-le1 suffix of sbs., repr. OE. -el (cf. BRIDLE, LADLE), -la, -le (cf. HANDLE), -ol (cf. CRADLE, SADDLE), and -l (cf. NEEDLE, SETTLE), and corr. to OS., OHG., -il. -al, -la (LG., Du., G. -el), ON. -al, -ill, -ull, Goth. -ils, and rel. further to IE. *-(i)lo-, *-(u)lo-, *-(e)lā, as in L. cingulus, -ula, -ulum girdle, sella (:- *sedlā) saddle, Gr. hellāac seat, denoting appliances or instruments; there are also a few names of animals and plants, as beetle, bramble, cuttlefish, thistle; cf. cripple. This suffix was not gen. productive, but some adoptions of words containing it were made from ON. and LG., as axle, kettle, pickle, scuttle. In fowl, snail, stile, the suffix has ceased to be syllabic. Cf.-EL1. In angle, battle, candle, muzzle, syllable, uncle, etc., the ending is of other orig.
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