Friday, January 19, 2007

The Daily Hump: Minx

Hump This, a quasi-regular Friday feature where you, the WordHumper reader, decide which words gets humped back to Proto-Indo-Europa, is taking a hiatus this week for lack of any good requests. We'll hopefully return next week. But in the meantime, please enjoy the following hump.

The OED describes a minx as "A pert, sly, or boldly flirtatious young woman" noting that in recent years the word has taken on a more playful connotation. The word's origin is uncertain but it's generally assumed minx is a shortened form of minikin which is a fairly rare word that the AHD defines as "A very small delicate creature." In its original sense minikin referred to a young girl or woman. The word comes from the Middle Dutch minnekijn which meant "darling" and is itself a compound of minne (love) + -kijn, which is a diminutive suffix.

Minikin should not be confused with the Jewish surname Minkin. Minkin is likely an alteration of Mencken or Menken which themselves are likely alterations of Menahem who you may remember from the Hebrew Bible as one of the more colorful kings of Israel who, per II Kings 15:16, had a fondness for giving abortions: "He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women."

Wow...I just humped myself. Word.

UPDATE: Interestingly, Minkin is also an extinct Australian Aboriginal language. Ooga booga.

minx [Online Etymology Dictionary]
minx [AHD]
minikin [AHD]
minikin [OED]
minx [OED]
Menahem [Wikipedia]
List of Jewish surnames [Wikipedia]
II Kings 15:16 []
Minkin (language) [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:43 AM


I can't believe you humped yourself. Humping Minkin was ... oh GOD! YOU'VE HUMPED ALL OF US!

Um, good call on Minikin the lamb though...
Blogger Loocite, at 10:18 AM  
Unclean! UNCLEAN!
Blogger Loocite, at 10:19 AM  

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