is a regular part of grammar. All nouns, not just proper nouns can be diminuted. The word "diminutive" is used in a narrower and less vague sense here than when referring to English. The basic meaning of diminution in these languages is "smallness of the object named"; endearment, intimacy etc. is secondary and dependent on context. For example, the name of one the last Roman emperors of the western part of the Roman Empire - Romulus Augustus - was diminuted to Romulus Augustulus (little Augustus) to emphasise the contrast between the grandness of the name and political insignificance of its bearer; in this case the connotation of diminution is derogatory, not endearing.[citation needed] Look up Suffix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Roman Emperor. ...


Germanic languages


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. Sometimes a diminutive lengthens the original word e.g. "hottie" to denote sexually appealing (or "hot") young man or woman. (Note that analogous expressions in languages in which diminution is a regular part of the grammar would not be called diminutives.) The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A pair of mens briefs Undergarments, also called underwear or sometimes intimate clothing, are clothes worn next to the skin, usually under other clothes. ...

English has also borrowed liberally from other languages when producing new diminutives, e.g. -ette is from French.

Common diminutives are:

Look up kitty in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the historical kingdom, duchy and French province, as well as one of the Celtic nations. ... Diachronic distribution of Celtic peoples:  core Hallstatt territory, by the 6th century BC  maximal Celtic expansion, by the 3rd century BC  the six Celtic nations which retained significant numbers of Celtic speakers into the Early Modern period  areas where Celtic languages remain widely spoken today Celts (pronounced or , see pronunciation... A floppy disk is a data storage device that comprises a circular piece of thin, flexible (hence floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic wallet. ... Unlit filtered cigarettes. ... A kitchenette is a cooking area in small apartments, hotel rooms, college dormitories, or office buildings. ... Suffragette with banner, Washington DC, 1918 The title of suffragette (also occasionally spelled suffraget) was given to members of the womens suffrage movement, originally in the United Kingdom. ... Piglet can refer to: Look up Piglet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary A juvenile pig. ... Binomial name Manilkara chicle (Pittier) Gilly Chicle is the gum from Manilkara chicle, a species of sapodilla tree. ... An applet is a software component that runs in the context of another program, for example a web browser. ... An eyelet is a small hole in material, the edge of which is protected by a ring of metal (eyelet), through which a piece of string, a shoelace, etc. ... Pair of gauntlets, Germany, end of the 16th century Gauntlet is a name for several different styles of glove. ... Tablet can mean several things: A flat, table-like, surface: Writing tablet Graphics tablet Tablet PC Clay tablet A substance pressed into a small cake or bar. ... The word duck was also used as slang for the WWII amphibious vehicle called a DUKW. It is also a cricketing term denoting a batsman being dismissed with a score of zero; see golden duck. ... Gosling might refer to: A young goose. ... HRH Prince William of Wales William Arthur Philip Louis His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales (William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor) (born June 21, 1982) is a member of the British Royal Family, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and first son of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. ... David Beckham David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE (born May 2, 1975) is an English footballer born in Leytonstone, London. ... Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, entrepreneur, painter, record producer, film producer, and animal-rights activist. ... Paul John Gascoigne (born 27 May 1967 in Dunston, England), often referred to as Gazza, is a retired English football player who is widely regarded as one of the most gifted footballers of his generation. ... Smoko (Derived from the term Smoke Break is a commonly used term by Australian and New Zealand labourers. ... Garbo may stand for: Greta Garbo - an actress Juan Pujol (alias Garbo) - a double-agent who worked for the British during World War II Australian slang for: a person who collects garbage as part of municipal services The worlds best Counter-Stike player according to Time Magazine July 2005 This...


In Lowland Scots diminutives are used much more frequently than in English. The diminutive is formed by the suffix -ie, -ock, -ockie or –ag (the latter from Scottish Gaelic, and probably influencing the other two before it). -ie is by far the most common prefix used. This article is about the Anglic language of Scotland. ... Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. ...

Examples include:

  • -ie
  • -ock
    • bittock: wee bit (little bit)
    • playock (toy, plaything)
    • sourock (sorrel)
  • -ag
  • Double diminutives
    • hooseockie (small house)
    • wifockie (little woman)
See also: List of English words of Scots origin

In Scotland, and to some extent in North East England, burn is a name for a stream which is less than a river. ... Cowardice is a vice. ... A gamekeeper is a person who looks after an area of countryside to make sure there are enough (game)birds for shooting. ... A kilt in the Black Watch tartan A kilt is a traditional garment of modern Scottish and Celtic culture typically worn by men. ... For other uses, see Loch Ness Monster (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Loch Ness (disambiguation). ... A Melbourne Postie riding a walkthrough A postman (sometimes known as a mailman or letter carrier in North America and a postie in Australia) delivers the post (sometimes known as mail in North America. ... A teddy bear A toy is an object used in play. ... Binomial name Rumex acetosa L. The common sorrel, or spinach dock, Ambada bhaji is a perennial herb, which grows abundantly in meadows in most parts of Europe and is cultivated as a leaf vegetable. ... This article is about the people and dialect of Tyneside. ... This article is about the Anglic language of Scotland. ... // Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this list may require cleanup. ...


German features words such as "Häuschen" for "small house", "Würstchen" for "small sausage", "ein bisschen" for "a little bit" and "Hündchen" for "small dog". Diminutives are more frequently used than in English. They are always neutral as for grammatical gender. Some words only exist in the diminutive form, e.g. "Kaninchen" ("rabbit"). The use of diminutives is quite different between the dialects. The Alemannic dialects for example use the diminutive very often. In linguistics, grammatical gender is a morphological category associated with the expression of gender through inflection or agreement. ...

