Kin



[kin] /kɪn/

noun
1.
a person’s relatives collectively; .
2.
family relationship or .
3.
a group of persons descended from a common ancestor or constituting a people, clan, tribe, or family.
4.
a relative or kinsman.
5.
someone or something of the same or similar kind:
philosophy and its kin, theology.
adjective
6.
of the same family; related; .
7.
of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
Idioms
8.
of kin, of the same family; related; akin:
Although their surnames are identical they are not of kin.
1.
a diminutive suffix of nouns:
lambkin.
/kɪn/
noun
1.
a person’s relatives collectively; kindred
2.
a class or group with similar characteristics
3.
See next of kin
adjective
4.
(postpositive) related by blood
5.
a less common word for akin
suffix
1.
small: lambkin
n.

c.1200, from Old English cynn “family; race; kind, sort, rank; nature; gender, sex,” from Proto-Germanic *kunjam “family” (cf. Old Frisian kenn, Old Saxon kunni, Old Norse kyn, Old High German chunni “kin, race;” Danish and Swedish kön, Middle Dutch, Dutch kunne “sex, gender;” Gothic kuni “family, race,” Old Norse kundr “son,” German Kind “child”), from PIE *gen(e)- “to produce” (see genus).

diminutive suffix, first attested late 12c. in proper names adopted from Flanders and Holland, probably from Middle Dutch -kin, properly a double-diminutive, from -k + -in. Equivalent to German -chen. Also borrowed in Old French as -quin, where it usually has a bad sense.

This suffix, which is almost barren in French, has been more largely developed in the Picard patois, which uses it for new forms, such as verquin, a shabby little glass (verre); painequin, a bad little loaf (pain); Pierrequin poor little Pierre, &c. [“An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language,” transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]

Used in later Middle English with common nouns. In some words it is directly from Dutch or Flemish.

Related Terms

kissing cousin
see: kith and kin

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