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Word of the Day
Saturday, July 08, 2017

Definitions for cannikin

  1. a small can or drinking cup.
  2. a small wooden bucket.

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Citations for cannikin
He drew some cognac from the cask into a tin cannikin. Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, 1883
Drink had now been taken, and Slig came down the steps with a cannikin, offering more. Hilary Mantel, The Giant, O'Brien, 1998
Origin of cannikin
Cannikin comes from Middle Dutch cannekijn, Dutch kanneken “small can.” The cann-, kann- element comes Middle Dutch kanne, Dutch kan, and is closely related to German Kanne, Old Norse kanna, Old English canne, and English can, all from Germanic kanna meaning “tankard, container, can.” It is possible that this Germanic word is a borrowing from Latin canna “reed, reed pipe, flute, cane,” which itself has a very long history going back through Greek kánna “reed, cane” to Semitic, e.g. Assyrian qanū “reed.” Nouns ending in the diminutive suffix -kin are not common in English, and most of those (e.g., catkin, gherkin, manikin) are of Dutch origin and date from the mid-16th and mid-17th centuries. Dutch -kin is related to German -chen, as in Liebchen “sweetheart” or Häuschen “little house, cottage.” Cannikin entered English in the mid-16th century.