Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

-kin

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. a diminutive suffix of nouns: lambkin.

Origin of -kin

Middle English < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German -ken; cognate with German -chen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for -kin

-kin

suffix forming nouns
  1. smalllambkin

Word Origin

from Middle Dutch, of West Germanic origin; compare German -chen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for -kin

diminutive suffix, first attested late 12c. in proper names adopted from Flanders and Holland, probably from Middle Dutch -kin, properly a double-diminutive, from -k + -in. Equivalent to German -chen. Also borrowed in Old French as -quin, where it usually has a bad sense.

This suffix, which is almost barren in French, has been more largely developed in the Picard patois, which uses it for new forms, such as verquin, a shabby little glass (verre); painequin, a bad little loaf (pain); Pierrequin poor little Pierre, &c. ["An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]

Used in later Middle English with common nouns. In some words it is directly from Dutch or Flemish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.