There are two suffixes that can be systematically applied in German: Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • -chen, e.g. "Männchen" for little man (corresponding with English -kin as seen in "munchkin", Low Saxon (Low German) and Dutch -je, -tje, -ke, -ken and other forms depending on the dialect area)
  • -lein e.g. "Männlein" for little man (corresponding with English -let and -ling, Alemannic/Swabian -lé (Spaetz), -li(Hörnli), Bavarian and Austrian -l and Latin -culus / -cula)

Suffixation of the diminutive suffixes –chen and –lein to a finally stressed word stem causes umlaut of the stressed vowel. In Austria, there is no unitary Austrian Germanic dialects are spoken. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... In-Silico Modeling and Conformational Mobility of String Pointer Reduction System (SPRS) Based on DNA Computers ... In linguistics, umlaut (from German um- around/the other way + Laut sound) is a process whereby a vowel is pronounced more like a vowel or semivowel in a following syllable. ...

In Bavarian and Austrian German, the -l or -erl suffix can replace almost any usual German diminutive. For example, the normal word for "girl" in German is "Mädchen", and while Mädchen is still used frequently in Austrian German, a more colloquial "cute" usage would be "Mädl" or "Madl". It is very common for Austrians to replace the normal "Bisschen" ("a little" as in "Can I have a little more?") with "Bissl". This has become a very distinctive feature of Austrian German. Austro-Bavarian or Bavarian is a major group of Upper German varieties. ...

A familiar example of the -erl diminutive is "Nannerl", the childhood name of Maria Anna Mozart, the sister of the celebrated composer. Maria Anna Mozart (1762) Maria Anna Mozart (c. ...

In Swabian German this is done by adding a -lé suffix (the è being distinctly pronounced, but not stressed). For example, a small house would be a "Häuslé" or a little girl a "Mädlé". The special of Swabian is that not only nouns may be suffixed with -lé, which has no counterpart in other German dialects, High German, or other languages: waselé (diminutive of was, what) or jetztlé (diminutive of jetzt, now) or kommelé (diminutive of kommen, come). (In Spanish, these may be formed similarly, i.e. igualito — diminutive of igual, same). Swabian (Schwäbisch) is one of the Alemannic dialects of High German, spoken in the region of Swabia. ...

Low German

In East Frisian Low Saxon, -je, -tje, and -pje are used as a diminutive suffix (e.g. huis becomes huisje (little house); boom becomes boompje (little tree)). Some words have a slightly different suffix, even though the diminutive always ends with -je. For example, man becomes mannetje (little man). All these suffixes East Frisian Low Saxon shares with Dutch (detailed below). East Frisian Low Saxon, is a West Low German dialect spoken in the Eastern Friesland peninsula of northwestern Lower Saxony. ...

In other varieties of West Low German, spoken in the east of the Netherlands, diminutives occasionally use the umlaut in combination with the suffixes -gie(n). Examples: West Low German (also known as Low Saxon, especially in the Netherlands) is a group of Low German dialects spoken in Northwest Germany and East Netherlands. ... The umlaut mark (or simply umlaut) and the trema or diaeresis mark (or simply diaeresis) are two diacritics consisting of a pair of dots placed over a letter. ...

  • man - mānnegie (EN: man - little man)
  • kom - kōmmegie (EN: bowl - little bowl)

Compare this with the German suffix -chen The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

In Northern Low Saxon, the -je diminutive is rarely used, except maybe Gronings, such as in Buscherumpje, a fisherman's shirt. It is usually substituted with lütte, meaning "little", as in dat lütte Huus- the small house. The same goes for the North Germanic languages. Northern Low Saxon (in Low Saxon, Nordneddersassisch or Platt) is a Low Saxon dialect. ... Gronings can equally be defined as a Low Saxon dialects spoken in the Netherlands province of Groningen and in some adjoining areas: one in Groningen city, four in the outlands (or Ommelanden), and Westerwolds. ... The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the East Germanic languages. ...


In Dutch, the diminutive is formed by adding one of the suffixes-je, tje, -pje, -etje, -kje, -ke, -eke, -ske, -ie to the noun in question. The forms -ke, eke, -ske, -ie are not used in official spelling. Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

In Dutch, not only nouns can get a diminutive but also adjectives and adverbs. The noun however will remain able to be used together with (in)definite articles. In this case -s is added. Some examples; In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... An article is a stand-alone section of a larger written work. ...

  • adjective:
    • groen (green)- "groentje" (lit. little green" meaning rookie)
  • adverbs:
    • groen (green) - "groentjes" (lit.little green meaning greenish")
    • net (tidy) - "netjes" (lit little tidy meaning "tidy-ish")
    • zacht (soft) - "zachtjes" (lit.little soft meaning "softly")

Some nouns have two different diminutives, each with a different meaning.

  • bloem (flower) - bloempje (lit. "small/little flower") meaning little/small flower)
  • bloem (flower) - bloemetje (lit. "small/little flower" meaning bouquet)

There are also a number of words that exist solely in a diminutive form.

  • zeepaardje (lit. "small/little seahorse" meaning seahorse')
  • sneeuwklokje (lit. "small/little snowdrop" meaning snowdrop')

When used to refer to time, the Dutch diminutive form can indicate whether the person in question found it pleasant or not.

  • In de rij heb ik een uur moeten wachten voordat ik aan de beurt was.

(I had to wait an hour in line before it was my turn.)

  • Na een uurtje gezellig gekletst te hebben met haar vriend ging het meisje naar huis.

(After chatting to her boyfriend for a little hour the girl went home.)


