Online Encyclopedia

MINION

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 542 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MINION, a favourite, pet or spoiled person. The word is adapted from the Fr. mignon (Ital. mignone), of which the origin is doubtful. Connexions with the O.H. Ger. minna, love, and with a Celtic root min-, meaning small, have been suggested. " Minion " is chiefly applied in a derogatory sense to the " creatures " of a royal court, and thus has been used of the favourites of Edward II. and James I. of England, and of Henry III. of France. In the sense pretty, delicate, dainty, the French form mignon or mignonne is often used in English. During the .17th century " minion " was the name of a type of cannon with a small bore. In typography, it is still used for the type which comes between "nonpareil " and " brevier."
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