Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day


minx (MINGKS) - n., a pert, impudent, or flirtatious young woman; a promiscuous woman; a mistress, a prostitute.

In the primary sense, this has been around since around 1590, making it Elizabethan slang. Where it came from is a mystery -- there was an earlier Tudor slang word minx/mynx meaning a small pet dog, dating to the 1540s, but it's unclear where that came from (possibly an alteration of minikin, small creature?) and whether it's related. The most common suggestion for the origin of the minx above is a similar alteration of a separate minikin, girl/young woman, from Dutch minneken/minnekijn, darling/girl, where the minne is Dutch/Low German, love. Another suggestion is Low German minsk with a primary meaning of a man but also derogatory slang sense of an impudent woman/wench/slut, cognate of modern German Mensch, with same meanings (the modern English complimentary meanings of mensch come to us via Yiddish).

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