In Afrikaans, the diminutive is formed by adding one of the suffixes-ie, -pie, -kie, , -'tjie, -tjie, -jie, -etjie to the word, depending on the latter's phonology. Diminutives are extremely widely used in the Afrikaans language. In some cases the diminutive is the most commonly used, or even only form of the word. For example bietjie (a [little] bit), mandjie (basket) or boontjie (bean). In other cases the diminutive may be used figuratively rather than literally to imply affection, camaraderie, euphemism, sarcasm or disdain, depending on context. Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Appendix:Afrikaans and Dutch Swadesh lists in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • Is jou hartjie seer? Is your [little] heart sore? (sympathy)
  • Dit is sy bedraetjie. That is his [little] contribution (sarcasm)
  • Kom, outjies. Trek saam. Come, [little] mates. Pull together (camaraderie)
  • Ja, basie, en wat het jy te sê? Yes, [little] boss, and what have you to say? (disdain)
  • Ons het 'n probleempie. We have a [little] problem (euphemism)

Diminutives of words that are themselves diminutives are used, for example baadjietjie (little jacket).

Words ending in -f, -g, -k, -p or -s add ie.

  • neef - nefie (nephew)
  • lag - laggie (laugh)
  • vark - varkie (pig)
  • skaap - skapie (sheep)
  • bos - bossie (bush)

Words ending in -m add pie.

  • boom - boompie (tree)

Words ending in -ing drop the g and add kie.

  • koning - koninkie (king)

Words ending in -i, -o, or -u add ′tjie. These are often words borrowed from other languagues.

  • impi - impi′tjie

Words ending in -d or -t take jie

  • hoed - hoedjie (hat), rot - rotjie (rat)

Consonant-vowel-consonent words ending in -b, -l, -m, -n or -r add etjie.

  • rob - robbejie (seal), bal - balletjie (ball), kam - kammetjie (comb), pan - pannetjie (pan), kar - karretjie (car)

Most other words add tjie.

  • soen - soentjie (kiss), koei - koeitjie (cow), tuin - tuintjie (garden), appel - appeltjie (apple)

Exceptions to the rules include:-

  • blad - blaadjie (newspaper), pad - paadjie (road), gat - gaatjie (hole), vat - vaatjie (barrel)
  • ring - ringetjie (ring), slang - slangetjie (snake)


Yiddish frequently uses diminutives. In Yiddish the primary diminutive is "-l" or "-ele" in singular, and "-lekh" or "-elekh" in plural, sometimes involving a vowel change in the root. Thus "Volf" will become "Velvl", "Khaim"- "Khaiml", "mame" (mother) - "mamele", "Khane" - "Khanele", "Moyshe" - "Moyshele", "kind" (child) - "kindl" or "kindele", "Bobe" (grandmother) - "Bobele", "teyl" (part) - "teylekhl" (particle), "regn" (rain) - "regndl", "hant" (hand) - "hentl", "fus" (foot) - "fisl". The longer version of the suffix ("-ele" instead of "-l") sound generally more affectionate and ussualy used with proper names. Sometimes a few variations of the plural diminutive forms are possible: "balebos" (owner, boss) - "balebeslekh" (newly-wed young men) - "balebatimlekh" (petty bourgeois men).

Many other diminutives of Slavic origin are commonly used, mostly with proper names:

  • -ke: "Khaim/Khaimke", "Sore/Sorke", "Khaye/Khayke", "Avrom/Avromke", "bruder/bruderke" (brother). These forms are usually considered nicknames and are only used with very close friends and relatives.
  • -(e)nyu: "kale/kalenyu" (dear bride), "harts/hartsenyu" (sweetheart), "zeyde/zeydenyu" (dear grandpa). Often used as an affectionate quasi-vocative.
  • -tshik: "Avrom/Avromtshik", "yungerman/yungermantshik" (young man).
  • -inke: "tate/tatinke" (dear daddy), "baleboste/balebostinke" (dear hostess).
  • -ik: "Shmuel/Shmulik", "Yisroel/Srolik".
  • -tse or -tshe: "Sore/Sortshe", "Avrom/Avromtshe", "Itsik/Itshe".
  • -(e)shi: "bobe/bobeshi" (dear grandma), "zun/zuneshi" (dear son), "tate/tateshi" (dear daddy).
  • -lebn: "tate-lebn", "Malke-lebn". This particle might be considered a distinct compound word, and not a suffix.

These suffixes can also be combined: "Khaim/Khaimkele", "Avrom/Avromtshikl", "Itsik/Itshenyu". The vocative case is the case used for a noun identifying the person being addressed, found in Latin among other languages. ...

Some Yiddish proper names have common non-trivial diminutive forms, somewhat similar to English names such as Bob or Wendy: "Akive/Kive", "Yishaye/Shaye", "Rivke/Rivele".

Yiddish also has diminutive forms of adjectives (all the following examples are given in masculine single form):

  • -lekh: "roylekher" (reddish), "gelblekher" (yellowish), "zislekher" (a little bit sweet).
  • -ink: "roytinker" (cute red), "gelinker" (cute yellow), "zisinker" (sweet, sweetie).
  • -tshik or -itshk: "kleynitshker" (tiny little), "altitsher" (nice old).

Some Yiddish diminutives has been incorporated into modern Israeli Hebrew. "Imma" (mother) is "Immaleh" and "Abba" (father) is "Abbaleh." Hebrew redirects here. ...


A common diminutive suffix in Swedish is -is:

Note that the usage of -is is not limited to child-related or "cute" things. For instance: The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Day care is the care of a child during the day by a person other than the childs parents or legal guardians, often someone outside the childs immediate family. ... For other uses, see Kindergarten (disambiguation). ...

  • kondom - kådis (English: condom)

This article is about the male contraceptive device. ...

