-lein

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: lein, Lein, and LEIN

German[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • -el, -l (chiefly dialectal)
  • -le (chiefly dialectal)
  • -li (in Swiss)
  • -lin (chiefly Early New High German)
  • -elein (chiefly in poetry)

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German -elīn, -līn, from Old High German -ilī, -ilīn.[1] Cognate to Dutch -lijn.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-lein (plural -lein or -leins or -erlein)

  1. suffix used to create a diminutive form; e.g., KindKindlein

Usage notes[edit]

  • In modern Standard German -lein is less common than, and often replaced by, -chen.
  • The plural generally remains unchanged as it does with diminutives in -chen. A few nouns with a plural in -er may carry the same ending over to the plural diminutive. This is common with KindleinKinderlein (and equally KindchenKinderchen); otherwise it is rare. A few nouns referring to people allow a plural in -s. This is common with FräuleinFräuleins; otherwise it is, again, rare.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1989), “-lein”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological dictionary of the German language] (in German), 22nd edition, →ISBN