Over a year ago we discussed two unusual English diminutive suffices, -co(c)k and -kin. At the time, we said of -co(c)k:
This suffix was never common, and we don’t currently have any examples in our data, but look forward eagerly to the day when we do!
Well, now we do! So we thought we’d devote a post to revisiting these suffices.
We have recently been working through the 1379 poll tax of the West Riding of Yorkshire, which is delightful in that not only has a number of given names recorded in diminutive form, but also — despite being recorded in Latin — a surfeit of vernacular matronymic and patronymic bynames based on diminutives. In addition to adding the given name citations directly to the Dictionary’s database, we have also been adding the evidence from the bynames to the body of the relevant entries. This data will be available in the next edition.
-kin first. To our previous examples of -kin, we can now add diminutives of William Wilke, Wilken, Wilkin, Wilkyn, and Wylkyn. The -kyn spelling is favored in this dataset; we also have Adken, Adkyn, Atkyn, Attkyn (from Adam), Jonkyn (from https://dmnes.org/name/John”>John), and Perkyn (from Peter). The suffix was not exclusive to men; our final example, Malkyn, is a diminutive of Mary.
These are not the only diminutive suffices we find in this dataset, and they are certainly not the most common ones. We will set about exploring the nicknames of Yorkshire in a future post!