Latin and Romance languages


In the Latin language the diminutive is formed also by suffixes affixed to the word stem. The grammatical gender remains unchanged. In-Silico Modeling and Conformational Mobility of String Pointer Reduction System (SPRS) Based on DNA Computers ...

  • -ulus, -ula, -ulum, e.g. globulus (globule from globus (globe).
  • -culus, -cula, -culum, e.g. homunculus (little man) from homo (man) (culus also means arse)
  • -olus, -ola, -olum, e.g. malleolus (little hammer) from malleus (hammer)
  • -ellus, -ella, -ellum, e.g. libellus (little book) from liber (book)

Similarly, the diminutive of gladius (sword) is gladiolus, a plant whose leaves look like small swords. An image of Bok globules in the H II region IC 2944, taken with the WFPC2 instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope A Bok globule is a dark cloud of dense dust and gas in which star formation is taking place. ... This article is about a spherical model of the Earth, or similar. ... The concept of a homunculus (Latin for little man, sometimes spelled homonculus, plural homunculi) is often used to illustrate the functioning of a system. ... Arse is an English term referring to the buttocks, first recorded circa 1400 (in arce-hoole) and is commonly used in English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, parts of Canada and former parts of the British Empire. ... This article is about the sword. ... Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Species About 260, see text Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword), sometimes called the sword lily, is a genus of flowering plants, iris family (Iridaceae). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Leaves are an Icelandic five-piece alternative rock band who came to prominence in 2002 with their debut album, Breathe, drawing comparisons to groups such as Coldplay and Doves. ...

Adjectives as well as nouns can be diminished, including paululus (very small) from paulus (small). An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. ... A noun, or noun substantive, is a word or phrase that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. ...

The verbal diminutive in Latin fixes -ill- to the verb before the personal ending, always changing it to the first conjugation. An example is conscribillo (scribble over), the diminutive of conscribo (write onto) of which the infinitive is conscribillare, despite the infinitive of conscribo being conscribere (third conjugation). It has been suggested that Verbal agreement be merged into this article or section. ... Conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from one basic form. ... In grammar, infinitive is the name for certain verb forms that exist in many languages. ... Conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from one basic form. ...

The Anglicisation of Latin diminutives is relatively common, especially in medical terminology. In nouns, the most common conversion is removal of the -us, -a, -um endings and changing them to a silent 'e'. Hence some examples are vacuole from vacuolum, particle from particula and globule from globulus.[1] Schematic of typical animal cell, showing subcellular components: (1) nucleolus (2) nucleus (3) ribosome (4) vesicle (5) rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (6) Golgi apparatus (7) Cytoskeleton (8) smooth ER (9) mitochondria (10) vacuole (11) cytoplasm (12) lysosome (13) centrioles Vacuoles are found in the cytoplasm of most plant cells and... A particle is Look up Particle in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In particle physics, a basic unit of matter or energy. ... An image of Bok globules in the H II region IC 2944, taken with the WFPC2 instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope A Bok globule is a dark cloud of dense dust and gas in which star formation is taking place. ...


French diminutives usually end in -ette, such as fillette (young girl) or courgette (small marrow) and this frequently carries over into English as well. While informal French often produces diminutive effects simply by cutting a word in half (McDo from McDonalds, fixs from fixations 'ski bindings'), the ending -oche is sometimes used. For example, cinoche (ciné) and MacDoche (McDonalds). Courgette Young zucchini Flower of zucchini Zucchini (US and Australian English) or Courgette (New Zealand and British English), is the name of a vegetable. ...

In Old French, -et/-ette, -in/-ine, -el/-elle were often used, as Adeline for Adele, Maillet for Maill and so on. As well, the ending -on was used for both genders, as Alison and Guion from Alice and Guy respectively.


In Italian, the diminutive for people is usually expressed by changing masculine (usually -o) to -ino and feminine (usually -a) to -ina, whereas for inanimate objects, the pattern is -o to -etto and -a to -etta. -ello and -ella also exist, though often as the result of the italicization of words from other Romance languages. The new word is then pluralized as a word in its own right. The animate/inanimate rule is extremely loose. Examples which have made it into English are mostly culinary, like linguine (named for its resemblance to little tongues ("lingue", in Italian)), and bruschetta. The diminution is often figurative: an operetta is similar to an opera, but dealing with less serious topics. "Signorina" means "Miss", whereas "signorino" would be a pejorative belittling of a man, same meanings as señorita and señorito in Spanish. The augmentative also exists: -one. The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family that comprises all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ... Food from plant sources Food is any substance normally eaten or drunk by living organisms. ... Linguine pescatore: linguine served with seafood. ... For other uses, see Tongue (disambiguation). ... Bruschetta made with tomatoes Bruschetta with olive oil and ham   is a food originating in central Italy. ... Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. ... For other uses, see Opera (disambiguation). ... Señorita redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... This article is about adult human males. ... An augmentative is a suffix or prefix added to a word in order to convey the sense of a larger size. ...


In Portuguese, the most common diminutives are formed with the suffixes -(z)inho, -(z)inha, replacing the masculine and feminine endings -o and -a, respectively. The variants -(z)ito and -(z)ita, direct analogues of Spanish -(c)ito and -(c)ita, are also common in some regions. The forms with a z are normally added to words that end in stressed vowels, such as cafécafezinho. Some nouns have slightly irregular diminutives. Portuguese grammar, the morphology and syntax of the Portuguese language, is similar to the grammar of most other Romance languages—especially Galician and the other languages of Iberian Peninsula. ...

