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See also: Bijou



Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowing from French bijou


bijou (plural bijous)

  1. jewel
  2. a piece of jewelry, a trinket
  3. a small intricately made metalworking

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowing from Sabir bijou, ultimately from Occitan pichon (small, little), influenced by English bijou (jewel).[1]


bijou (comparative more bijou, superlative most bijou)

  1. (Polari) small, little (often implying affection)
    • 1968 Kenneth Horne, "Bona Prods" in: Round the Horne
      You may have vada'd one of our tiny bijou masterpiecettes, heartface.
    • 1997, Ian Lucas, "The Color of His Eyes: Polari and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" in: Anna Livia, Kira Hall (editors), Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality, page 91
      We, the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence and the Gathered Faithful, do hereby invoke the spirit of our beloved Muffin the Mule, to recognize the bona work of Mr. Derek Jarman in promulgating Universal Joy [...] in his bijou masterpiecettes[.]
    • 2012, Paul, "Bijou Polari Appette pre-varda’d" in: Gay History (05/08/2012)
      Polari, used for decades by gay men, actors, and theatre performers and which famously appeared on primetime radio show Round The Horne, has been brought up-to-date with a bijou iPhone appette.
  2. (of a residence) small and elegant
  3. intricate; finely made
  • 1989, H. T. Willetts (translator), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (author), August 1914, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ISBN 0-374-51999-4, page 126:
    In small towns like Soldau a small area accommodates the town hall, the church, several miniature squares, a monument to somebody or other, perhaps more than one, all sorts of shops, beerhouses, a post office, a bank, and there may be a bijou park behind wrought-iron railings, then the streets and the town end just as abruptly, and you have scarcely passed the last house when you find a highroad lined with trees stretching before you with a neat grid of precisely demarcated fields on either side.

Usage notes[edit]

Often used with -ette on the noun that it describes, as in the quotations given above, and bijou problemette.


  1. ^ Alan D. Corré, "Polari Words from Lingua Franca" in: A Glossary of Lingua Franca. 5th Edition, 2005


Alternative forms[edit]

  • byou (hyperforeignism)



Borrowing from French bijou.


bijou m (plural bijoux or bijous, diminutive bijoutje n)

  1. a piece of jewelry, often specifically with fake gems



Borrowing from Breton bizoù (ring), from biz (finger).



bijou m (plural bijoux)

  1. a piece of jewelry

Usage notes[edit]

Only seven words in French ending in -ou have their plurals in -oux instead of -ous: bijou, caillou, chou, genou, hibou, joujou, pou.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]