Pawel (leeperek) wrote in linguaphiles,


Hi All
In Polish we're using diminutives extremely often. Especially in some parts of the country (like in Warsaw for instance) the use of them is a part of local dialects. We're using diminutives when speaking to kids, to well-known people, about soft and nice things etc. (sometimes also to diminish meaning of something or as an irony.) I'm not sure what is the maximal number of ways to create a diminutive for a single noun in Polish (i'm sure this varies for different nouns) but I can list here the ones for 'the cat' (kot): kotek, koteczek, kociak, kociaczek, kotuś, koteniek, kicia... So quite a few.
Moreover not only can we use diminutives for nouns, but for names, adjectives (golden - złociutki), adverbs (green - zieloniutko), pronouns (every - każdziusieńki) and sometimes (though it's quite an extreme use) even verbs (to cry - płakuniać.)
Sometimes a diminutive is the default way of expressing yourself  - you would never say 'what a sweet cat!' as 'jaki słodki kot!' but always as 'jaki śliczny kotek!' (unless it's a tiger... but then again as a form of irony it would be perfectly fine.)

Do you use diminutives in your languages?
I know german -lein and -chen (is there any other way to soften the meaning?) and english -y (again - anything else you english natives use commonly?)
How about other languages?

(Er der noget som diminutiv på dansk? Hvordan skabbes det?)

Thanks for your answers

PS. Shit, i just noticed that I even used a diminutive while creating my nickname here, since the non-softened version was already occupied...
Tags: polish

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