Noun diminutives are widely used in the vernacular. Occasionally, this process is extended to pronouns (pouco, a little → pouquinho or poucochinho, a very small amount), adjectives (e.g. tontotontinho, meaning respectively "silly" and "a bit silly"; sozinho, both meaning "alone" or "all alone"), adverbs (depressinha, "quickly") and even verbs (correndocorrendinho, both of which mean "running", but the latter with an endearing connotation). In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase with or without a determiner, such as you and they in English. ... In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun (called the adjectives subject), giving more information about what the noun or pronoun refers to. ... Adverbs redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Verbal agreement be merged into this article or section. ...


Romanian uses suffixes to create diminutives, most of these suffixes being of Latin or Slavic origin.


  • -ea (jucărie / jucărea = toy)
  • -ică (bucată / bucăţică = piece)
  • -ioară (inimă / inimioară = heart)
  • -işoară (ţară / ţărişoară = country)
  • -iţă (fată / fetiţă = girl)
  • -uşcă (raţă / răţuşcă = duck)
  • -uţă (bunică / bunicuţă = grandmother)


  • -aş (iepure / iepuraş = rabbit)
  • -el (băiat / băieţel = boy)
  • -ic (tată / tătic = father)
  • -ior (dulap / dulăpior = locker)
  • -işor (pui / puişor = chicken)
  • -uleţ (urs / ursuleţ = bear)
  • -uş (căţel / căţeluş = dog)
  • -uţ (pat / pătuţ = bed)


See also: Spanish naming customs

Spanish is a rich language in diminutives, and uses suffixes to create them; In Spanish-speaking countries (exception made of Argentina), people normally have at least two surnames. ...

  • -ito/-ita, words ending in -o or -a (rata, "rat" → ratita. Ojo, "eye" → ojito),
  • -cito/-cita, words ending in -e or consonant (león, "lion" → leoncito. Café, "coffee" → cafecito),
  • -illo/-illa (flota; "fleet" → flotilla. Guerra, "war" → guerrilla. Cámara, "chamber" → camarilla),
  • -ico/-ica, words ending in -to and -tro (plato, "plate" → platico. Un rato, "a while" → Un ratico),
  • -ín/-ina (pequeño/a, "little" → pequeñín(a). Muchacho/a, "boy" → muchachín(a))
  • -ete/-eta (cebolla, "onion" → cebolleta. Pandero, "tambourine" → pandereta).

Other less common suffixes are;

  • -uelo/-uela (pollo, "chicken" → polluelo),
  • -zuelo/-zuela [Pejorative] (ladrón, "thief" → landronzuelo),
  • -uco/-uca (nene, "children" → nenuco),
  • -ucho/-ucha [Pejorative] (médico, "doctor" → medicucho),
  • -ijo/-ija (lagarto, "lizard" → lagartija),
  • -izno/-izna (lluvia, "rain" → llovizna),
  • -ajo/-aja (miga, "crumb" → migaja),
  • -ino/-ina (niebla, "fog" → neblina).

Some speakers use twice a suffix in a word, which gives a more affective sense to the word.

  • Chico, "boy" → chiquito → chiquitito/a, chiquitico/a, chiquitín(a).
  • Pie, "foot" → piecito → piececito, piececillo.

Sometimes alternating different suffixes can change the meaning.

  • (La) mano, "hand" → manita, "little hand", or manilla or manecilla, "hand (clock)".

Slavic languages


See also: Bulgarian language#Diminutives and Augmentatives

Bulgarian has an extended diminutive system. Bulgarian or chuvashi language is spoken by around 80. ...

Masculine nouns have a double diminutive form. The first suffix that can be added is -che. At this points the noun has become neuter, because of the -e ending. The -ntse suffix can further extend the diminutive (It is still neuter, again due to the -e ending). A few examples:

  • kufar - kufarche - kufarchentse (a suitcase)
  • nozh - nozhche - nozhchentse (a knife)
  • stol - stolche - stolchentse (a chair)

Feminine nouns can have up to three different, independent forms (though some of them are used only in colloquial speech):

  • zhena - zhenica - zhenichka (a woman)
  • riba - ribka - ribchitsa (a fish)
  • saksiya - saksiyka - saksiychitsa (a flowerpot)
  • glava - glаvitsa - glavichka (a head)

Note, that the suffixes can be any of -ka, -chka, -tsa.

Neuter nouns can have only one diminutive suffix -ntse.

  • dete - detentse (a child)
  • prase - prasentse (a pig)


In Czech diminutives are formed by suffixes, as in other Slavic languages. Every noun has a grammatically correct diminutive form, regardless of the sense it makes. This is sometimes used for comic effect, for example diminuting the word "obr" (giant) to "obřík" (little giant). Diminutives can be diminuted further by adding another diminutive suffix. E.g.: "Júlie" (Julia), "Julka" (little Julia), "Júlinka" (very little Julia). Czech diminutives can also express familiarity, meliorative, and affection. Hence, "Julka" may well mean "our", "cute" or "beloved" Julia.  Countries where a West Slavic language is the national language  Countries where an East Slavic language is the national language  Countries where a South Slavic language is the national language The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup...

