-ette suffix repr. F. -ette (OF. -ete), and forming dim. sbs., being the fem. corr. to masc. (O)F. -et (see -ET). In ME. the F. -et and -ette were not clearly distinguished, and old adoptions in -et(t)e usu. survive with -et, e.g. egret, hatchet. The sp. -ette is preserved in adoptions dating from XVII onwards, as cigarette, coquette, etiquette, gazette, rosette. In XIX it began to be extended to Eng. sbs., as waggonnette, and esp. in names of materials intended as imitations, as flannelette, leatherette.
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