More about paucity
Paucity “smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness,” comes via Old or Middle French paucité from Latin paucitāt-, the inflectional stem of paucitās “smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness,” a derivative of the adjective paucus “few” (because of its intrinsic meaning, paucus is usually used in the plural). Paucus is also the source of Italian poco “a little,” i.e., the musical direction meaning “somewhat, a little,” and of poco a poco “little by little, gradually.” The Proto-Indo-European root underlying the Latin words is pau-, pōu-, pəu-, pu– (with still more variants) “few, a few, little, low,” which also usually is extended by consonant suffixes. Latin pau– with a suffixed –l forms the adjective paulus, paullus “little, small,” the Roman surname Paullus, and the English forename Paul. The variant root pu– with a suffixed –er forms the Latin noun puer “boy, child”; the diminutive of puer is puellus “a young boy,” and puella, the feminine of puellus, therefore means “girl.” The root pau– becomes the Proto-Germanic root faw-; its derived adjective fawaz “few, a little,” becomes fēawa, fēa in Old English, and few in modern English. Paucity entered English in the first half of the 15th century.