Example: "k-diminutives"

/-ka/ (feminine noun forms)

  • táta (dad) → taťka (little/cute/beloved dad = daddy)
  • Anna (Ann) → Anka (little/cute/beloved Ann = Annie)
  • televize (TV set) → televizka (little/cute/beloved televisor)
  • hora (mountain) → hůrka (little/cute/beloved mountain = a big hill)
  • noha (leg, foot) → nožka (little/cute/beloved foot, leg)

/-ko/ (neuter noun forms)

  • rádio (radio) → rádijko (little/cute/beloved radio)
  • víno (wine) → vínko (little/cute/beloved wine)
  • triko (T-shirt) → tričko (little/cute/beloved T-shirt)
  • pero (feather) → pírko (little/cute/beloved feather)
  • oko (eye) → očko (little/cute/beloved eye = eyelet)

/-ek/ (masculine noun forms)

  • dům (house) → domek (little/cute/beloved house)
  • stůl (table) → stolek (little/cute/beloved table)
  • schod (stair/step) → schůdek (little/cute/beloved stair/step)
  • prostor (space) → prostůrek (little/cute/beloved space)
  • strom (tree) → stromek (little/cute/beloved tree)


  • Tom (Tom) → Tomík (little/cute/beloved Tom = Tommy)
  • pokoj (room) → pokojík (little/cute/beloved room)
  • kůl (stake/pole) → kolík (little/cute/beloved stake/pole)
  • rum (rum) → rumík (little/cute/beloved rum)
  • koš (basket) → košík (little/cute/beloved basket)

Other common diminutive suffixes are /-inka/, /-enka/, /-ečka/, /-ička/, /-ul-/, /-unka/, /-íček/, /-ínek/ etc. Note the various stem mutations, such as palatalization, vowel shortening or vowel lengthening.


In Polish there are multiple affixes used to create the diminutive. Some of them are -ka, -czka, -śka, -cia, -sia, -unia, -enka, -lka for feminine nouns and -ek, -yk, -ciek, -czek, -czyk, -szek, -uń, -uś, -eńki, -lki for masculine words, and -czko, -ko for neuter nouns, among others. In many cases, the possibilities for creation of diminutives are seemingly endless. Some examples:


  • żaba (frog) → żabcia, żabusia, żabeńka, żabuleńka, żabeczka, żabunia, żabka
  • mała (small) → maleńka, malusia, malutka, maluśka, malusieńka
  • córka (daughter) → córeczka
  • Katarzyna (Katherine) → Kasia, Kaśka, Kasienka, Kasiunia, Kasiulka
  • Anna (Anna) → Ania, Anka, Andzia, Anusia, Anuśka, Aneczka, Anulka, Anuleczka
  • Małgorzata (Margaret) → Małgośka, Małgosia, Gosia, Gośka, Gosieńka, Gosiunia


  • mały (small) → maleńki, malusi, malutki, maluśki, malusieńki
  • chłopak (boy) → chłopczyk
  • syn (son) → synek, syneczek, synulek
  • Grzegorz (Gregory) → Grześ, Grzesiek, Grzesio, Grzesiu
  • Piotr (Peter) → Piotrek, Piotruś, Piotrusiek, Pietruszka
  • Tomasz (Thomas) → Tomek, Tomuś, Tomcio, Tomeczek
  • piłkarz (footballer) → piłkarzyk
  • ptak (bird) → ptaszek, ptaszeczek, ptaś


  • pióro (feather) → piórko, pióreczko
  • serce (heart) → serduszko
  • mleko (milk) → mleczko
  • światło (light) → światełko
  • słońce (sun) → słoneczko, słonko


  • kwiaty (flowers) → kwiatki, kwiatuszki

The diminutive suffixes may be stacked to create forms going even further, for example, malusieńki is considered even smaller than malusi or maleńki. Similarly, koteczek (little kitty) is derived from kotek (kitty), which is itself derived from kot (cat). Note that in this case, the suffix -ek is used twice, but changes to ecz once due to palatalisation.

In Polish, diminutives can be formed of nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and some other parts of speech. Example:

  • szybko (fast) → szybciutko, szybciusieńko


Russian has a wide variety of diminutive forms for names, to the point that for non-Russian speakers it can be difficult to connect a nickname to the original. Diminutive forms for nouns are usually distinguished with -ik, -ok (-yok) (masculine gender), -chk-, -shk-, -on’k- or -en’k- suffixes. For example, "voda" (вода;, "water") becomes "vodichka" (водичка, "little water"), "kot" (кот, "male cat") becomes "kotik" (котик), "koshka" (кошка, "female cat") becomes "koshechka" (кошечка), "solntse" (солнце, "sun", neuter) becomes "solnyshko" (солнышко). Often there are many diminutive forms: "mama" (мама, "mom") becomes "mamochka" (мамочка), "mamen’ka" (маменька), etc.

A number of diminutives have a separate and sometimes metaphoric meaning; the word "vodka" ("водка") literally means "little water", and "limonka" ("лимонка", "little lemon") can signify a pear or a hand grenade. Vodka bottling machine, Shatskaya Vodka Shatsk, Russia Vodka (Polish: wódka, Russian: водка) is one of the worlds most popular distilled beverages. ...

Adjectives and adverbs can also have diminutive forms with suffix -en’k-: "siniy" (синий, "blue") becomes "sinen’kiy" (синенький), "bystro" (быстро, "quickly") becomes "bystren’ko" (быстренько). Some diminutives of proper names, among many others: A hypocoristic (or hypocorism) is a lesser form of the given name used in more intimate situations, as a term of endearment, a pet name. ...

  • Andrei - Andryusha, Andryushenka
  • Mikhail - Misha
  • Aleksei - Alyosha, Lyosha
  • Aleksandr - Sasha
  • Nikolai - Kolya
  • Pyotr - Petya
  • Vladimir - Volodya
  • Sergei - Seryozha
  • Ekaterina - Katya, Katyusha, Katenka
  • Natalya - Natasha
  • Aleksandra - Sasha
  • Irina - Ira
  • Viktoria - Vika
  • Tatyana - Tanya
  • Evgeniya - Zhenya

Celtic languages


The Irish language has a number of diminutives. This article is about the modern Goidelic language. ...

