form of a word (most often a noun) indicating smallness of size and/or affection or endearment. Many languages have systematic ways of creating diminutive forms by adding a suffix or changing the word form in other ways. In English, for example, we may add the suffix -y (or -ie) to names (Bob/Bobby, Tom/Tommy, Barbara/Barbie, Kate/Katie) and other words (duckie, doggie, baggie). However, the use of the diminutive is relatively limited in English. In contrast, diminutives are used quite commonly in many languages, including Spanish and Arabic. In Arabic, for example, the word for dog is kalb; the diminutive form, kulayb, can be used to mean â€œtiny dogâ€ (not â€œpuppyâ€) or something that might translate as â€œdearâ€ or â€œbeloved dog.