Diminutive Adjectives are usually confined to one gender, that of the
primitive, and are used as Diminutive Nouns.
They are formed by means of the suffixes—
(after a vowel), -culus
gladi-olus, a small
auri-cula, a little
auris, an ear.
, N., a gift.
lib-ellus, a little
liber, a book.
aure-olus (-a, -um),
aureus (-a, -um),
), very small;
parvus (-a, -um),
[*] Note 1.--These diminutive
endings are all formed by adding -lus to various stems. The formation is the same as
that of -ulus in § 251. But these words became
settled as diminutives, and retained their connection with
nouns. So in English the diminutives whitish, reddish, are of the same
formation as bookish and snappish, -culus comes from
-lus added to adjectives in
-cus formed from stems in
n- and s-: as, iuven-cus,
), prīs-cus, whence the
becomes a part of the termination, and the whole
ending (-culus) is used elsewhere,
but mostly with n- and s- stems, in accordance with its origin.
[*] Note 2.--Diminutives are
often used to express affection, pity, or contempt: as, dēliciolae, little pet;
muliercula, a poor
(weak) woman; Graeculus, a miserable Greek.
, added to stems in
, has the same diminutive force,
but is used with masculines only: as, homun-ciō
, a dwarf