The most common diminutives are:

-(e)og - A feminine diminutive;
-an/in - A masculine diminutive.

Scottish Gaelic

In Scottish Gaelic diminutives are used much more frequently than in English. This is a feature that it shares with Scots language, and may have influenced, the suffixes "-ag" and "-ock" in that language. Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. ... This article is about the Anglic language of Scotland. ...

The most common diminutives are:

-(e)ag - A feminine diminutive;
-(e)an - A masculine diminutive.


  • Mor ("Sarah") → Morag
  • Loch Nis (Loch Ness) → Niseag ("Nessie")
  • lochlochan.
  • bodach (old man) → bodachan (mannikin)

For other uses, see Loch Ness (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Loch Ness Monster (disambiguation). ... View across Loch Lomond, towards Ben Lomond. ... A Bodach (Irish ; plural Bodaich) is a mythical spirit or creature, rather like the Bogeyman. ...

Other Indo-European languages


Several diminutive derivational suffixes existed in Classical Greek. The most common ones were: -ιο, -ισκο, -ιδιο, -αριο.

Diminutives are also very common in Modern Greek. Literally every noun has its corresponding diminutive. They express small size (σπίτι-spiti 'house', σπιτάκι-spitaki 'little house'; λάθος-lathos 'mistake', λαθάκι-lathaki 'negligeable mistake') or affection (μάνα-mana 'mother', μανούλα-manoula 'mommy'). The most common suffixes are -άκης (-akis) and -ούλης (-oulis) for the male gender, -ίτσα (-itsa) and -ούλα (-oula) for the female gender, and -άκι (-aki) for the neutral gender. Several of them are common as suffixes of surnames, originally meaning the offspring of a certain person, e.g. Παπάς 'priest' Παπαδάκης Papadakis (surname). The Greek language (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA // – Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of some 3,000 years. ... A family name, or surname, is that part of a persons name that indicates to what family he or she belongs. ...


In Hindi and related languages like Marathi, proper nouns are made diminutive with -u. This is of course most often applied to children's names, though lifelong nicknames can result:-1... Marathi is one of the widely spoken languages of India, and has a long literary history. ...

  • Rajiv → Raju
  • Anita → Neetu


In Sinhala, proper nouns are made diminutive with -a after usually doubling the last pure consonant, or adding -ya. Sinhala language Sinhala alphabet Sinhala people Sinhala place-names Sinhala Place Names, see Sinhala place-names Category: ...

  • Rajitha → Rajja
  • Romesh → Romma
  • Sashika → Sashsha
  • Ramith → Ramiya


Lithuanian is known for its array of diminutive forms. Diminutives are generally constructed with suffixes applied to the noun stem. By far, the most common are those with -elis/-elė or -ėlis/-ėlė. Others include: -ukis/-ukė, -ulis/-ulė, -užis/-užė, -utis/-utė, -ytis/-ytė, etc. Prefixes may also be compounded, e.g.: -užis + -ėlis → -užėlis. In addition to denoting small size and/or endearment, they may also function as amplificatives (augmentatives), pejoratives (deterioratives), and to give special meanings, depending on context.[2] Lithuanian diminutives are especially prevalent in poetic language, such as folk songs. Examples:

  • ąžuolas (oak) → ąžuolėlis, ąžuoliukas
  • brolis (brother) → brolelis, broliukas, brolytis, brolužis, brolužėlis, brolutytis, broliukėlis, etc.
  • klevas (maple) → klevelis, klevukas, klevutis
  • pakalnė (slope) → pakalnutė (Lily-of-the-valley, Convallaria)
  • saulė (sun) → saulelė, saulytė, saulutė, saulužė, saulužėlė, etc.
  • svogūnas (onion) → svogūnėlis (bulb)
  • vadovas (leader) → vadovėlis (textbook, manual)

Binomial name Convallaria majalis L. Convallaria majalis, commonly known as the Lily of the Valley, is the sole member of the genus Convallaria in the flowering plant family Ruscaceae. ...


The most frequently used Persian diminutives are -cheh (چه-) and -ak (ک-). Farsi redirects here. ...

  • Bãgh باغ (garden), bãghcheh باغچه (small garden)
  • Mard مرد (man), mardak مردک (this fellow)

Other less used ones are -izeh and -zheh.

  • Rang رنگ (colour), rangizeh رنگیزه (pigment)
  • Nãy نای (pipe), nãyzheh نایژه (small pipe, bronchus)

Natural Ultramarine pigment in powdered form. ... A bronchus (plural bronchi, adjective bronchial) is a caliber of airway in the respiratory tract that conducts air into the lungs. ...

Other natural languages


In Modern Standard Arabic the usual diminutive pattern is Fu`ayL (CuCayC), with or without the feminine -ah added. Modern Standard Arabic is the form of Arabic currently used in Arabic books, newspapers and nearly all written media. ...

  • kūt كوت"fort" → kuwayt كويت "little fort"
  • hirra هِرّة "cat" → hurayrah هُرَيرة "kitten"

Anthem: Al-Nasheed Al-Watani Capital Kuwait City , Official languages Arabic Demonym Kuwaiti Government Constitutional hereditary emirate[1]  -  Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah  -  Prime Minister Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah Independence  -  from the UK June 19, 1961  Area  -  Total 17,818 km² (157th) 6,880...


Personal names in Chinese, not including the family name, are usually two characters in length. Often, the first of the two characters is omitted and replaced with the characterxiǎo, literally meaning "little", to produce an affectionate, diminutive name. Personal names in Chinese culture follow a number of conventions different from those of personal names in Western cultures. ... Last name redirects here. ...


The diminutive suffixes of finnish "-kka" and "-nen" are not universal, and cannot be used on every noun. The feature is common in finnish surnames, f.e. 'Jokinen' could translate 'Riverling', but since this form is not used in speaking about rivers, the surname could also mean 'lands by the river' or 'lives by the river'. Double diminutives also occur in certain words f.e. lapsukainen (child, not a baby anymore), lapsonen (small child), lapsi (child). A family name, or surname, is that part of a persons name that indicates to what family he or she belongs. ...


Hungarian uses the suffixes -ka/ke and -cska/cske to form diminutive nouns. The suffixes -i and -csi may also be used with names. However, you cannot have the diminutive form of your name registered officially. Nouns formed this way are considered separate words (as all words that are formed using képző type suffixes). They may not even be grammatically related to the base word, only historically, whereas the relation has been long forgotten.

Some examples:

  • Animals
    • -i: medvemaci (bear), borjúboci (calf)
    • -ka/ke: csóka (jackdaw), ka (seal), ka (fox), pulyka (turkey), szarka (magpie)
    • -cska/cske: fecske (swallow), kecske (goat), macska (cat) – this is actually a loanword from Slavic languages, szöcske (grasshopper)
    • -us: kutyakutyus (dog), cicacicus (cat)
  • Names
    • -i: János (John) → Jani, JúliaJuli, KataKati, MáriaMari, SáraSári
    • -csi: JánosJancsi
    • -ika/ike: JúliaJulika, MáriaMarika
    • -iska/iske: JúliaJuliska, MáriaMariska
    • -us: BélaBélus
    • -tya: PéterPetya
    • -nyi: Sándor (Alexander) → Sanyi

Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Jackdaw range The Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), sometimes known as the Eurasian Jackdaw or European Jackdaw, is one of the smallest species (34–39 cm in length) in the genus of crows and ravens. ... Binomial name Pica pica Linnaeus, (1758) The European Magpie (Pica pica) is a resident breeding bird throughout Europe, much of Asia, and northwest Africa. ... For other uses, see Swallow (disambiguation). ...


See also Turkish grammar.

Turkish diminutive suffixes are -cik and -cegiz (-cegiz): This article concerns the grammar of the Turkish language. ...

  • ev = evcik (house)
  • Mehmet = Mehmetçik (This is an incorrect diminutive because it is a prestigious generic name for Turkish Soldier. Arabic Muhammad's Turkish version is Mehmet, which denotes Soldiers of Muhammad or Muhammad Like.[citation needed])
  • Cik suffix usually denotes small quantity, poorness, or youngness
  • Cegiz suffix usually appended to inanimate objects.

Constructed or auxiliary languages


See also Esperanto word formation.

For generic use (for living beings and inanimate objects), Esperanto has a single diminutive suffix, -et. The word base of Esperanto was originally defined by Lingvo internacia, published by Zamenhof in 1887. ... This article is about the language. ...

  • domo (house) → dometo (cottage)
  • varma (warm) → varmeta (lukewarm)
  • knabo (boy) → knabeto (little boy)

For personal names and familial forms of address, the affixes -nj- and -ĉj- are used, for females and males respectively. Unusually for Esperanto, the "root" is often shortened, in an unpredictable manner, before being added to.

  • Patrino (Mother) → Panjo (Mum, Mom)
  • Mario (Mary, Maria) → Manjo, Marinjo
  • Sofio (Sophie, Sophia) → Sonjo, Sofinjo
  • Patro (Father) → Paĉjo (Dad, Daddy)
  • Johano (John, Johann) → Johanĉjo, Joĉjo (Jack, Johnny)
  • Vilhelmo (William, Wilhelm) → Vilhelĉjo, Vilheĉjo, Vilĉjo, Viĉjo (Willy, Bill, Billy)

Whereas languages such as Spanish may use the diminutive to denote offspring, as in "perrito" (puppy), Esperanto has a dedicated and regular suffix, "-id" used for this purpose. Thus "hundeto" is not "puppy", but rather "little dog", but "hundido" means "puppy" (dog-offspring).


See also Free word-building in Interlingua.

Interlingua has a single diminutive suffix, -ett, for diminutives of all sorts. Words can be included in Interlingua in either of two ways: by establishing their internationality or by deriving them using Interlingua words and affixes. ... This article is about the auxiliary language created by the International Auxiliary Language Association. ...

  • Johannes (John) → Johannetto (Johnny)
  • camera (chamber, room) → cameretta (little room)
  • pullo (chicken) → pulletto (chick)

Use of this suffix is flexible, and diminutives such as mama and papa may also be used. To denote a small person or object, many Interlingua speakers simply use the word parve, or small:

  • parve can → small dog
  • parve arbore → small tree


  1. ^ For more information on Latin diminutives see Diminutivum (Latinum) (in Latin)
  2. ^ STUDIES ON WORD-FORMATION IN LITHUANIAN (1944-1974), ANTANAS KLIMAS, University of Rochester

See also

Look up diminutive in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... A hypocoristic (or hypocorism) is a lesser form of the given name used in more intimate situations, as a term of endearment, a pet name. ... An augmentative is a suffix or prefix added to a word in order to convey the sense of a larger size. ...

  Results from FactBites:
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Nature and Attributes of God (5901 words)
But the self-existing cannot be conceived as limiting itself, in the sense of curtailing its perfection of being, without ceasing to be self-existing.
Whatever it is, it is necessarily; its own essence is the sole reason or explanation of its existence, so that its manner of existence must be as unchangeable as its essence, and to suggest the possibility of an increase or diminution of perfection would be to suggest the absurdity of a changeable essence.
Changeableness implies the capacity for increase or diminution of perfection, that is, it implies finiteness and imperfection.
  More results at FactBites »



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